The city will host the silver jubilee celebrations of the ‘Maharashtra Pakshi Mitra Sammelan’ (Friends of Birds Convention) at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), from January 13 to January 15.
The convention, which will be held for the first time in Mumbai, is being organised by a Thane based non-government organisation, Ashwamedh Pratishthan. Around 800 delegates are likely to participate in the three-day convention.
The annual convention sees bird enthusiasts get together to share their experiences and present new strategies for bird conservation in Maharashtra. These efforts have resulted in conservation of endangered bird species and also the creation of new bird sanctuaries. The event was first held on January 10, 1981, at Lonavla.
The theme for this year’s meet is ‘Bird Biodiversity of Mumbai Metropolitan Region’. “This year, through consultations and discussions, we hope to thrash out a policy on bird conservation, that can be presented to the government,” said Prashant Nanavre, central coordinator for the convention.
An all-India bird photography event, a painting competition, a workshop on advanced bird photography and a workshop on taxidermy (the process of preserving dead animal bodies for research purposes) will be the highlights of day 1 of the event On Day 2 and 3, presentations on crucial bird conservation issues such as habitat change, bird population studies, bird migration, bird tourism and pet trade will be made. The presentation will be held at Chogle High School near SGNP, Borivli.
“In the past we have managed to get Nandur Madhmeshwar in Nashik and Jayakwadi in Aurangabad the status of official bird sanctuaries from the state government. The country’s most popular bird lover, Dr Salim Ali, has been involved with our convention over the years and BNHS’ support has been valuable for us. This year, BNHS secretary Ulhas Rane will be the convention’s president,” said Suhas Joshi, one of the event organisers. The event has been previously held at Nagpur, Kolhapur, Aurangabad, Solapur, Nashik, Pune, Beed, Malvan, Harihareshwar, Panaji, Pandharpur, Miraj, Thane, Karad and Jalgaon.