Since 2006 the world has celebrated ‘World Migratory Bird Day’, held in the second week of May, the day raises global awareness and highlights the need for protection of migratory birds and their habitats. This year the theme was: ‘Migratory birds and people – together through time’.
On Saturday 12 May, IUCN together with the Bangladesh Bird Club, North South University’s Earth Club and Prokritee O Jibon Foundation celebrated Bangladesh’s migratory bird species with a ‘World Migratory Bird Day’ festival at North South University, Dhaka.
Students from local schools joined the celebrations participating in an art competition where they showed off their artistic talents by drawing their favourite birds. The festival also included a bird photography competition, inter-university bird identification quiz, bird documentary, a bird themed cultural show and audience members invited to test their bird knowledge in a quiz show.
Wildlife experts presenting at the festival stressed the need for Bangladesh to create a national network to save our migratory birds from extinction and to protect our wetlands to ensure their survival.
Bangladesh is home to over 700 bird species, 320 of these migratory with more than 290 birds visiting Bangladesh’s hoars, coastal areas, rivers and other water bodies during the winter season. Unfortunately these migratory species are at threat due to the degradation and destruction of our ecosystems, stated IUCN’s Country Representative, Mr. Ishtiaq Uddin Ahmed. Migratory birds are at threat across the globe he stated, Bangladesh which is home to some of the world’s most endangered species is one of the countries where species are diminishing at an alarming rate.
North South University vice-chancellor in-charge Professor Md Abdus Sattar formally inaugurated the programme while Bangladesh Bird Club president Enam Ul Haque, Prakiti O Jiban Foundation chairman Mukit Majumder Babu and IUCN wildlife expert ABM Sarwar Alam Dipu were also present at the festival.