Kerala

Bird atlas takes wings in Wayanad

A group of bird enthusiasts watch winged beauties as part of the Kerala Bird Atlas project in Wayanad on Saturday.  

: Kerala Bird Atlas, a citizen science project to map the distribution and abundance of birds in the State, began in Wayanad district on Saturday.

The programme is being coordinated by the Hume Centre for Ecology and Wildlife Biology, a conservation organisation in the district, in association the Bird Count India and e-bird .

Thirty volunteers, including birdwatchers, bird photographers, students of Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (KVASU) and Kannur University, are participating in the one-year programme.

“We have organised the programme with logistical support of the Forest Department and the surveys are being conducted in 207 sub-cells of 1.21 sq km randomly selected by dividing the district into 6.6-sq-km-size grids. Each of the grids is divided into smaller cells of 1.21 sq km area. In Wayanad, nearly 207 sub-cells need to be surveyed. About 80 such sub-cells fall in forest areas and the rest in non-forest areas, said C.K . Vishnudas, an ornithologist and who is coordinating the project in the district.

Being a hilly and mountainous terrain and with a majority of cells falling in remote forests, completing the Wayanad Atlas is a highly challenging task, said R.L. Ratheesh, an active birder and Assistant Professor, Department of Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, KVASU. Envisaged as a five-year activity at a workshop in July 2015 in Thrissur for birdwatchers, the Bird Atlas is expected to give more insight into the abundance of common birds, which is largely lacking now.

This is, perhaps, the first time that bird diversity is being recorded outside forest areas.

Two surveys

The surveys are being conducted twice a year. The wet season starts from July 16 to September 13 and the summer season from January 16 to March 15.

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Printable version | Apr 22, 2021 5:48:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/Bird-atlas-takes-wings-in-Wayanad/article14493763.ece

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