Prayagraj hosts U.P’s 1st birding workshop to foster bird conservation
This unique workshop was organised under the supervision of Dr Arpit Bansal, an advanced laparoscopy and cancer surgeon, and an acclaimed wildlife and bird photographer.
PRAYAGRAJ Birders and wildlife enthusiasts from Lucknow, Ayodhya, Kanpur, and other parts of Uttar Pradesh had a unique opportunity to interact with eminent birdwatchers and photographers, as well as bird data scientists, at Uttar Pradesh’s first workshop on bird watching and documentation organised by the Bangalore-based organisation Bird Count India Collective here in the city on Monday.
This unique workshop was organised under the supervision of Dr Arpit Bansal, an advanced laparoscopy and cancer surgeon, and an acclaimed wildlife and bird photographer. It was also attended by members of the Wildlife Institute of India and volunteers. A quiz was also organised at the workshop, which was attended by some students and teachers from Sam Higginbottom University of Agriculture, Technology, and Science (SHUATS), Naini.
Addressing the gathering, Dr Arpit Bansal said Uttar Pradesh has some fascinating bird species, and it calls for their proper documentation and conservation efforts. The eBird.org is one such prestigious online site on which the birdwatchers can upload all the details of the bird species they have spotted and clicked, besides tracking bird species in different states in India.
“The eBird.org assisted me in organising my short birding trips to the right places. This, in turn, helped me get pictures of the 1120th bird species found in India and claim the sixth spot for spotting/clicking over 1100 bird species in India, as per eBird.org. Therefore, it is very important for all the birdwatchers to regularly document the presence of bird species on sites like eBird.org, as it will help in their conservation efforts,” he pointed out.
A scientist with Bird Count India Collective, Ashwin Viswanathan, said birds and biodiversity in general are declining across the world. To address this, India has set ambitious goals of reversing this loss and restoring ecosystems. As part of the initiative, the State of India’s Birds 2020 report was the first attempt to assess the conservation status of the majority of India’s bird species. It identified 101 species of High Conservation Concern, which require focused efforts. The report also suggests that birds that live in key habitats like open ecosystems, rivers, and coasts have declined, and so has the population of raptors, migratory shorebirds, and ducks, he shared.
Project Coordinator with Bird Count India, Mittal Gala, said they have identified some bird species in Uttar Pradesh that need high conservation efforts. These species are Indian skimmers, Black-bellied tern, and little tern, to name some. If birdwatchers regularly document the details of birds they have clicked/spotted on ebird.org or other similar sites, the data analysts will get a clear picture of the bird count, their population trend, nesting sites, etc., and they would go a long way in conservation efforts.
PHOTO: Participants of the workshop in Prayagraj on Monday (HT)