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Chhattisgarh News
Chhattisgarh will have its first Bird Park at Raipur

RAIPUR: Wildlife enthusiasts, bird-watchers and ornithologists have something to rejoice upon, this National Wildlife Week beginning from October 2, with Forest department all set to develop Chhattisgarh’s first Bird Park at Raipur for bird sighting.

About 12 kilometres away from city’s pollution and stressful life, the institute’s campus is serene, green and calm having more than 51 species of birds with eight migratory birds. Forest department has sanctioned Rs 76 lakh for introducing state's first bird park to be developed as eco-tourism centre.

Confirming the move, KC Yadav, director, SFTRI said, "The long awaited four acre of wetland of Raipur gets a signal for development of bird park which is rich in habitat for numerous species of birds and migratory birds. The place is soon going to be of natural importance for nature lovers and birders, who have to carry their binoculars out in the forests in thirst to watch birds. They can instead drive down few kilometres and enjoy birding within limits of Raipur."

Yadav added that with the sanctioned amount of Rs 76 lakh, SFTRI plans to extend pathway for tourists and visitors on the 1.4 kilometre track for nature walk. "Plans are underway to outspread the area of four acre of wetland to seven acres of water-body and offer larger area for birds' habitat with ample water, food and shelter. It will be a hotspot for eco-tourism in coming years."

A watch-tower will be set up for tourists to climb up and enjoy the serene surrounding of the park. Christened it as Raipur's own ‘Birds’ Paradise’, Yadav said that the gates of park are already open for visitors from the beginning of wildlife week.

"Enthusiasts can visit the park with their binoculars and identify birds. Aiming to spread awareness, we would also organize bird identification workshop for school students at Birds' Paradise in the month of November. Students of different schools would be invited to participate in contest, identify birds and check with experts about their guesses," Yadav said.

According to a junior research fellow of SFTRI Anurag Vishwakarma, birds flock for mating at the park in pairs mainly during rainy season and winters. He has spotted few like Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Green Bee Eater, Baya weaver and 23 species.

“It’s a welcoming attempt which would create awareness about conservation of birds and development of habitat for them in Chhattisgarh. The campus area is comfortable for birds to nest and it give a forest-like look, which may attract upcoming birders for sure,” AMK Bharos, chairman, Chhattisgarh wildlife society said.

Giving space for interaction, a Facebook page 'Meri Chidiya' has been created for bird watchers and ornithologists to share their experiences, photographers and discussions on migratory and resident birds in Chhattisgarh. “A reliable database could be prepared on the basis of birders’ research which would further be researched by experts.”

However, Chhattisgarh forest department also plans to develop its first Bird Sanctuary on the wetlands of Gidhwa dam and Gidhwa pond, the proposal which waits for approval. On the cluster of 5-6 wetlands, one can find over 140 species of migratory and resident birds, Bharos said.