BNHS Current Affairs - 2019
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The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), one of India’s premier avian research institutes, will start operating its first regional centre or avifauna observatory on the campus of Wetland Research and Training Centre near Chilika Lake (Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon), Odisha.
The avifauna observatory will carry out research on avian disease by collecting samples and monitor Nalabana Bird Sanctuary. It will be engaged in identifying air route of foreign birds flocking Chilika lake during winter, sample collection, training related to bird census, publishing bird migration atlas books, examining various diseases among the birds and review condition of Nalabana bird sanctuary along with counting birds.
Bombay Natural History Society (BHNS)
BNHS is one of the largest non-governmental organisations in India engaged in conservation and biodiversity research. It was founded on 15 September 1883 and headquartered at Hornbill House, Mumbai. It supports many research efforts through grants and publishes Journal of Bombay Natural History Society. Department of Science and Technology has designated as ‘Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’.
It is largest coastal lagoon or brackish water lake in India and Asia and second largest lagoon in the world (after The New Caledonian barrier reef in New Caledonia). It is located at mouth of Daya River, flowing into Bay of Bengal. It is spread over Puri, Khurda and Ganjam districts of Odisha on east coast of India, covering an area of over 1,100 km sq. It hosts nearly one million birds with 97 species being intercontinental migratory in nature during the winter season. It is largest wintering ground for migratory waterfowl found anywhere on Indian sub-continent. It is one of hotspot of biodiversity in country and some rare, vulnerable and endangered species listed in IUCN Red List of threatened animals. It was first waterbody in Indian to be designated as wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention in 1981. It was put under Montreux Record (record for such sites where there has been or likely to be adverse ecological change due to manmade activities), but was later removed from it due to conservation efforts.
The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) has launched climate change programme to conduct study to assess the status, distribution and conservation of Pheasants and Finches in Central Himalayas.
It is long-term monitoring project funded by Oracle and facilitated by CAF-India. It will focus on their conservation in the context of climate change with the help of community participation.
- The Himalayas hold a rich natural heritage with diverse flora and fauna enhancing the beauty of the region.
- Indian subcontinent is home to nearly 62 species of finches and 50 species of pheasants, with several species listed in ‘Globally Threatened’ category by IUCN. Both these groups are spread across the Himalayas.
- Shrinking habitats combined with several biotic factors, along with poaching and trapping pressures in many areas have pushed several of them to near extinction.
- Besides, climate change is influencing vertical and horizontal distribution of these groups. Those species adapting with it will be able survive, but those species sensitive to temperature rise will suffer.
Climate change programme
- It will help in making an inventory of pheasants and finches, documentation of local specific conservation issues, and designing local as well as species specific conservation action plan with the community participation.
- The conservation action plan of these sites will be the first step towards the protection of the ecosystem which benefits both biodiversity as well as the people in the system.
- It also aims to assess the socio-economic activities of local communities and involve them in conservation efforts and sensitize the local forest department staff.
About Bombay Natural History Society (BHNS)
BNHS is one of the largest non-governmental organisations in India engaged in conservation and biodiversity research. It was founded on 15 September 1883 and headquartered at Hornbill House, Mumbai. It supports many research efforts through grants and publishes the Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society. Department of Science and Technology has designated as a ‘Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’.