India Leads in the Global Bird Count with 7,796 Checklists…..
Here’s good news for all the bird watchers of India as Uttarakhand is being tagged as the next birding heaven. Great Backyard Bird Count, a largest synchronised bird count event in the world, which was held from 12-15 February, has witnessed the presence of more than 1100 people submitting over 7,800 bird checklists in India and recording 784 bird species. The highest number of entries was received from Uttarakhand, recording 402 species-the highest from any Indian state. Launched in 1998, Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is first online citizen-science project, which collects data on wild birds. Every year during February, GBBC runs for four days to encourage people to go birding and record their research on the eBird website.
Raman Kumar, director of Nature’s Science Initiative, has said to the media that initially India was at the top position with 785 bird species. However, after the checklist was submitted, India has been ranked at number three. He further disclosed that Uttrakhand has recorded 402 bird species, the highest from any state.
Gopi GV, a scientist at Wildlife Institute of India (WII), has revealed to media that the WII campus has recorded 147 bird species. The reason being the campus features wetland, grasslands, wetlands and lakhs of vegetation, which encourages healthy diversity of birds.
Further, Dhananjay Mohan, CCF at Uttarakhand Forest Department said that events like GBBC mark the presence of high bird diversity present in the region. This year the GBBC coincided with the Uttarakhand Bird Festival- an event quite popular amongst birdwatchers and showcased the state as an ideal birding destination.
Raman Kumar further said that the there are very fewer scientists in India that study about the distribution and movement pattern of the birds. By taking part in events such as eBird (www.ebird.org), scientist can now perform the role of ‘citizen scientists.’ The statistics collected during this event will help scientist answer the questions like Total bird population? How does climate change influence birds? How to birds move from year to year, and what can we learn from these patterns? Is the timing of their migration changing?
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