Guwahati, January 6: As the winter sets in, migratory birds in hundreds flock Deepor Beel here, the only Ramsar Site in Assam.
Over 26,000 individuals of 97 bird species were recorded in the bird count at Deepor Beel. The exercise was organised by Guwahati Wildlife Division of Assam Forest Department on 4th January morning. Besides the bird count exercise, a spot bird photography contest was also held.
A total of 37 individuals participated in the bird count exercise, including forest department officials, bird experts, students and representatives from NGOs.
Experts from regions leading research based biodiversity conservation organisation, Aaranyak (www.aaranyak.org), NGOs- Help Earth, Rongmon, The Midway Journey, attended the exercise. Birds were counted using the ‘Visual Encounter Survey’ methodology in nine areas of the wetland and in nine groups on foot and in country boats.
A renowned ornithologist, Dr Anwaruddin Choudhury accompanied the participants and provided guidance during the exercise. The exercise was coordinated by Jayashree Naiding, DFO Guwahati Wildlife Division, while Udayan Borthakur, Senior Scientist from Aaranyak, briefed on technical aspects of the bird count.
"The bird count in Deepor Beel was a very 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", says Udayan Borthakur, also a renowned Wildlife Photographer from Aaranyak.
A total of eight wildlife photographers participated in the spot bird photography contest in Deepor Beel. Udayan Borthakur from Aaranyak, along with other wildlife photography experts also acted as the Jury for the bird photography competition organised on the occasion.
“I offer my thanks to all participants for their active participation in documenting the Avifauna of the only Ramsar site of Assam for the second consecutive year”, stated Jayashree Naiding.
Compared to the previous count held in 2021, this bird count activity in the sole Ramsar site of Assam revealed greater species diversity and an increase in the total bird count. A repeat of the exercise is scheduled for the first week of February 2023 during the Asian Waterfowl Count.