MigrantWatch is an activity of the Citizen Science Programme of the National Centre for Biological Sciences in association with Indian Birds journal. Many individuals and organizations participate in this programme, including several from Pune, to observe migrant bird species and contribute their information.
Why Watch Migratory Birds
Many migratory birds that breed in the Palaearctic (the northern part of Eurasia) spend the winter in India. These migratory species typically begin to arrive in July/August and depart in March/April.
Long distance migration of birds, like other natural seasonal phenomena, is affected by environmental factors such as temperature and precipitation. Significant changes in migratory patterns have been documented for many bird species in various parts of the world and these have often been attributed to climate change.
Documenting and understanding such changes is important because these may have significant implications for the survival of migratory species. Unfortunately, hardly any detailed information is available on the timing of bird migration in India, and how this might be changing. Information collected in MigrantWatch will add to the global understanding of the effects of climate change on the timing of natural events.
How to Participate in MigrantWatch
To participate in MigrantWatch, one simply has to keep a regular watch for one or more migratory species in places where you live, work, or visit regularly, and note the dates of first and last sighting during the migration season.
Users can create an account and enter their observation related to dates of sightings onto the MigrantWatch website.
What is Citizen Science?
Enthusiasts across the world have been working in collaboration with scientists, contributing important information for scientific studies of many kinds. Citizen Science has had a long history of making valuable contributions in the fields of ecology and natural history, where much remains to be understood. Such contributions become more significant as the world goes through a period of extremely rapid climatic change, and we are struggling to document these changes and understand their consequences.
External Links MigrantWatch