Dates of U’khand Spring Bird Festival yet to be announced
The dates are generally announced in October, while the main event is held in Februarydehradun Updated: Oct 23, 2017 20:38 IST
The Uttarakhand forest department’s eco-tourism wing is yet to announce the dates of the annual Uttarakhand Spring Bird Festival.
Generally, the dates are announced in October, while the main event is held in February. The fifth edition of the bird watching festival has not even entered the planning stage till date. “Before the announcement of the festival, several meetings are organised. But, this time, October is almost over and we have not been called for any meeting so far,” an NGO representative said.
A bird survey done in May found 710 native avian species in Uttarakhand, up from 693 species in 2015. Prior to this exercise, 686 species were recorded in 2014 and 623 in 2003.
GS Pandey, head of the eco-tourism wing, told Hindustan Times about his office’s engagement with the Rajpur Nature Festival that promotes local produce and culture. “We are currently busy giving shape to the Rajpur Nature Festival which is slated for the first week of November. After this event, we will plan the Spring Bird Festival as well.”
The festival includes guided bird watching, exhibition, bird photography and sound recording workshops, lectures, film shows, popular activities such as book reading, quiz, cultural programmes and handbook release. The event is done in association with reputed NGOs involved in bird conservation, identification and record keeping.
The purpose is to increase awareness about birds and mobilise the public support for avian conservation. As bird watching holds livelihood potential for locals, the festival helps to improve bird watching skills of guides and to support rural tourism operators. It strengthens the network of bird guides for the promotion of tourism. Avian experts from far-off places arrive in Uttarakhand to guide the forest department and bird enthusiasts.
In the last few years, the annual festival took place at some of the key birding sites such as Asan Conservation Reserve, Nandhaur Wildlife Sanctuary, Pawalgarh Conservation Reserve. Migratory birds are already flocking to Asan from September and will return to their homes in March.