Birdwatchers from the Himalayan regions of India, Nepal and Bhutan will gather on May 14 this year to document as many birds of the mountain range.
From the westernmost Ladakh to the easternmost Arunachal Pradesh, this is the first edition of the Himalayan Bird Count (HBC) which aims to celebrate the incredible diversity of birds and to draw attention to endangered habitats in the Himalayas.
The event is organized by Bird Count India, Bird Conservation Nepal and the Royal Society for the Protection of Nature based in Bhutan, to bring together the brotherhood of Himalayan birdwatchers for a common good.
The organizations collectively decided to hold the event on Endemic Bird Day to raise awareness about the biodiversity of Himalayan birds, a press release here said on Tuesday.
The Himalayas have fascinated millions of people with its power and beauty. Snow-capped mountains, cold deserts, green forests and grasslands, and flowing river waters are home to several unique birds. But these fragile ecosystems and their inhabitants are threatened by rapid warming at an estimated rate three times faster than the global average.
“Himalayan Bird Count can provide consistent, instantaneous information on bird diversity in a region that is increasingly threatened by climate change. This type of information, over the years, can help us understand what is happening to birds. of our country,” said Dr. Ghazala Shahabuddin, Senior Researcher at the Center for Ecology, Development and Research (CEDAR), working at Kumaon Hills in Uttarakhand.
The biological diversity of the Himalayas is also under unprecedented threat due to large-scale infrastructure development.
“Himalayan Bird Count is a hugely exciting event that brings together scientists and experts with everyday citizens to understand what is happening to birds in one of the most iconic mountains on the planet,” said Dr. Sahil Nijhawan, scientist at the Nature Conservation Foundation, which has worked extensively in Arunachal Pradesh.
“This will give us insight into the status of birds in the Himalayas – an important indicator of the health of this fragile ecosystem on which millions of people depend,” he added.
The basic activity of the event is to observe and count birds from anywhere in the listed Himalayan region for at least 15 minutes and upload the bird lists to the eBird bird recording platform (www.ebird.org/india).
Lobzang Visuddha, a member of the Wildlife Conservation and Birds Club of Ladakh, said: “We will be celebrating this event with several bird walks and trails across Ladakh – in Nubra Valley, Hanley, Changthang, Sham Valley, Zangakar, Kargil and others. . “Birds of Jammu and Kashmir has assembled a team of volunteers for the event. We are awaiting sightings from some of the most remote and inaccessible parts of the Kashmir Himalayas,” Dr. Parmil Kumar from the University informed. from Jammu.
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