Mon, 18 Feb, 2019

Looking after our feathered friends

Birds and even stray animals got some respite from the heat during the summer months with the Water for Wings, an initiative conducted by the Environment Conservation and Research Organisation (ECRO). #TGLIFE has the details

09th June 2018, 07:57 Hrs

Pradnya Gaonkar Rane

As kids, most of us have heard the story of the thirsty crow which devised his own idea to get the water level up in the pot. Today though, the crow would probably not find pots anywhere as the concept of leaving pots outside the house has almost vanished. This summer however, these pots and bowls made an appearance once again and could be spotted in balconies, gardens, compound walls etc. Indeed, this idea of once again bringing out bowls of water for birds was courtesy Environment Conservation and Research Organisation (ECRO), an NGO founded by a group of five young guns just out with a graduate degree.   

In April 2018, the group started the ‘Water for Wings’ initiative that was received enthusiastically by the group members. The main aim of this was to provide water for winged creatures and also form a bond with birds. At the same time they also decided to observe the behavioural pattern of the birds. Some members went a step ahead and also placed food grains while others opted for a barrel of water for not just birds but also animals like the cattle, dogs, cats etc passing by. All those who participated were requested to click a selfie with the bowl. The campaign came to an end on June 1 and the group was pleased with the good number of entries they received which they then posted as a collage on their websites, social media etc. “We also organised a small get together for our members to share their experiences during the campaign. There were few members who came across some rare bird sightings while others inspired their neighbourhood to follow the initiative and connect to the nature. It was a good initiative where the message was circulate amongst various other people for a cause,” says Dattaram Phadte, the President and founder member of ECRO, who completed his Master’s Degree in Environment Science and Technology in Pune.  

Registered in 2015, ECRO which began in a bid to explore and understand nature consists of members even from other states like Bangalore and Maharashtra. “Under this group, we focus on environmental research and creating awareness about the flora and fauna of the region among the communities in rural areas and students by conducting lectures, seminars etc. This is done in association with organisations like the Goa State Biodiversity Board, Forest Department. Recently we also applied for a tie up with the World Wide Fund,” informs Phadte.

The group’s office is housed in the Matoshri Ahilyabai Trust, Savoiverem where they are in the process of upgrading to include an auditorium where they can conduct seminars and informative programmes for the environment enthusiasts. 

They are also building a library collection inorder to provide more information material for students and those interested. Out of the 23 registered group members, 16 of them are actively involved in the various activities conducted by the group while 7 of them are into core environmental and wildlife research. Phadte is in the process of conducting his research on wild flowers in Goa and also on Hornbill birds that visit the state. 

Laxmikant Desai, another founder member and secretary of the organisation, has already presented two papers on the abundance of birds in the Northern Western Ghat region. Through the research conducted in various parts of the state, the core committee aims to give out some literature to the young enthusiasts which will help them in understanding nature and explore further.  

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