Forest Department locates 332 bird species in HP
SHIMLA---A spokesman of Forest Department told here today that the Great Backyard Bird Count (7th Indian edition) held here Himachal Pradesh and received wide participation across State. He said that the Great Backyard Bird Count is a citizen science initiative which encourages both amateur and professional bird-watchers to contribute towards understanding bird and their biology in a better way.
He said that Participation in the event involved a minimum of 15 minutes bird-watching during which all the bird species seen were counted and listed. In addition to bird watching, the event was used as a means to reach out to people and spread conservation awareness about birds. This involved bird watching sessions with school teachers and students, birding involving local villagers and panchayat representatives and training of frontline staff of forest department in bird identification.
He said that event witnessed participation by amateur birders from across the state and 287 checklists were uploaded in to e-Bird by 55 participants. All the districts were surveyed during the count and a total of 332 bird species were recorded. Birding locations included wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, conservation reserves, villages and urban areas. He said that more than 150 bird species were recorded in Mandi, Shimla, Kangra and Sirmaur districts.
PCCF (WL) Dr. Savita, emphasized that the Wildlife Wing intends to carry out such exercises in future and would also participate in global events, especially citizen-science projects. This should help in gaining an understanding of bird populations and its distribution across the state which is missing from several regions, Dr. Savita, added that a detailed report is in preparation and will be circulated by the first week of March. She said that among Indian States Himachal Pradesh shared the top most position with Uttrakhand where highest number of species was recorded.
Spokesman said that this initiative was coordinated by Joint Secretary (Forests) Sat Pal Dhiman, Chief Conservator Forest (HQR) Nagesh Guleria, Chief Conservator Forest (WL) South Sushil Kapta, DFO (Hqr) N.P.S. Dhaulta along with other senior officers of the department.