Dateline Pithoragarh: Two months into lockdown, with least human interference, ‘Nature’ seems to be revealing many a secret. On the 25th of May, Brijesh Dharmshaktu, Chairman Munsyari, EDC took a picture of the elusive Satyr Tragopan – a bird that is usually seen at much higher altitudes.
Considered a sign of good luck, just a day later, the State Government has approved a ‘Bird Tourism based Growth Center’ that will come up soon in Munsyari, Pithoragarh.
The idea behind the Center, “to establish a one-stop Facility Center of the State Government to create trained professional guides in the field of bird tourism and allied nature based activities,” said DFO Pithoragarh Vinay Bhargav. Adding to this, Brijesh Dharmshaktu, Chairman Munsyari, EDC tells us: “As Munsyari emerges as one of our favourite destinations, especially for high altitude Himalaya Bird watching, tourists have often felt that there is a need for recognized guides with them to assist in nature based recreational and allied activities.”
Some 550 kms from the State Capital of Dehradun, Munsyari in Kumaon region, has rich flora and fauna including Spotted Laughing Thrush, Fire Tailed Sunbird, Alpine Chough, Hill Partridge, Bearded Vulture, Koklass and the snow partridge if one were to name a few. Seven pre-identified local birding trails, from five hundred meters to five kilometers long will be revived for bird watching under this scheme.
Another unique USP of the area is the fact that within a four-kilometer radius of the proposed center, bird watchers will be able to spot all the ten species of pheasants abounding in these environs.
Armed with binoculars, spotting scopes, cameras, field guides and tool kits, local youth after getting their vocational training and capacity building programs, that will take tourists down trails explaining to them their rich green cover and its avian treasures in the next few months.
With the present pandemic resulting in mass reverse migration, schemes like these have the potential of giving alternative employment to those who need it the most. What could be better if they found work while staying in the comfort and security of their own homes.