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Living in harmony with pelicans

By R. Krishna Kumar

MYSORE, MARCH 2. The people of Kokkre Bellur in Mandya district have shown the way in conservation of birds that is now drawing the attention of professional bodies from across the world.

Kokkre Bellur is renowned for pelicans conserved by the villagers who brook no interference with or disturbance to the birds. The conservation values have been nurtured by committed non-governmental organisations such as Mysore Amateur Naturalists (MAN), which has worked and documented the process for 10 years. The result is the pelicans have made Kokkre Bellur a nesting spot and the number of nests has increased from 160 to 250 this year.

The success story of pelican conservation has now caught the imagination of ornithologists and conservation bodies who describe Kokkre Bellur as a "role model" for all future conservation efforts entailing co-existence of different species. K. Manu of MAN told The Hindu that the U.K.-based Birdlife International, whose network spreads across 100 countries, has evinced interest in participation in the conservation of birds. The Asia-Pacific chief of Birdlife International recently visited the village and felt that the key to future conservation practices lay in Kokkre Bellur.

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