Bird banding by BNHS to track journey route of winged visitors

Pune, Feb 5 (PTI) In an effort to track the migratoryroutes of birds in the Sinhagad fort forest near here, theBombay Natural History Society (BNHS) carried out the firstbanding session in the region, tagging about 75 wingedcreatures this week.

Witnessed by a large number of environment activists andnature enthusiasts, the BNHS team caught birds belongingto 25 species in the nets put up in the Sinhgad valley whichincluded the Asian Paradise-Flycatcher, Leaf Warbler, and GreyWagtail.

Elaborating on the BNHS banding session-cum-trainingworkshop for bird lovers in Pune region, Sujit Naravade,researcher, told PTI that during the excercise aimed atcreating wild life awareness, the team led by S Balchandranweighed the birds, noting down their measurements of wings,head, torso, beak and tail before releasing them into theazure skies.

Since not much information is currently available on theroutes they take, the tracking of journeys of migratory birdsis expected to provide important clues for planning ofprotected areas for their habitat.

The birds that were banded by BNHS, the nodal agency forbird ringing in the country, comprised six to seven species ofmigratory birds which frequent the Indian sub continent flyingtheir way from Urasia, Russia, Siberia and Middle East as theycross the eastern Himalayas, Naravade said.

With regard to the Sinhagad valley, where around 130 birdspecies have been sighted, he said the loss of habitat was amajor threat to the winged population as the fort region isbeing treated as a picnic spot by revellers whose growingnumbers have led to mushrooming of hotels and other commercialactivities. .

" There is an urgent need to reduce this disturbance to the birds in the valley and use of plastic by tourists resultingin ecological and environmental degradation of the regionwhich needs preservation measures," Naravade pointed out.

The tourist cars were being allowed to go to top of thefort to the detriment of bird population, he added.

The data on ringed birds collected through recapture andsubsequent release or its recovery as dead bird go a long wayin helping ornithologists to study their life and movementpattern.

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