TRICHY: The state forest department on Thursday started the two-day annual synchronized bird census at three places — Vaduvur, Uthayamarthandapuram bird sanctuary and Muthupet Lagoon under Tiruvarur forest division. Prior to its inauguration by district forest officer K Arivoli, a workshop on wildlife photography and bird watching was held for wildlife enthusiasts, bird watchers, college students and forest staff who were engaged for the census. "Post cyclone Gaja, the forest department has taken up restoration works at these places. Data from the census is crucial for the department to scale up restoration in the cyclone-hit sanctuaries coming under the forest department," said conservator of forest, Thanjavur circle, Ramasubramanian. Trichy-based wildlife organisation Biodiversity Conservation Foundation (BCF) has roped in students from VIT, Anna University and other colleges for the exercise. "Migratory pattern, nesting behaviour and impact on bird life after Gaja will be studied in this census. The arrival of birds and number of migratory species are being identified and the same will be handed over to forest department for documentation," said A Kumaraguru, conservation scientist and founder-director of BCF. "Analysis of census data before and after Gaja will give vital details of any change in the migratory pattern and eco-system of these water bodies," said Sai Saraswathi, professor of Vellore Institute of Technology. Last year, a total of 138 species of birds were recorded in Vaduvur, besides 110 species at Muthupet and 89 species at Udayamarthandapuram birds sanctuary during the census.
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