Jharkhand set to become paradise for bird watchers
If you are a bird lover, Jharkhand is the place to visit. The state’s bird sites are now getting recognition worldwide and opening new avenues for bird tourism.
The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), a pan-India wildlife research organisation promoting the cause of nature conservation, has recently declared four more sites as Important Bird Area (IBA).
IBA is an area, which is globally important for conservation of bird populations, identified on an internationally set of criteria.
The new IBAs are Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary, North Karanpura Valley, Tilaiya Dam and Topchanchi Dam. Earlier, BNHS had recognised only three sites, including Hazaribag Wildlife Sanctuary, Palamu Tiger Reserve and Udhwa Lake Wildlife Sanctuary, as IBAs in 2004.
“The four sites have qualified in two IBA criteria that is A1 and A3 out of the four fixed criteria,” said Satya Prakash, state coordinator of BNHS’ India Bird Conservation Network (IBCN).
The A1 criteria suggests presence of globally threatened species in a particular area while A3 indicates of having large numbers of migratory birds and biome restricted species.
He said names of the new IBAs for Jharkhand were disclosed recently during the release of second edition of Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas in India.
“Jharkhand has been one of the least studied states in terms of birds. Information on birds is limited and a bird checklist of the state is also not available,” he said.
“In a bid to understand the state’s bird potentiality, we have started bird census since 2008-09. After proper study for last couple of years, we pushed for inclusion of four more sites under the IBA category,” Prakash said, adding, with the inclusion, the four sites would now get international recognition and state government would focus more on conservation and protection of the areas.
Jharkhand principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife) LR Singh said inclusion of four sanctuaries under IBAs was an indication of improved habitat for birds in Jharkhand. “To protect the birds and other animals, we are drafting sanctuary management plan. The sanctuaries are Topchanchi, Dalma, Udhwa, Parasnath and Hazaribag,” he said.