Nature & Wildlife

Handle Goa avitourism with care, sat birders

PANAJI

With over 400 bird species in easily accessible habitats and adequate tourism infrastructure, Goa needs minimal requirements to promote avitourism, but a few suggest scientific planning to prevent damage of increased footfalls to bird habitats.

Goa tourism recently announced a tie-up with Panaji-based Bird Institute of Goa (BIG) to promote avitourism in the state, reports Times of India.

After participating in two editions of big bird day, an annual bird count event, Goan birders have woken up to the joys and potential of flash-counting of birds in the state. Goa stood second after Assam twice in terms of number of species reported during the day-long bird count, though some disagree over the parameters. The ease of bird watching and infrastructure available, prompt a few to tap ornithology for tourism.

“We are lucky to have diverse bird habitats, be it coastal, mangroves, forest, wetlands and Western Ghats within a radius of just over an hour’s travel time. A wide spectrum of hotel infrastructure ranges from home stays to luxury resorts while transport is efficient and road network extensive,” says Savio Fonseca, a trustee of BIG.

The infrastructure required around bird watching spots involves basic needs and minimal investment. “Nothing fancy and nothing intrusive, but just some watch towers, benches for people to sit down, signage and nature trails,” Philip Fernandes, a honorary wildlife warden, said.

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