Kerala has been blazing since February this year. There had been debates and discussions by the state government whether Kerala should be declared drought-affected. Already several heat stroke cases have been reported from different parts of the state most of which are from the district of Palghat, the only major gap in the Western Ghat mountain ranges. Even though Palakkad is known for its high temperature it had gone far beyond the normal. Observations from last couple of years prove that the increase in the temperature is in a gradual increase. It’s not just Palghat, but all other states have recorded higher temperatures compared to previous years. Even though the South West monsoon started late in June 2015, the state was going into a dry state soon after the rains were gone. People in the state known for its sultry weather, are finding it difficult to bear the dry heat. Compounding this is the fact that rivers, water bodies and dam reservoirs are running dry. All forms of life are suffering and struggling hard to survive the heat. Larger and smaller animals including elephants, tigers, several species of birds, frogs, reptiles, and many more are migrating locally in search of water and shade. Birds are one among the widely studied groups on earth and are good indicators of effects of climate change. Kerala is one of the states where ornithology is been taken up as a hobby by large number of people and the amount of data on birds is huge. In the last couple of years there had been many additions to the checklist of birds of Kerala and its worrying that some of them are from arid parts of the country. Around 40 species of dry land birds have been recorded till date as well as the increase in number of some heat preferring birds indicates a change in weather pattern. Birds including Siberian Stonechats, Desert Wheatears, and Red-headed Buntings are some examples. Presence of these birds is an indication of changing temperature and also dryness along with the change in weather pattern. It’s high time for us to realize that our habitat is deteriorating. Our forests are reducing and wetlands are being neglected as wastelands. The major source of water for all the life are being exploited and depleted by humans at an alarming rate. “When the last tree is cut down, the last fish eaten, and the last stream poisoned, you will realize that you cannot eat money”
Sub Editor; Koodu Magazine & Partner Excelkerala.