Text by Rehan Ali
Photo: Udayan Borthakur
Non-birders always wonder why bird conservation is necessary, what are its benefits as a whole and the difference it makes in human habitat. As nature lovers, avid birders and bird watchers have known through their work, bird and wildlife conservation is of prime importance to ensure richness and diversity of the earth.
It is the responsibility of nature lovers to share their knowledge, their thoughts and their experience to make everyone aware of the needs of conservation in all aspects of flora and fauna. We all have to understand the importance of bird conservation through different studies, field work, books, and most importantly the valuable guidance we gather from various respected persons in the field of Conservation and Nature.
In Assam, there are 5 National Parks and 18 Wildlife Sanctuaries, besides there are other areas in the region which can be promoted for studies and research as bird habitats. The water bodies termed as Beels are suitable bird habitats. You can find such beels, marshy lands in an around the National Highways, villages and even amidst the town areas where one can spot different species of birds.
Unfortunately, these areas and the bird habitat are now on verge of extinction, because the areas are not protected by any means, various human activities can be noticed in those areas such as fishing, games etc. These non-protected areas have a future only if a proper and planned infrastructure is designed for its conservation. Some of the other common factors that affect the bird habitat in those non protected areas are habitat loss through development, hunting, poaching and egg collection, toxic poisoning, lack of individual adaptability and lack of awareness among neighbourhood communities.
There are some steps that any birder can take to promote bird conservation locally:
Practice good ethics
By being an ethical birder, you promote the viability of the hobby and ensure that others will be able to enjoy it and develop their own awareness of the importance of bird conservation.
Join conservation organizations
There are dozens of bird and wildlife conservation and protection organizations that are supported by knowledgeable members. These organizations are often responsible for bird research, rehabilitation and other critical conservation initiatives.
Participate in conservation programs
You don’t have to be a member of a formal organization to support bird conservation. Smaller programs such as adopting or donating to local aviaries can be helpful. Other environmental conservation programs, such as municipal recycling programs, also have indirect positive impacts on bird conservation.
Be Aware of Issues
Knowledgeable birders can have the strongest, most effective impact on conservation efforts. Stay informed about your local wildlife issues and other bird-related information, such as wetland development projects, land management issues or pollution cleanup initiatives.
Share Birding With Others
Sharing your love of Birding is one of the best ways to spread awareness about bird conservation. As more people join this popular hobby, the voice of concerned birders will grow to more, recognized and acted upon.
Protect Diverse Bird Habitat
It is a myth that birding is possible only in protected areas, birding must start from the backyard of your house. With zeal and efficiency birders can lend great support to the overall conservation efforts.
Understanding bird conservation means understanding ecology. Wild birds are an integral part of the ecosystem and serve many important purposes, including insect and rodent population control, distribution of seeds that leads to forest conservation and food sources for bird predators. One of the simplest pleasures we get from bird and wildlife conservation is a genuine appreciation for our natural world. By participating in different programs and working to save unique species and habitats, we come into close contact with different birds and can discover their unique personalities and quirks. Even the common birds in our backyard can teach us appreciation of natural diversity. By recognizing birds as unique and individual creatures, we can better understand the need for appropriate conservation efforts.
About the Author:
The author has been born and brought up in Kaziranga. He is presently working as a naturalist, travelling to important birding spots in the North East India. His main interests are birding and nature conservation.