Bohag Bihu Bird Count 2021 begins
On April 14, 2021, the Bohag Bihu Bird count began in Assam. The Bohag Bihu Bird count was launched by Bird Count of India (BCI). The BCI is a Non-Governmental Organisation. This is the first time BCI is launching Bohag Bihu bird count.
Bohag Bihu is also called Xaat Bihu. It is the traditional ethnic festival celebrated in Assam. It marks the beginning of Assamese new year. Bohag is Assamese calendar. The onset of Bohag marks the starting of Rongali Bihu. Rongali Bihu is one of the three most important festivals of Assam. The other two festivals are Kati Bihu and Kongali Bihu.
During Rongali Bihu, many migratory species of birds that visited Assam and its surrounding regions during winter start flying back to their homes.
It is highly important to organise such bird counts as the birds in India are facing growing threats due to habitat losses. According to State of India’s Birds, 2020, the loss of habitat is mainly due to human activities, toxins, hunting and trapping for pet trade.
State of Birds 2020
The following are the key findings of State of Birds report, 2020:
- 50% of 867 bird species in India are exhibiting population decline.
- The number of birds in Western Ghats have declined by 75% since 2000.
- Around 101 bird species in India have been placed under “high concern” category, 442 in “low concern category” and 319 in “moderate concern” category.
- The population of House Sparrow was stable. However, their population was declining in major cities. The House Sparrow has been declared as the “State Bird of Delhi”.
- The House Sparrow population is declining in cities mainly due to decreasing insect population.
- The Bustards in India are facing severe population decline. All the four bustards namely the Great Indian Bustard, Lesser Florican, Macqueen’s Bustard and Bengal Florican are suffering from population decline.
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