Enthusiastic birders from the northeastern state of Nagaland are conducting a unique challenge for birdwatchers. Nagaland Christmas Birding Challenge is an e-bird challenge designed just for state birdwatchers.
Talking exclusively to IndiaTodayNE, Lansothung Lotha, a Range Forest Officer shared some inputs as to how this event is helping young birdwatchers from the state and the purpose behind this one-of-a-kind event.
Here are the excerpts from the conversation held between India Today NE and Lotha.
What is the purpose of the Nagaland Christmas Birding Challenge?
The Nagaland Christmas Birding Challenge (NCBC) is a first of its kind, with the aim to create an interest in birding and actively participate by trying to accomplish the challenges during the Christmas season. NCBC is organized during the marked dates as it is also the time when both resident birds, as well as migrants and winter visitors, are seen.
How is the response so far?
People have shown positive responses and we are hoping that this will continue to build as the event continues.
How do you think this event can help young birdwatchers?
All the challenges for the NCBC are carefully tailor-made in such a way that people from every walk of life can participate, especially children. We are optimistic that with such simple yet exciting challenges, young birdwatchers will be able to garner interest in birding, and potentially take it up as a hobby.
How many birds have been spotted in the state this year?
So far, around 20 species of birds have been spotted during the event so far. However, we will know the actual numbers only after the completion of the challenge as we have to wait for all participants to upload their checklists.
How many migratory birds visited Nagaland this winter?
I can't say for sure how many numbers, but we do receive a good number of both passage migrant species as well as winter visitors.
What is the status of hornbill conservation in Nagaland?
Hornbill conservation effort is still at a very nascent stage in the state. Except for some isolated efforts here and there, not much has been done to ensure the active participation of communities to protect the ecologically important birds. Indeed, hornbills have an immense cultural and traditional significance in the Naga society and it is only apt that more efforts be made to protect and conserve them.
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