Karnataka: Siberian pelicans co-exist with bats and monkeys on 100-year-old Kolar tree | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BELLAMBARI (KOLAR): A 100-year-old peepal tree in Kolar’s Bellambari village, about 70km from Bengaluru, houses at least 14 different species, including mammals, birds, insects and reptiles. Of late, even migratory pelicans, which come all the way from places such as Siberia and Mexico, have been nesting here.
These birds normally arrive here for reproduction during October, November and leave in April. The villagers, most of whom have grown up watching migratory birds, don’t allow people to climb the tree and disturb them, said Bellambari Nagaraj, 63. The birds share their temporary home with monkeys, snakes, bats and bees.
Experts say different types of fauna isn’t usually found on the same tree, but this can happen in rare cases. Sanath Kumar, lecturer in the zoology department of Government Women’s College, Kolar, said, for example, monkeys and bees don’t co-exist generally, because the former disturb the hives. However, he said, ecological laws have certain exceptions and in some cases competitors can co-exist.
“If the habitat is large enough, one family of animal or bird can function without hampering the other. That their foraging habits differ could also help. One animal/bird may go out for food in the evening, while the others may forage in the day. But it is really rare to see 14 different types of fauna living together in the same habitat,” he said.
Environmentalist VSS Sastry said it is a common phenomenon in ecological science that as the age of the tree increases, the possibility of co-existence is more. “Once any tree crosses 50 years, more and more living beings make it their habitat by identifying their comfort zones,” he said.
He added apart from the pelicans, the tree also has cattle egrets and kites (garudas). “Garudas are rare in this region, so they might have arrived having spotted eggs of other birds,” he said.
Nagaraj said the tree has had different species for as long as he remembers. “In the past five decades, we noticed that bats had gone missing during two seasons, but they did return,” he said. Nagaraj claimed the two seasons saw the village cattle taking ill, prompting villagers to offer prayers, following which the bats returned.
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Sagar Biswas

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