Bihar has become the fourth State in the country to have a bird ringing (tagging) station wherein rings will be placed on legs of winged wonders to study their migration pattern, mortality, territoriality and other behaviour with the help of encrypted codes embedded in the attached tracking device.
The other three ringing stations are in Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Odisha.
A pact was inked between representatives of the Bihar Government and the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) at Gandhinagar in Gujarat on the first day of the opening of the CMS — COP13 (conservation of Migratory species — Conference of Parties) attended by over 2,500 delegates from 111 countries.
“This will be fourth ringing station in India and the first in North India. The pact is for five years in which our Government will dole out almost Rs 5 crore,” Bihar Principal Secretary, Environment and Forests, Dipak Kumar Singh said,
adding the station will monitor the areas where large no of migratory birds visit such as Nagi Nakti (in Jamui District), Kusheshwarsthan (in Darbhanga District), Barailla jheel (Vaishali), Kanwar lake (Begusarai).
He added it is also the first ringing station to be set up with the support of a State Government. The pact was signed by Director BNHS, Pradeep Apte and Bihar’s Chief Wildlife Warden, Prabhat Kumar Gupta.
The ringing station will be manned by trained scientists and other technical manpower from BNHS. For monitoring the migratory birds, rings are used which have chips containing the details about their origin, route taken by them etc.
Bhagalpur will be the main centre as the Ganges and its Diyara are favourite destination of migratory birds. Significantly, Bhagalpur is also one of the only three known breeding places of Greater Adjutant in the whole world, apart from Cambodia and Assam.
At these stations, rings are placed on legs of birds. The rings come with chips which help in tracking the origin of the birds and the route taken by these during migration.
An official from the BNHS explained that the ring’s encrypted BNHS code numbers ensure that wherever a ringed bird dies, is shot or is spotted with binoculars or photographed, the data can be sent back to the organisation and the bird’s migration is charted. BNHS has ringed over a million birds at different places in the Indian subcontinent, with the initiation of bird ringing study in India in 1950s.