Wildlife experts and environmentalists have stressed the need for protecting migratory birds in the country to ensure a healthy ecosystem.
“Migratory birds are a part of our ecosystem and if the birds population declines our ecosystem will be badly affected,” Conservator of Forests Dr Tapan Kumar Dey, said at a discussion marking the World Migratory Bird Day 2014.
The Forest Department under the Ministry of Environment and Forests organised the discussion at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the city on Sunday.
The World Migratory Bird Day 2014 was observed across the world on 10-11 May aiming to raise awareness and interest in migratory birds and their conservation.
This years’ theme of the day was ‘Destination Flyways: Migratory Birds and Tourism’.
In his keynote address, Tapan Kumar Dey said the migratory birds usually migrate from the Himalayas and faraway places like Siberia to relatively warmer swampy wetlands, low-lying areas and coastal belt of Bangladesh to escape freezing cold during winter.
He said about 250-300 species of migratory birds are found in the country. Of them, 210 species are winter guest birds and the rest are summer birds.
But, the forest official said the flocks of migratory birds have been declining rapidly in Bangladesh due to loss of their habitats. “Habitat loss, deforestation, wetlands grabbing, overfishing, poaching and illegal trafficking contribute to such rapid decline of migratory birds in the country.”
About the initiatives to protect birds, he said the government has already announced the Wildlife (Preservation & Security) Act, 2012, declaring some 650 species of birds as protected and the Ministry of Environment and Forests has announced the bird-rich areas of the country as ecologically critical.
Bird expert Inam Ul Haque said the migratory birds play a vital role in keeping environmental balance as they eat insects. “We use pesticide to control pests at orchards, but there is no need to use pesticide in natural forests. Migratory birds control all pests of winter.”
Environment and Forests Minister Anwar Hossain Manju, Deputy Minister for Forests Abdullah Al Islam Jakob, Environment and Forests Secretary Shafiqur Rahman Patwari and Chief conservator of forests Yunus Ali, among others, spoke at the discussion.