Analysis of Mumbai BirdRace data from 2008 to 2017 reveals drastic decline in bird sightings
MUMBAI Updated: Feb 01, 2018 10:17 IST
Degradation and loss of habitats to make way for construction in and around Mumbai has led to a significant decline in sightings of birds in the past 10 years, revealed an analysis of bird sightings logged during the Mumbai BirdRaces between 2008 and 2017.
A drastic decline in sightings was recorded at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) from 101 in 2008 to 52 in 2017. this was followed by Uran (179 to 79) and Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary (102 to 46). In the past two years, eight species have neither been sighted nor heard at the SGNP alone. While six species have not been recorded at any of the seven locations visited during the bird race.
“Birds are important for the ecology because they help in pollination and seed dispersion and maintain water table in forests,” said H N Kumara, senior scientist, conservation biology, Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History, Tamil Nadu. “Bird races help in spreading awareness and can work as a stepping stone for citizen science movements, which can lead to large-scale scientific monitoring of birds across the country to help in their conservation.”
The 14th Mumbai BirdRace will be held on February 4 with 260 bird enthusiasts, including 20 children, participating in the event.