Vidyasagar Hariharan started visiting wetlands to see flamingos in 2016. Realising their importance and the need to conserve, he started an Instagram page ‘flamingosofmumbai’.
His pictures over the past seven years paint a picture of how the city’s landscape has changed and how it has affected birds.
1. Don’t intrude into the animal territory. Home to more than 60 species of birds, this lake in Navi Mumbai is under threat, as builders want to construct a golf course in this area.
2. Flamingos are a good indicator of wetland health. “Mumbai is possibly the only large city that sees the migration of such a huge number of flamingos,” he says.
3. The flamingo season in Mumbai is from November to June. Mumbai gets both Asian species of flamingos, the greater and lesser flamingos.
4. The reason why flamingos come to Thane creek in large numbers is due to the availability of food, the blue-green algae. These wetlands also prevent flooding.
5. Stop reckless plastic pollution. This picture shows how these birds are fending for food amidst waste strewn around by humans.
6. “Everyone should understand the migration phenomenon. Only then will they work towards conserving these urban wetlands,” he adds.
7. “Wildlife is not just found in big national parks, but also in wetlands, we just have to look around,” he says.
8. This picture shows a greater and lesser flamingo walking together. It has been featured by India Post and also in a Banarasi silk saree as a motif.
9. Stop fighting against nature. Don’t build through forests and wetlands, urges the 47-year-old.
10. Learn to co-exist with nature. Focus on conservation and build your golf courses elsewhere, advises the banker.