Delhi, the capital city of India, is home to multiple water bodies. While some of these wetlands have been purposefully created, like the Yamuna Biodiversity Park, some came into existence by being in the periphery of various civic projects. For instance, the Okhla Bird Sanctuary was created after the Okhla Barrage was constructed. Apart from these, areas like the Basai wetlands and the nearby river Sahibi (now known as the Najafgarh Drain) have created wetland-like ecosystems over the years. These places are home to several bird species, including many winter migratory birds. In spite of the changes accompanying the ongoing developmental activities in the vicinity, these birds have been able to survive in these human-dominated landscapes. I present a set of photographs to highlight the same.
The co-existence of these birds in human-dominated landscapes also narrates a less known story. It demonstrates that while certain species may need protected areas for conservation, different strategies are required for conserving common or widespread species that form an integral part of the urban/peri-urban/rural landscapes. Usually these species are able to utilize the matrix of land-use types, provided they have access to food and shelter. Thus, conservation of such species would instead require a reframing of the problem and a joint effort between different development and conservation agencies, and the scientists.
About the Author: Anjan is a PhD student at ATREE. His work involves examining the movement strategies that enable survival of mesocarnivores (golden jackal, jungle cat and Indian fox) in spatially and temporally varying human-dominated landscapes. Previously, he has worked in the climate change and sustainability sector. He likes travelling and photographing various aspects of the nature and environment. His blog can be accessed at https://mywildlifevisuals.wordpress.com/.