Corridors for bees and elephants  

Neil Ray   | Published: May 12, 2019 22:18:15 | Updated: May 13, 2019 22:13:40

In the face of declining bee population in the United Kingdom (UK), north London is all set to create a seven-mile long 'bee corridor' aimed at boosting the pollinating insects' numbers. The bee population has been declining in the UK since the 1980's. A study came up in March last with the finding that behind the drop in the number of bees the vanishing wild flowers are mainly responsible. North London's Brent Council did not take long to act on the problem which essentially is manmade. A seven-mile long meadow will be developed in as many as 22 parks.  Councillor of Brent Council, Krupa Sheth recognises that the insects are highly important for pollinating crops that provide foods humans eat.

Clearly, a variety of wildflower plants will be planted in the meadows, so that those act as a corridor for bees. Bees are used to flying at a distance of five miles in order to collect nectar from flowers but mostly they prefer nectar sources within just half a mile. Now the seven-mile long meadow will grow all varieties of wild flowers to the liking of bees. If everything goes according to the plan, the bee population in the north London area is likely to proliferate.

Well, the marvellous initiative taken to revive the swarms of bees in north London will not help recompense for the gradual loss of the species nearly over the past four decades but it may be an example for others to emulate. Other parts of the UK will be waiting for the outcome of the initiative. Maybe, in due course countries like Bangladesh will also feel tempted to replicate the north London model. Bee population is on the decline worldwide and Bangladesh is no exception to this order.

Indiscreet human acts have often been responsible for upsetting Nature's order and consequent extinction of different species. Obliteration of just one species from the face of the earth may spell disaster for creation. When a million species are threatened to be extinct -and all because of outrageous human acts, the prospect of maintaining a congenial bio-diversity for inhabiting this planet by humans certainly looks uncertain. Now there is such a grim prospect.

Yet not all may be lost if, of course, the human race everywhere takes remedial measures like the north Londoners. This requires love for Nature and studying the cause of degradation of the planet's bio-diversity. The north Londoners have proved if people are caring enough, they can save species and the environment. People have to be caring enough in their own interest, though. They must not neglect the inseparably biological chain relations between and among species.

It is exactly at this point, mindlessness of the general public and the administration in this country gets exposed blatantly. If Londoners have taken care to create a long corridor for a tiny insect, people in this land could not care less for destruction of the corridors used by elephants in Cox's Bazar for their seasonal migration. Like most wild animals elephants in the hilly districts also migrate from one area to another. With their habitat already shrunk, chances of confrontation between pachyderms and people increased several times higher. Now to meet the desperate Rohingya people's need for shelter and fuel, not only have forest resources depleted precariously but their migration corridors have all but vanished. In one such confrontation with elephants, a couple of Rohingya people lost their lives.

There is indeed a need for a serious study to determine how disastrous the Rohingya settlement in the hilly district will prove. Sometimes the lives of animals are as precious as those of humans. The hilly districts have already lost a wide range of species of flora and fauna. Any further loss, particularly of elephants, is likely to prove very costly. Before this happens, let the administration do all it can to save this largest animal on land.   

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