Kerala to be first Indian state having bird atlas

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2015,22:05 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Thrissur | A bird atlas for  Kerala, which will  be the first bird atlas for an Indian state is in the offing. A workshop of the Indian Bird Conservation Network (IBCN) held recently  at College of Forestry (CoF), Kerala Agricultural University( KAU ), Mannuthy, near here has resolved to create such a bird atlas.
Several bird conservation related issues were discussed at the workshop attended by experts from the Royal Society for Protection of Birds (RSPB)-  UK,  Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS-India) and 55 Kerala birdwatchers.
A bird atlas gives precise distribution pattern of birds of a region, and when put together over a period of time, provides accurate trends for bird presence. Kerala has the distinction of having six bird monitoring schemes, which includes recording common birds, heronries, water birds, pelagic (sea) birds, and forest birds.
The workshop proposed that the ecosystem services approach should be used to evaluate Keralas beautiful wetlands, and the state should also consider setting a conservation toll for highways that are going through wildlife areas.
The impressive range of bird monitoring schemes being undertaken by the dedicated Kerala birders makes Kerala one of the leading states for birdwatching in India. It is exciting to see the enthusiasm and dedication of Kerala birders at the IBCN workshop, said Bruce Liggitt from RSPB.
Kerala currently has 24 Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) but  eleven more have been  identified. These biodiversity jewels in Keralas crown  are of high value not just for birds, but for fish and butterflies and should be protected.
We spotted Southern Birdwing, considered the largest butterfly in India, endemic to South India many times in Vazhachal forests. This priceless site is threatened by power-generation projects. Also, the wetlands of the state distinguish Kerala from many other states. These amazing places deserve protection, said Neha Sinha from BNHS-India.

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