‘Hakki Habba’ begins in BRT Tiger Reserve

The 3-day ‘Hakki Habba’ or bird festival jointly organised by the Forest Department and the Karnataka Eco Tourism Development Board got underway at BRT Tiger Reserve in Chamarajanagar district on Tuesday.

The festival entails conducting a bird survey to assess the number of species found in the BRT Tiger Reserve forests. N. Mahesh, MLA, who inaugurated the festival said renowned ornithologist late Salim Ali had identified nearly 100 species in these forests in 1939 and another survey conducted in 2012 had increased their numbers to 282 species. It is reckoned that the eco system could be supporting nearly 300 species of birds and such festivals will help ascertain the number of species.

He said a robust data could be collated with the help of local adivasis who live in the forests and are fully abreast of the flora and fauna around them.

Ajai Mishra, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, said the bird festival is an effort to collate the bird species and similar festivals have been conducted at Chikkamagaluru, Belagavi etc and this is the 7th edition of the festival. He said this is also a platform for ornithologists to interact with budding bird watchers and share their knowledge and exchange information with them.

Santosh Kumar, BRT Tiger Reserve Director; Manoj Kumar, Chief Conservator of Forests, Chamarajanagar; and Natesh, Director, Bandipur Tiger Reserve, were present. Apart from the survey, the bird festival will feature presentations and talks by experts.

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