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Uninhabited Lakshadweep Island vanishes: study

According to a new study, one of the biodiversity-rich islands in the Indian Union Territory of Lakshadweep has vanished. The islands were uninhabited.

Sep 7, 2017 14:30 IST
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According to a new study, one of the biodiversity-rich islands in the Indian Union Territory of Lakshadweep has vanished. The islands were uninhabited.

The island called Parali I, a part of Bangaram chain of islands, was about 0.032 km in size in 1968. The main reason for its disappearance is reported to be coastal erosion. The study claims that four other such territories in the sea will face a similar fate, as they are shrinking fast.

The study is a result of the research work by R M Hidayathulla, who was awarded Ph.D. in July 2017 by Calicut University in Kerala for his studies on ‘Coastal Erosion in Selected Uninhabited Islands of Lakshadweep Archipelago with Special Reference to Biodiversity Conservation’.

Hidayathulla himself hails from Androth, a small inhabited island in Lakshadweep. His studies mainly comprised assessment of the biodiversity, focussing principally on five uninhabited islands –Bangaram, Thinnakara, Parali I, II and III.

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Results of the study

• An overall assessment of the changes in the aerial extent of islands using the Remote Sensing and Geospatial Information System revealed the incidence of coastal erosion in the five islands.

• The magnitude of net erosion was higher in Parali I island (100 per cent), which resulted in its inundation.

• The net erosion has been reported to be high in Parali II (80 per cent) as well, which is one among the four swiftly shrinking islands.

• This is followed by Thinnakara (14.38 per cent), Parali III (11.42 per cent) and Bangaram (9.968 per cent).

According to the study, the complete erosion of Parali I highlights the gravity of issues associated with coastal erosion within the island chain.

How can the problem be addressed?

• The study’s results call for the implementation of urgent measures on each island of the chain to check further erosion.

• Bio-protection strategy using mangroves can be employed to check if it helps better the situation.

• Convention physical protection measures can also be applied to save the islands from erosion.

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