Nepal, India and Bhutan birdwatchers counting Himalayan birds this weekend

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Himalayan Monal seen in Panch Pokhari. Photo: Dibesh Manandhar

Kathmandu, May 12

Birdwatchers in the Himalayan regions of Nepal, India and Bhutan will come together to document as many birds of the mountain range as possible this weekend.

From westernmost Ladakh to easternmost Arunachal Pradesh, this is the first edition of the Himalayan Bird Count (HBC) which is aimed at celebrating the incredible bird diversity and bringing attention to the threatened habitats of the Himalayas.

The event, scheduled to be held this Saturday, is organised by Bird Conservation Nepal, Bird Count India,  and the Royal Society for Protection of Nature, Bhutan that are working together to bring the Himalayan birding fraternity together for a common good.

The organisations have collectively decided to do this event on Endemic Bird Day to spread awareness about the Himalayas’ bird biodiversity.

“The rich and diverse biodiversity of the Himalayan region is home to several species of birds. We are hopeful that the Himalayan Bird Count, initiated by three countries, is one of the many events to come for the bird and biodiversity conservation of the Himalayan region,” says Ishana Thapa, CEO, Bird Conservation Nepal

Every year, thousands of migratory birds travel to Nepal from all over the world. But, conservationists say that the effects of the climate crisis can be seen on the fragile ecosystem that will have a negative impact on the birds.

“Himalayan Bird Count can provide consistent, snapshot information of bird diversity in a region that is increasingly threatened by climate change. This kind of information, across years, can help us understand what is happening to our country’s birds,” says Ghazala Shahabuddin, a senior fellow at the Centre for Ecology, Development and Research (CEDAR) working in Kumaon Hills, Uttarakhand.

The biological diversity of the Himalayas is under unprecedented threat due to large-scale infrastructure development too.

The basic activity is to watch and count birds from anywhere in the listed Himalayan region on May 14, for at least 15 minutes, and upload bird lists to the bird recording platform eBird.

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