GUWAHATI: The Wildlife Division of Assam's Forest Department has found greater species diversity and an increase in the total bird count in Deepor Beel, the only Ramsar site of Assam. In the bird count conducted on January 4, 2023, the Forest Division found a headcount of over 26,000 birds of 97 different species.
Besides the bird count exercise, the Forest Division held a spot bird photography contest. A total of 37 individuals participated in the bird count exercise, including Forest Department officials, bird experts, students and representatives from NGOs. Experts from leading research-based biodiversity conservation organizations, Aaranyak, NGOs named Help Earth, Rongmon and The Midway Journey attended the exercise. The participants counted the birds using the 'visual encounter survey' methodology in nine areas in nine groups on foot and country boats.
Renowned ornithologist Dr Anwaruddin Choudhury accompanied the participants and guided the exercise. While the DFO of Guwahati Wildlife Division, Jayashree Naiding, coordinated the count, a senior scientist from Aaranyak Udayan Borthakur briefed on the technical aspects of the bird count.
"Bird count in Deepor Beel is an important initiative undertaken by the Guwahati Wildlife Division. The data on bird species and numbers obtained through such monitoring can help greatly in conservation planning in the long run", said Udayan Borthakur, also a renowned wildlife photographer.
A total of eight wildlife photographers participated in the spot bird photography contest in Deepor Beel. Udayan Borthakur from Aaranyak and other wildlife photography experts also acted as the jury for the bird photography competition.
"I offer thanks to all for their active participation in documenting the avifauna of the only Ramsar site of Assam for the second consecutive year", said Jayashree Naiding.
Compared to the previous count held in 2021, this bird count activity in the Ramsar site revealed greater species diversity and an increase in count. A repeat of the exercise will be in the first week of February, 2023 during the Asian Waterfowl Count. From Aaranyak, besides Udayan Borthakur, Pranjal Kumar Das, Scientist, and Chinmoy Swargiary participated along with a team of volunteers.