Environment

A birding trip

The Great Indian Bird Expedition begins today from the city

“According to The International Union for Conservation of Nature, there are around 93 species of birds that are threatened,” says R Mohammed Saleem. He is the president of Environment Conservation Group (ECG) and a certified National Geographic educator. Mohammed along with three other volunteers of ECG — P.A Azeez, former director of Salim Ali Centre of Ornithology and Natural History (SACON), Dr Ravi Rishi, a physician and wildlife enthusiast and Thillai Makadhan, Photographer— are setting off on a road trip across the country to learn about rare and threatened birds, their habitats and to spread awareness on their conservation. The Great Indian Bird Expedition is sponsored by Map my India, Wulpro, Carl Zeiss, Round Table Coimbatore 31, Force Motors and Twin Birds.

A birding trip

The Great Indian Bird Expedition is a part of ECGs Save Endangered Endemic and Key species (SEEK) campaign to raise awareness on wildlife and environment conservation. “This is our third edition. We will start our journey on January 12 from the State Forest Service College in a Force Cruiser. Our plan is to travel 22,000 km in three months. We do not have a fixed route or schedule as it will make spotting the birds difficult. We hope to cover most of the states in our country,” says Mohammed.

During their journey they will interact with local birders of the area and share their knowledge and findings with school and college students. “We hope to spot the Great Indian Bustard, Forest Owlet and Sri Lanka Frogmouth. The Great Indian Bustard was once a common sight, but according to the current statistics, there are only 200 more of the birds left in our country.

Increasing number of windmills and high tension wires are the main reason for their decreasing number.”

SEEK was formed after a group of volunteers from ECG witnessed a road kill on their way to the Anamalai Tiger Reserve in 2015. “A monkey that came to collect the food thrown on the road by passengers was hit by a car. This made us think. Our first edition was on road kills of wild animals and the second was on threatened mammals,” he says. The team plans to document its journey and launch a book based on the findings.

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 6:53:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/the-great-indian-bird-expedition-begins-today-from-coimbatore/article25970563.ece

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