SUBJECT :Wild Life Conservation 

BHOPAL: Regions in the state known for goodwheat production, including Vidisha and Raisen are seeing a sharp decline in number of crows, scavengers and other small animals.

Experts attribute it to the indiscriminate use of chemical Phorate 10 G by farmers and land owners to protect their fields.

According to Timil Bhattacharya, an environment enthusiast, in Vidisha and Raisen, birds, snakes and other small species of animals are dying due to mindless use of the chemical and its sprinkling on damp land.

"It's been more than a month since I have seen crows in this belt. After talking to land owners and farmers, I learnt it was because there were using Phorate 10 G. The effect is so strong that even sturdy animals like wild boars are unable to make their way through wheat fields. I saw dead snakes and other reptiles floating on nullah water, making it clear harmful affect of the chemical is not limited to bird species," he told TOI.

Shomi Gupta, an ornithologist from the city, said, "Crows are highly resistant birds and don't migrate like other birds." We are already facing shortage of these scavengers. It has affected food chain and ecosystem. It is a warning bell and should be taken seriously.

"If it continues, animals dying on roads will remain there in the absence of scavengers. We are not able to understand seriousness of the issue," she added. Dr Satish Saroshe, assistant professor, Community Medicine, MGM Indore, said, "Phorate 10G is a commonly used acaricide in agriculture. The chemical, which is known by the name of "Thimet" is economical and effective chemical which not only acts as a repellent, but also gives a good yield. All insecticides, pesticides and acaricide are toxic, but if used in quantity exceeding the prescribed limit, results can be disastrous.

"Farmers think Phorate 10 G leads to the death of insects and small animals. It badly affects lungs leading to their death and causes problems to human beings in case they come in contact with the chemical Farmers are not educated about chemicals and their proper use," said Amit Saxena, who deals in chemicals and pesticides.

Source: Times of India (Dated 4 Dec 2013)