The Jharkhand Biodiversity Board has roped in Kolkata-based ornithologists to count migratory and domestic birds in the state from the first week of January.
This will be the third bird census in the state. Earlier, the forest department conducted the census in 2015 and 2016 in coordination with the Asian Waterbird Census.
“We are working on the details of conducting the bird census for next year. Kolkata-based bird experts are being roped in for the job,” said Rajiv Ranjan, member secretary of the board.
“If everything goes on well, we will begin the bird survey from the first week of January,” he said.
He further said that there are two purposes for inviting experts from West Bengal for bird count. “We want to identify species, especially domestic birds that need to be conserved immediately.
“The other purpose is to popularise Jharkhand bird sites among tourists who come from the neighbouring state. The bird watchers would help highlighting Jharkhand sites in Bengal.”
With normal rainfall and adequate aquatic life in water bodies, bird count is expected to increase this time. The winged guests can be seen flocking at different water bodies in the state. Bird watchers and ornithologists are estimating 10-20% rise in the number of migratory birds in the state.
“Monsoon rain has been good and all major lakes, dams and other water bodies are full. There is also no dearth of food for birds,” said Satya Prakash, state coordinator of Bombay Natural History Society.
“Though the actual figure will be known after the census, we are estimating the number of migratory birds to rise by 10-20% this year,” he said.
Prakash had coordinated the last two bird census in Jharkhand. In 2016, the bird count was carried out in 25 major water bodies of the state.
The census in 2016, found 71, 833 birds in 25 water bodies of the state while 71,134 birds were spotted in 2015.
Besides, 71 species of wetland birds were identified during the census. Of the total, 25 species were resident birds, 21 resident migrants and 25 species were migratory birds, Prakash said.
Number of migratory birds in 2016 was estimated at 42,223, which was 37,168 in 2015. Altogether nine threatened bird species, including oriental white ibis, ferruginous pochard, river lapwing, river tern, white-necked stork, lesser adjutant stork, western marsh harrier, osprey and fulvous whistling duck were also spotted during the census.