Mumbai is big on racing, even when it comes to the feather-folk. Sunday saw an enthusiastic crowd of more than 300 gather at different parts of the city to attend the 9th Mumbai Bird Race organised by HSBC, Yuhina Eco-Media and birders in the city.
Teams of birdwatchers spent the day trying to locate as many species of birds as possible and at the end of the day, met at Powai to compare notes.
Special adjudicators analyse the results and announce the winners. Each team interacts with the others to recount their day’s experiences. This data is then documented to trace trends and patterns.
“This exercise gives us an idea of the kind of birds in the region which, in turn, helps build support for environment and nature conservation,” said organiser Pravin Subramanian.
Dr Salil Choksi, team leader of a group that completed an 18-km trek in Sanjay Gandhi National Park (to Goregaon and back), said, “There has been a substantial decline in the number of birds. We barely encountered 40 species during the trek whereas in the same place 40 years ago, some 100 species had been spotted.”
Dr Choksi cited human presence around forests and climate change as some of the reasons behind this decline.