A three-day bird monitoring of India programme, which is aimed at keeping a hawk-eye on18 common species of birds in the country, kicked off in Gurgaon on Sunday.
Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) has tied up with three NGOs to organise this event.
The NGOs — Bird Life International, Give Nature a Home and Brings People For Birds — along with BNHS will carefully observe and monitor the fowls that are native to the region.
As the region lacks relevant scientific data on current common bird species, their distribution and numbers, events such as this are deemed necessary in order to get a clear picture on these common birds, experts said.
The participating NGOs that work extensively for the conservation of birds have invited bird enthusiasts, other NGOs, ornithologists, scientists and city residents to take part in the programme. The three-day event would afford them an opportunity to take a count of these birds across the state and upload the data on the BNHS website.
“Over the course of this event, we’ll adopt scientific methods for collating data. The local species are always ignored as they are commonly found,” Purbasa Banerjee, biologist, BNHS, said.
The participants would also be encouraged to give the location of a particular species while uploading data, as it will help the experts draw up a detailed chart and map regarding their distribution pattern. The count began at 7 am and will continue till 5 pm during the three-day event.
Quizzed on the event, the Haryana wildlife department welcomed the initiative calling it a positive step towards the conservation of birds. “Haryana urgently needs a bird census as it will help us know how many of them currently inhabit the region and devise an action plan to safeguard the species of common birds that are facing an existential threat due to rapid and large-scale urbanisation in the region. These birds include house sparrow, mayna, crow, bulbuls and owl,”Shyam Sunder Kaushik, divisional wildlife officer, Gurgaon, said.
“This programme can help us put in place a database of these species and keep track of the changing trends. The birds which are believed to be declining in number will be on view during the three-day event and we’ll be able to put our heads together and suggest measures to ensure they aren’t lost to the next generation,” Pankaj Gupta, a member of the Delhi Bird Watching Society, said.
Gurgaon will also be witness to a bird race and a waterbird census on February 2, which is globally observed as the World Wetland Day. The day marks the adoption of a convention on wetlands on February 2, 1971 in the Iranian city of Ramsar.