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Sunderbans: ZSI publishes guidebook on birds

Kolkata: The first of its kind pictorial guidebook with original photographs of the different bird species recorded in the Sunderban Biosphere Reserve (SBR) compiled by Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) was released by the Head of Forest Force of Bengal government Ravi Kant Sinha on Monday in presence of senior officials of the department.

"The guidebook titled "Birds of the Sunderban Biosphere Reserve" is the first complete field guide on the birds of Sunderbans. A total of 428 species that have been recorded from SBR accounts for one third of the total bird count of over 1,300 that has been recorded in India," Dr. Kailash Chandra, ZSI Director said.

Sunderbans which is a UNESCO site happens to be one of the largest delta in the world. Sunderbans which is famous for its Royal Bengal Tiger is also one of the largest remaining mangrove forests of the world.

The mudflats and wetlands of Sunderbans acts as a stopover site for many migratory birds in their flight south and back.

"We organise an annual bird count by inviting many birders across the country and this handbook will certainly help in their efforts," Sinha has written in the foreword of the handbook.

The birds have been classified in different categories like common, uncommon, rare, threatened etc so that conservation efforts through community participation can be taken up by the state Forest department, a senior ZSI

official said.

The handbook priced at Rs 300 will be sold at a discounted rate at different tourist spots in Sunderbans .

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