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Monday, February 27, 2012

Bird-watching camp concludes

Forest staff, tourists made aware of birds’ behaviour

Participants near the Jim Corbett National Park

Dehradun, February 27
A three-day bird watching camp was organised at Corbett’s village-Chhoti Haldwani by the eco-tourism wing of the Department of Forest, Uttarakhand, from February 24 to 26 to generate awareness of birds among forest personnel and tourists. The camp included bird watching sessions as well as lectures.

Dr Raman Kumar and Dr Malvika Onial of the Nature Science Initiative, who conducted the camp, described various aspects of bird watching and birds. They informed participants on general bird watching, bird morphology, bird behaviour, migration, bird calls and identification methods of birds.
A field guide “Uttar Bharat ke Pakshi” was distributed to all participants and field staff. Amitabh Joshi, Deputy Range Officer from the eco-tourism wing, coordinated the camp.
The camp had 23 participants. These included seven frontline staff from the Ramnagar Forest Division, three local nature guides from Ramnagar, eight members of the Corbett Gram Vikas Samiti Community-based Tourism Activities and four visitors.
The participants visited various habitats of birds in and around Corbett Village, Chhoti Haldwani, Sitabani, Pawalgarh and Baur
and Haripura Reservoir, Gularbhoj.

The participants spotted 143 species of birds during the three-day camp. Grey-winged blackbird, yellow bellied fantail, lemon rumped warbler, northern pintail, northern shoveler, pallas’s gull, great slaty woodpecker, great hornbill and maroon oriole were some of the attractions.
Rajiv Bhartari, Chief Conservator of Forests Eco-tourism, distributed certificates to the participants on the conclusion of the camp. He asked the forest staff to practise bird watching on a regular basis. Rajkumar Pandey, President of the Corbett Gram Vikas Samiti,
and participant of the camp, said these types of camps were very beneficial for the local guides and also added value to the community-based tourism activities in the area.
Koushik Bhattacharya, wildlife photographer and participant of the camp, said the main attraction of this camp was lectures along with field trips.
Bird-watching camp at Chhoti Haldwani is the second in the series. Each camp is organised on weekends for three-day from Friday to Sunday and is conducted by experts in ornithology. The next camp is going to be organised at Marchula on the ourskirts of the Corbett Tiger Reserve from March 9 to 11.

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