Amid shutdown, conservationists celebrate World Migratory Bird day on social media | The Daily Star
06:14 PM, May 09, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 07:50 PM, May 09, 2020

Amid shutdown, conservationists celebrate World Migratory Bird day on social media

The Covid-19 induced shutdown has forced pretty much everyone into the confines of their homes or shelters, except for wildlife. Even though, there aren't so many people out there to celebrate the wild right now, the wild rages on in its full (or what remains) glory.

This year, the World Migratory Bird Day has fallen smack in the middle of the shutdown, prompting conservationists and nature lovers around the globe to celebrate remotely.

They have come up with slogans such as "birds connect our world" and have been sharing photographs and video clips of their journeys alongside birds in celebration of the day. 

"Every year we would do and plan many things to observe the day, but this year we can't do much due to Covid-19 outbreak… except some activities on social media," said Raquibul Amin, country representative of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Bangladesh.

IUCN and Bangladesh Bird Club have jointly and separately been conducting surveys in the wetlands of Bangladesh over the past few years.

Over the years, they have found that on average each year over 2 lakh migratory ducks and water birds visit the freshwater wetlands of Bangladesh, especially Tanguar Haor and Hakaluki Haor. Nearly one lakh more shorebirds migrate to our coastal areas.

IUCN's country representative also shared some of the updates of their Wildbird Monitoring Program which is being implemented from 2014. In the past two years, IUCN has satellite tagged 55 migratory ducks in a bid to understand their flight patterns.

This year, too, they tagged 12 migratory ducks who have started their migration from Bangladesh and are now crossing the Himalayan region, the CR said.

The birds use two flyways for their migration-East Asian- Australasian Flyway (EAAF) and Central Asian Flyway. During their migration, they stop over at several countries, including India, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Mongolia, Russia, South Korea, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

"The data gathered from their migration help us paint a picture of the wetlands of the world important for migration," Amin opines.

"It also shows that hundreds of national and international wetlands are connected and vital for migratory birds of our world. Unfortunately, many of these wetlands are not protected, and are sometimes subjected to development," he added.

Conservationists also reminded everyone that birds are critical to the global ecosystem and failure to protect them will put as at further risk of more global viral outbreaks.

"In our country, migratory birds also visit many small water bodies or wetlands which we have to protect by engaging the enthusiastic youths. Law and public awareness can't do much if we don't engage the young to protect the global natural system," Amin added.

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