Bird Week 2020: MP to conduct survey for bird conservation
A flock of Cormorant birds through the lens of avid birder Ajay Gadikar.

Indore: As Bird Week 2020 (Pakshi Saptah 2020) concluded on Thursday, the sad truth remains that 52 per cent of bird species are declining rapidly in the country including Madhya Pradesh.

‘State of India’s Birds 2020’ report cites this and added that 12 per cent of bird species require immediate attention for their survival in future.

This was concluded based on assessment of the distribution and conservation status of 867 birds in India, based on data supplied by 15,500 bird-watchers. Over 400 species of birds are known to be found in Madhya Pradesh, however, it is likely that several species are still undocumented.

In an effort to control declining population, Pench tiger reserve joined hands with the Central Indian Birds Academy (CIBA) to study the presence of forest owlets in the Pench landscape. This will include the protected areas that are covered in such surveys are Panna Tiger Reserve, Kanha Tiger Reserve, Satpura Tiger Reserve, Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Kuno National Park, Chambal National Sanctuary, Gandhisagar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kheoni Wildlife Sanctuary and Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary.

At many of these places, bird surveys will be organised more than once to collect long term data so that one can analyse the trends in more detail.

A host of online events marked the week from November 5 to 12. On the concluding day, bird watchers and nature lovers paid tribute to birdman of India Dr Salim Ali.

Don’t just click, document the data for conservation

“Madhya Pradesh is a stronghold of many critically endangered species of vultures, the endangered Lesser Florican, Black-bellied Tern, Forest Owlet and other vulnerable species like the Indian Skimmer, Sarus Crane etc. Effective conservation planning can only be done based on a sound knowledge of the species, sites, and habitats that need protection,” Ajay Gadikar, avid birder, said.

He added that despite birds being one of the most widely distributed living organisms, there are still substantial gaps in our knowledge of their distribution, abundance, and seasonality.

“These surveys are providing much-required know-how about the avifauna of the region so that necessary conservation actions can be implemented,” Gadikar said. He said that data collection is essential.

“Documentation part is most essential, as we can see how documentations from birdman of India Dr Salim Ali,” Gadikar said.

Most concerned species in MP

To list the species of most conservation concern at the sub-national level, key species (out of the 867 assessed) have been identified for each State and Union Territory (UT) based on the proportion of the Indian range of each species that lies within that State/UT. In Madhya Pradesh, following species are noted in the report:

 Indian Vulture (N)

 Red-headed Vulture (N)

 White-rumped Vulture (N)

 Forest Owlet

 Green Munia

 Egyptian Vulture

 Sarus Crane

 Lesser Florican (N)

 Indian Nuthatch

 Black-bellied Tern

 Indian Skimmer

Capture journey to develop empathy

Capturing the birth and journey of three little red-vented bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer), avid birder Zafar Shaikh celebrated the week. He observed and documented the process.

“The birds prepared the nest about 4 feet high in centre of dense chandelier fruit and then laid three eggs in it within 3 days,” Shaikh said. He added that eggs hatched in 14 days.

“Out of three, one was too weak and hence, did not survive,” Shaikh said. He added that this simple observation has helped in raising kids in the family to be more empathetic and work towards nature conservation.

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