Nagaland: Tokhü Emong Bird Count from November 4-7
Nagaland has a rich bird diversity

Guwahati: Nagaland is hosting the first edition of the Tokhü Emong Bird Count (TEBC) between November 4 to 7, a four-day documentation event to list birds in the state.

This event is being organised in collaboration with the Wokha Forest Division and the Divisional Management Unit, Nagaland Forest Management Project (NFMP), Wokha, and Bird Count India.

The event is being held during the Tokhü Emong post-harvest festival of the Lotha Nagas to spread awareness about Nagaland’s bird diversity.

The dates of Tokhü Emong bird count also coincide with the BNHS Salim Ali Bird Count – a nationwide event. Besides documenting birds, there will be bird walks, online sessions, and talks about birds for enthusiasts, school, and college students.

Avid birdwatchers and enthusiasts are expected to participate in the Tokhü Emong Bird Count by going outdoors and observing birds while listing them.

While it is being held in Nagaland, those living in any part of India can also join in the birdwatching event. One can watch and count birds anywhere and upload the list to the bird-recording platform, eBird (www.ebird.org/india).

The first edition of the Tokhü Emong Bird Count aims to recognise the incredible bird diversity and draw attention to the threatened habitats of Nagaland.

Located in the Indo-Malayan global biodiversity hotspot, Nagaland is one of the most biologically diverse and important northeastern states in India. It is a mountainous state with the Naga Hills rising from the Brahmaputra Valley in Assam, reaching about 1,800 metres to the southeast.

“Nagaland is a state with diverse festivals as well as diverse birdlife. Tokhü Emong Bird Count is the first initiative where the community is encouraged to observe. We expect more festivals in the future where people connect with nature and also help in documenting the rich avifauna in a landscape that still remains to be explored and documented,” said Lansothung Lotha, Range Forest Officer, Nagaland Forest Department.

“The Tokhü Emong Bird Count is an excellent initiative to document Nagaland’s bird diversity and involve the youth and local communities in bird identification and monitoring. Such initiatives are important for the Northeast where the rich bird diversity is threatened by habitat loss and hunting,” said Pia Sethi, a senior fellow at the Centre for Ecology, Development and Research.

“Amur Falcons put Nagaland on the world birding map. However, the communities here can do more than just Amur Falcon conservation. This event is organised to make each one of us feel proud of the birdlife and nature that we have,” said Chenibemo Odyuo, team leader, Foundation for Ecological Security, Phek, Nagaland.

Though the state has to offer a lot for birdwatchers, its biodiversity has been steadily declining due to decades of habitat loss, fragmentation, and hunting.

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