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BNHS to take up bird counting on November 15

A random count of various species of birds would be taken up by city-based Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) on November 15 for which it has sought active participation of bird enthusiasts.

The compilation of results of the counting task, being taken up to commemorate the birth anniversary of noted ornithologist late Dr. Salim Ali, known as the ‘bird man of India’, is likely to take about a month, a BNHS official said.

The ‘Salim Ali Bird Count’ is organised by BNHS in partnership with Bird Count India, a collective group of many organisations across the country working towards documenting and monitoring birds.

“The bird count (task) is open to all common people and amateurs. As bird enthusiasts, they can count the birds by observing them from their balconies or windows, or wherever they like or is possible, for at least 15 minutes and preferably over an hour,” assistant director (education and communication), BNHS, Atul Sathe said.

“When they are done with the counting, they should note down the details of their observations, complete lists of all species spotted, and then upload all the information on the ‘ebirds’ website from where our society will download, analyse and circulate the findings,” said Sathe.

One can visit multiple locations during a day, but must maintain and upload separate bird lists and count for each location, he said.

When asked how accurate or authentic would this bird count be, Sathe said it is a kind of random survey that would ensure larger participation from the people in rural and urban areas, farms, mountains, jungles and seashores.

“Whenever a large number of people take part in an initiative, many hidden facts are unfolded and this is what we want to repeat in this massive survey. Though we have presence in almost three fourths part of the country, it is also true that our associates cannot reach every place where birds can reach,” he said.

Notably, eight birds from India have become more vulnerable to extinction in just last year, as revealed in the latest ‘red list’ of species nearing extinction prepared by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

BNHS is one of the largest NGOs in India engaged in conservation and biodiversity research.

Many prominent naturalists, including ornithologist Salim Ali, have been associated with it.

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