THE STATE government has appointed the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) to study the status of migratory birds and their habitats in six wetland sites over a period of the next five years. The state mangrove foundation will sign a pact with the BNHS to prepare an action plan for the conservation of the six wetland sites.
The cost of the total project is Rs 2.77 crore. Under the project, the BNHS will prepare action plans for six sites — Jayakwadi in Paithan, Gangapur and Nandur Madhyameshwar in Nashik, Hatnur in Jalgaon, Ujni in Solapur, and Visapur in Ahmednagar.
The BNHS will focus on bird species per wetland, population monitoring bird ringing and capacity building of the forest staff. “We will be training 120 fresh staff — 20 each for protected area to enhance conservation and documentation efforts, and preparation of action plans,” said Deepak Apte, the director of BNHS.
“This wetland protection plan will be designed and executed by the BNHS. It will include habitat protection, migratory bird pattern, population among other things,” said N Vasudevan, additional principal chief conservator of forests (mangrove cell), state forest department.
Wetlands are ecologically important as they stabilise the coastline, control erosion and provide a habitat conducive for plant and animal species. However, due to a number of development activities and agriculture across the state, these areas are under constant threat.
All the sites are part of the Central Asian Flyway (CAF), one of the nine migratory flyways identified under the Convention of Migratory Species (CMS). It covers migratory bird routes across 30 countries with around 80 per cent of them passing through India.