JU VC releases checklist of birds of Jammu and Kashmir

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, June 3: In a landmark event for regional ornithology, Prof Umesh Rai, Vice Chancellor, University of Jammu, today released a full checklist of the birds of Jammu and Kashmir, meticulously compiled and produced by a team of researchers.
The special issue, published by the reputed journal, Indian BIRDS, features 592 bird species across 21 orders and 88 families, revealing the rich avian diversity of Jammu & Kashmir.
In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor lauded the dedication and hard work of the researchers exhibiting one of the most significant ecological group, the birds of the entire UT of Jammu and Kashmir. He hoped that this checklist would be a valuable resource for scholars, ornithologists, conservationists, and nature enthusiasts, helping to promote the study and conservation of bird species across the region.
The book release ceremony was graced by Prof Rahul Gupta, Registrar, University of Jammu; Prof J P S Joorel, Rector Bhaderwah Campus, JU; Dr M K Kumar, Chief Conservator of Forests and Regional Wildlife Warden Jammu; Dr Deepika Slathia, acting HoD, Environmental Sciences and the authors of the checklist, namely Dr Muzaffar A Kichloo, Dr Neeraj Sharma, Dr Parmil Kumar, and Parvez Shagoo.
Speaking on behalf of the team, Dr Neeraj Sharma from Institute of Mountain Environment and one of the checklist’s authors outlined its contents. Muzaffar A Kichloo, the first author, elaborated on the methodology and several stages of review that went into the compilation of the checklist, highlighting the diverse sources of bird records including museum specimens, media records and the detailed field notes. Dr M K Kumar, CCF & RWLW, Jammu, noted that the checklist not only enhances our knowledge of avian species but also plays a vital role in monitoring and protecting these species against threats such as habitat loss and climate change.
The event concluded with a ceremonial distribution of the first copies of the checklist to the dignitaries and a vote of thanks by Prof Parmil Kumar, HoD Statistics, JU.
Other outreach material including the familiar birds of J&K, Asian Waterbird Census in J&K, and an illustrated field guide of mammals of the mountains of J&K, complied by IME, was presented to the dignitaries.

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