Citizen science initiatives under the Important Bird Area Programme (IBA) such as Sálim Ali Bird Count, Baya Weaver Bird Count and Common Bird Monitoring Programme (CBMP) have helped BNHS to generate public interest in birds, involving all age groups. They have also strengthened the study on bird trends, especially the distribution and populations of common birds. CBMP workshops held from time to time have not only brought in new recruits but also paved the way for a scientific study of bird status in a given region.
Efforts are also on to save targeted IBAS. Zemithang Nelya IBA in Arunachal Pradesh is one of the only two wintering sites of the Black-necked Crane. It faces submersion threat from a proposed dam; the project’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) failed to include the Cranes! Following the interventions of BNHS and other organizations, the Environment Ministry has suspended the environmental clearance. A new study has been commissioned on the dam and its impacts. Some other sites included under our advocacy efforts over the last one the year was Basai IBA and Najafgarh Jheel adjoining it (Haryana), IBAs of Bihar, Pangti IBA (Nagaland), Tamenglong IBA (Manipur) and Pench IBA (Maharashtra).