Hyderabad: Annual census of Asian Water Bird underway in 5 lakes

In Telangana, the census activity was attended by around 50 Biodiversity Management Committees and 100 students from across the state.

Hyderabad: On February 12, volunteers, including students and members of Biodiversity Management Committees, took part in the Asian Water Bird Census 2022, which was held at five lakes across Hyderabad city.

The Asian Water Bird Census (AWC) is an annual survey of waterbird populations in wetlands and bodies of water. It is a citizen-driven programme. The census is carried out not only to count the birds but also to monitor the health of the wetlands, as water birds are important markers of wetland health. AWC is a part of Wetlands International which organises the Global International Waterbird Census.

AWC is organised in India by Wetlands International South Asia and the Bombay National History Society (BNHS). Volunteers for the census include NGOs, students, birders, researchers, and residents. For the first time this year, Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) were also included in the census.

MS Education Academy

The government of India’s National Biodiversity Authority, through its State Biodiversity Boards and Union Territory Biodiversity Councils, collaborated with Wetlands International South Asia and BNHS to organise AWC 2022.

The Telangana State Biodiversity Board (TSBDB) chose locations around the state and directed BMC members to participate actively in the census. TSBDB also provided virtual training classes to students, BMC members, and volunteers participating in the census.

During the census, volunteers fill out a form detailing the bird’s characteristics as well as the precise location (longitude and latitude) where it was sighted. The obtained data is forwarded to BNHS.

In Telangana, the census activity was attended by around 50 Biodiversity Management Committees and 100 students from across the state. The census was done in five lakes in Manikonda: Neknampur Lake, Mushki Cheruvu, Peeram Cheruvu, Alwal Cheruvu, and Chintal Cheruvu.

Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh State Biodiversity Board (APSBDB) on Saturday encouraged bird lovers, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and others to join in the state’s AWC. According to Chinta Koteswara Rao of the APSBDB, two NGOs have reached out and are looking for additional volunteers.

The census’s goal

The census’s goals are to monitor waterbird populations, describe changes in their numbers and distribution, identify wetlands of international importance for waterbirds throughout the year, and provide information to aid in the protection and management of waterbird populations through international conventions, national legislation, and other means.

AWC also attempts to raise public awareness about wetland and waterbird conservation challenges.

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