GUWAHATI, Feb 18 - Altogether 9,348 birds, belonging to 43 distinct species, were counted by the Cotton College State University (CCSU) group here over a period of about 34 hours between February 12 and 15, 2016, during the Campus Bird Count campaign, organised as part of the Global Backyard Bird Count.
According to CCSU Vice Chancellor Dr Dhruba Jyoti Saikia, the bird count efforts were coordinated by Dr Narayan Sharma of the University’s Department of Environmental Biology and Wildlife Sciences.
About 35 participants, including students and faculty members from Cotton University, Gauhati University and Cotton College, diligently got together early morning and late afternoon on each of these days to document bird life on its present campus. The results, in the form of 103 checklists, were submitted to the eBird portal as part of a global citizen science project.
The Cotton University group counted 9,348 birds belonging to 43 distinct species over a period of about 34 hours while covering about 8.7 km in its campus during the four-day period. Only one of the species sighted, the Red-breasted parakeet, belonging to the Near Threatened category of the IUCN red list, while the other birds sighted during the drive belong to the Least Concern category.
The five most common species were the House crow, Asian pied starling, Black Kite, Rose-ringed parakeet and the Common myna. The rarer sightings included Peregrine falcons and Grey-headed canary flycatcher.
Amongst the different States of the country, where people participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count, Uttarakhand led with 385 species sighted while Assam was 8th with 233 species sighted.
Globally, India topped the list with 715 distinct species sighted, followed by Mexico and the US with 674 and 654 species sighted respectively.
Cotton University plans to get more faculty and students of educational institutions across the State involved in recording birdlife across the State, and building up a data base for future work in monitoring their populations, habitats and the environment, said Dr Saikia.