By Tarak SarkarSiliguri (West Bengal) [India], February 22 (ANI): The four-day long Mahananda Bird Festival kicked off at Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary in Sukna on Saturday evening aiming to create awareness about the different species of birds in the region and their documentation.
Around 18 birdwatchers, seven ornithologists, representatives of organisations which work for wildlife conservation and forest department officials attended the festival.
"The purpose of the festival is to record the diverse species of birds, document biodiversity, and create public awareness. Different avian species are found there and the sanctuary houses a wide range of birds. More than 250 avian species are found here. We are planning to organise a similar festival in south Bengal," said Vinod Kumar Yadav, the principal chief conservator of forests and wildlife.
Seven stalls including the animal resources development department, Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, Bombay Natural History Society, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, World Wildlife Fund, Sukna Squad have been set up at the festival.
Rajendra Jakhar, chief conservator of forests, wildlife, North-Bengal, said the first list of birds in the sanctuary had been prepared in 1995 but the present exercise with the larger participation will update the findings.
Monika Rai, a bird lover from Siliguri said this kind of festival gives them a chance to recognise birds in the region.
Forest officials said around 1,300 species of birds were found in the country including 900 in West Bengal and 600 in North Bengal. The forest officers also flagged off a tableau to mark the festival.
The foresters also said that birds like Red-necked Hornbill, Great Hornbill, a different type of Yuhina, Long-tailed Broadbill, Green Magpie, Dollar Bird, Sultan Tit, Streaked Spiderhunter, White Eye, Scarlet Minivet, Chestnut Winged Cuckoo, Crested Kingfisher, Black-napped Monarch, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Jordan's Bazza and Black Bazza are found at the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary. (ANI)