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Beauty in the wings

Goa Bird Conservation Network  (GBCN) is organising the 4th  Carl D’Silva Memorial Lecture  on the topic ‘A forest in my

 backyard’ on August 18.  NT BUZZ gets more details

Ramandeep Kaur | NT BUZZ

To celebrate the life of wildlife artist, Late Carl D’Silva, Goa Bird Conservation Network (GBCN) has been organising the Carl D’Silva Memorial Lecture in memory of the artist since his demise in 2015. The lecture is held every year on a Sunday which is closest to the day of  the artist’s birthday. This year, the lecture will be held on the topic ‘A forest in my backyard’ and will be delivered by chief naturalist at Jungle Lodges & Resorts Limited, Karthikeyan S on August 18, 4 p.m. at Goa Science Centre, Miramar.

In his talk, the Bengaluru-based Karthikeyan will attempt to dispel the myth that one has to go to faraway places to enjoy and appreciate nature. He will instead demonstrate how much there is around us in the urban spaces that we call home, drawing from his own personal experiences.

“Goa is home to a good diversity of birds. While crows and pigeons may be more visible than the others, if one goes outdoors and does some bird watching, it will help discover many species that share space with people,” says Karthikeyan.

Elaborating further on why the pigeon population in particular has increased in Goa over the years, Karthikeyan believes that this could be due to the increase in high rise structures in the state.

Pigeons, he says, are birds that prefer rocky ledges for a home. High rise structures offer similar spaces thus helping the pigeons find safe homes. “This may be true of any city that has seen a spurt in growth of high rise buildings,” he says, adding  that it is important to retain and maintain the habitats of species to ensure their survival in the long run.

“Goa is blessed with an amazing diversity of very interesting species. The dedicated team naturalists of Goa have recorded over 470 species of birds, 250+ species of butterflies, more than 100 species of dragonflies, and over 30 species of amphibians to mention a few. Apart from this there are also insects, spiders, the rich flora and much more,” he says. He adds that the presence and long-term survival of these species is very important and necessary to maintain the ecological balance. “I don’t think there is any species that can be more dangerous than city traffic,” he says.

And there’s still a long way to go with regards to documenting this rich biodiversity in Goa, he believes. “Apart from some of the taxa that are better documented, we are still in the stage of creating baseline data and inventorying the biodiversity,” he says. As far as his knowledge goes, he adds, there has been no study done to assess the status of these organisms.

 (The 4th Carl D’Silva Memorial Lecture will be held on August 18 at 4 p.m. at Goa Science Centre, Miramar. It is open to all.)

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