- Birders, wildlife enthusiasts and forest officials have sighted 145 different bird species during the first Sundarban bird festival.
- The first-ever festival was organised by the Sundarban Tiger Reserve (STR) division of West Bengal Forest Department, where six teams visited different areas inside the Sundarban Biosphere Reserve.
- The species recorded during the bird festival included 78 forest birds and 42 species of waders, raptors etc. The two-day exercise which ended on Friday also recorded six species of waterfowl.
- The total number of birds spotted during the exercise was 5,065. Two threatened bird species of the Sundarbans, Eurasian Curlew and Lesser Sand Plover, were also spotted. Birders were able to spot seven of the 12 species of kingfishers found in the Sundarbans.
- Deputy Field Director of Sundarban Tiger Reserve,Justine Jones, said that the first-ever bird festival has provided baseline data as far as the number of bird species in the Sundarbans is concerned. “We can carry out the same exercise in the years to come and the baseline data would provide us changes as far as bird species are concerned.
- A publication by Zoological Survey of India, (ZSI) in 2021, had recorded 428 bird species in the Sundarbans which is one-third of all the avian species found in the country.
- Despite being home to so many species of birds the habitats face threats including plantation activity along the chars (river islands) which disturbs the birds, and illegal activities along chars and uninhabited islands.
SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB