The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) and Campus Bird Count (CBC)-2021, a sub-event of GBBC, concluded on Monday in Visakhapatnam. A total of around 130 species of birds were recorded between February 12 and 15, taking the city to the third position on species diversity next to Chittoor and East Godavari. This is the first time Vizag district has been placed in the top five districts of the state.
The GBBC and CBC-2021 recorded more than 270 species from Andhra Pradesh. The event, which involves citizens in the counting of birds in their homes and surroundings, was done on a volunteer basis. Held every year four days in February, the events are coordinated by Bird Count India Collective. A Vizag-based NGO, Wildlife Conservation Through Research and Education (WCTRE), collaborated with Bird Count India and coordinated the event in Visakhapatnam.
Speaking to Hello Vizag, GBBC and CBC, Visakhapatnam, coordinator Bhagyashree Venugopal said, “anyone who identifies a bird, uploaded its details on an e-bird application. The data of birds thus obtained is used by scientists for research purposes and by various biologists. She further said, “Vizag is a hotspot for more than 30 migratory avian friends and our neighborhood holds a place of importance for these birds. Hence it is important for the common man to come forward and protect them.”
Asian Pied Starling (Pied Myna), Brahminy starling, Booted Warbler, Red-whiskered bulbul, Barn owl, Common greenshank, Wood sandpiper are some of the species identified in Visakhapatnam district. The GBBC was conducted in locations such as Meghadri Gedda Reservoir, Podugu Palem Lake, Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary among others and Campus Bird Count was done in Andhra University, and Indira Gandhi Zoological Park (IGZP). The highest number of species were identified in IGZP- 54 species. With active participation from the members of WCTRE, Vizag Bird Watchers Society, and individual enthusiasts, the event was a roaring success in the city.
East Coast Conservation Organisation (ECCO) founder Pranav Tamarapalli coordinated the activists in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts. As part of the program, an awareness event on birds was held by him Smart School at Palasa. “The students were enthusiastic and they identified around 22 species of birds in the school premises,” he said. Vizianagaram district recorded 49 species of birds and Srikakulam district recorded 59 species.
Pranav said although there is a large amount of biodiversity in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram district, only a few participated in the event, “Many don’t know about such an event. Pranav said that ECCO in association with Green Paws will conduct bird walks and other biodiversity events in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram to create public awareness. “By the next GBBC, more people will participate and the number of species found by citizens will increase, “ he hoped