The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) has launched climate change programme to assess the status, distribution and conservation of pheasants and finches in the Central Himalayas. To evaluate the socio-economic activities of local communities and involve them in conservation efforts and sensitize the local forest department staff.This programme is funded by Oracle and facilitated by CAF-India.
The Himalayas hold a rich natural heritage with diverse flora and fauna enhancing the beauty of the region. The study will focus on their conservation in the context of climate change with the help of community participation. The Indian subcontinent is home to nearly 50 species of pheasants and 62 species of finches, with several species listed in ‘Globally Threatened’ category by IUCN.
Both these groups are spread across the Himalayas. Shrinking habitats combined with several biotic factors, along with trapping and poaching pressures in many areas have pushed several of them to near extinction.
“Climate change can highly influence vertical and horizontal distribution of these groups making boundaries of protected areas fuzzy. The species that can adapt will survive but habitat specialist and species sensitive to temperature will suffer. The major aim of this project is to assess the status of phasinidaes and fringillidaes, particularly globally threatened species found in Himalayan region and evaluate their distribution,” said Bilwada Kale, official spokesperson of BNHS.