The organisers of Mumbai BirdRace have come up with a monthly event,Mumbai BirdWalk,to aid continuous and more conclusive data collection of bird species in and around Mumbai. It also aims at encouraging more people to become bird watchers.
Starting this Sunday,bird experts Sunjoy Monga,Ravi Vaidyanathan and Pravin Subramanian will lead 25 participants once a month to a site in and around the city to observe the birds in their habitat and also collect data on the same. Data collected over the past seven years as part of the annual Mumbai BirdRace threw up interesting results and helped establish many trends such as about rise or decline of certain species. So we thought,instead of having a one-off event once a year,why not have a more continuous data collection every month across different habitats, Subramanian said. Seeing the attention bird watching has received in the recent past,we also wanted to evoke more interest in it,create awareness and get more people to join in.
To be held on the third Sunday of every month,the bird walk will take to different locations every month and different habitats will be covered such as coastal (like this Sundays visit to Alibaug),forest,urban,mixed forest and more. Logbooks will be maintained for each of the walks and will help document some key points.
This is going to be more like data about different bird species for all seasons,instead of those during a particular time of the year,so we will get more interesting trends. For instance,we can observe species during migration and then after migration to see if some are left behind and find out why. It will be an official record of the number of a certain species at a particular place during a particular season and will also help monitor key sites through the seasons, Subramanian said. This data will be collated with the Mumbai BirdRace data to prepare a complete database for the region,which will help in conservation.
Open to all but limited to a maximum of 25 people for each visit,the event promises to cover some lesser explored sites such as the forest adjacent to Gandhari river in Kalyan,besides the key sites. If these areas are destroyed,we will not even know what we lost. Thus,it is important to know what we are conserving and this exercise will help in that. The environment is changing so rapidly that we want to see the effect it is having on the birds, Subramanian said.