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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Govt embarks on project to save winged residents

Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times   New Delhi, February 05, 2013
First Published: 23:44 IST(5/2/2013) | Last Updated: 23:45 IST(5/2/2013)

The Capital will soon have a bird conservation programme for 30-40 species of birds.

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The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) will monitor 40-50 common birds such as vultures and sparrows to know their population and area-specific distribution before it starts the conservation project.

The society is already running a conservation education centre at Asola Bhatti forest sanctuary in Tughlakabad in association with the Delhi government.

Sanjeev TK, manager of the Asola Bhatti centre said, “We have started training people for our new project. Unless we have data, we will keep groping in the dark. Since we’re already associated with the Delhi government for one project, we hope we get their assistance for this one as well.”

The Delhi government has already declared sparrow as the state bird. It is now working to sensitise people, especially children, about saving the bird and preserving its habitat.

“Rampant urbanisation has eroded the habitat for common bird species in metropolitan cities such as Delhi. In the food chain, birds are a bio-indicator. To be able to save them will also mean we have made the environs we live in better,” Sanjeev said.

The conservation project becomes crucial as researchers from UK-based BirdLife International in association with BNHS and Durham University have highlighted the impact of climate change on birds. The study highlights the need for holistic conservation.

“According to the study, some of the threatened birds found in an around Delhi are: Painted Stork, White-rumped Vulture, Red-headed Vulture, Slender-billed Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Sarus Crane, Greater Spotted Eagle, Broad-tailed Grassbird, Green Avadavat and Pallid Harrier,” said Atul A Sathe, BNHS representative in Mumbai.

“In order to conserve the biodiversity and habitats, which is so vital for human survival, it is necessary to have a holistic development model, which ensures the survival of not just protected areas, but also the vast network of non-protected habitats,” he said.

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