Fig: Two-tier village, ground floor occupied by villagers and upper by Storks and Pelicans
Fig: Madhuca grove nearby temple
The name of place ‘Kokkare’ means stork, thus Stork village. The Pelicanry is situated in Maddur Taluk of Mandya District. The Pelicans along with Painted Storks nest on trees within village. Kokkare Bellur is one of the finest examples where local people have been actively involved in successful conservation of Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis and Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala. The Pelicanry is one among four known sites within Mysore area; they are –Kukkarahalli, Karanji, Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, an un-successful attempt was made to breed in Lingambudhi. Within a Km distance from Kokkare Bellur River Shimsha flows, where now extensive sand mining is being carried out.
The village is known as two-tier village, since ground floor is occupied by villagers and the canopy of trees by breeding birds. The villagers considers the birds as their daughters arriving for delivery, and treat them with utmost love and care. Important resource the villagers get during breeding acitivity is the bird droppings rich in phosphate and nitrogen, since the birds are mainly fish-eaters.
The Pelicanry might be in existence since 500 years as per villagers. Birds’ breeding activity is limited to six months a year. Nursery of fallen chicks is manned by villagers. Pelicanry is considered as priority conservation site- Important Bird Area, IBA CODE: IN-KA-17 (Islam & Rahmani, 2005).
It is said that, from over a million pelicans around the 1920s, the world population of this species has crashed to an estimated population of less than 13, 000 birds in the wild today. Once distributed all over south and south-east Asia, the majority of its population is now to India and Sri Lanka (Subramanya & Manu, 1996).
References and further reading:
- Ali, S. & H. Whistler. 1942-43. The birds of Mysore. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. Vol.43:130-147, 318-341, 573-595; Vol. 44: 9-26, 208-220.
- Islam, M.Z. & A.R. Rahmani. 2005. Important Bird Areas in India: Priority sites for conservation. Mumbai: Indian Bird Conservation Network: Bombay Natural History Society and BirdLife International (UK). P 574.
- Manu, K.; Jolly, Sara 2000. Pelicans and People: The Two-Tier Village of Kokkare Bellur, Karnataka, India. Kalpavriksh and International Institute of Environemnt and Development, New Delhi
- Nagulu, V.; Rao, J. V. Ramana 1983. Survey of South Indian Pelicanries. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society. 80(1): 141–143
- Neginhal, S. G. 1977. Discovery of a pelicanry in Karnataka. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society. 74(1): 169–170
- Pittie, Aasheesh, 2011. Bibliography of South Asian Ornithology. http://www.southasiaornith.in.
- Subramanya, S & Manu, K. 1996. Saving the Spot-billed Pelican: A successful experiment. Hornbill 1996(2):2-6