The Tokhü Emong Bird Count (TEBC)
- January 11, 2023
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
The Tokhü Emong Bird Count (TEBC)
Subject : Environment
Context: The Tokhü Emong Bird Count (TEBC) event took place over four days from November 4 to 7, 2022, and involved 18 e-birders from four districts of Nagaland – Dimapur, Kohima, Peren, and Wokh
- The Tokhü Emong Bird Count (TEBC) is a citizen science initiative with an aim to celebrate the birds of the state of Nagaland.
- The event has been hailed as Nagaland’s first bird documentation event by Bird Count India, a bird monitoring and documentation collective and one of the organising groups.
- Other organisers include the Wokha Forest Division and the Divisional Management Unit, Nagaland Forest Management Project (NFMP).
- The TEBC was the brainchild of Lansothung Lotha, a district forest ranger with the Nagaland Forest Department and an avid conservationist. participants were primarily students invited from schools.
- The aim was to help nurture a love for birding and conservation amongst young participants.
Bird records in Nagaland:
- Blyth’s tragopan, rufous-necked hornbill, Mrs. Hume’s pheasant, Naga wren babbler and Austen’s brown hornbill.
- There are three other species of hornbills in the state: the oriental pied hornbill, the wreathed hornbill, and the great hornbill.
- Some notable birds that were sighted include the brown shrike, black-tailed crake, blue-napped pitta, brown bush warbler, spot-breasted scimitar babbler, brown-capped laughingthrush, eye-browed laughingthrush and the flagship species, Amur falcon.
Events for Bird of count across the nation:
- The organisers took the example of bird count events in other states conducted during festivals, such as the Onam Bird Count (Kerala), the Pongal Bird Count (Tamil Nadu) and the Bihu Bird Count (Assam).
- Accordingly, the Tokhü Emong Bird Count event took place during one of the festivals of the Lotha Nagas, the Tokhu Emong festival. Tokhu Emong is celebrated post-harvest, in the first week of November.
- The term ‘Tokhu Emong’ means to rest from field work for feasting after harvest season. Notably, during this festival, villagers are restricted from hunting, fishing, trading, or travelling.
Threats to Birds in Nagaland:
- Hornbills require mature trees for nesting. Their absence in an environment signifies that there are no more mature trees in the area from which they can nest.
- The Global Forest Watch reported that from 2000 to 2020, Nagaland experienced a net change of -130 square km (-0.85%) in tree cover.
- The major contributing factors to wildlife and biodiversity loss in the state include jhum cultivation, hunting, felling and logging of trees, and more recently, developmental activities like road construction and widening, and monoculture, amongst others.
Conservation initiatives in recent years:
- The Khonoma Green Village initiative, Sendenyu Village Community Biodiversity Conservation, and the Tizu Valley Biodiversity Conservation and Livelihood Network.
- In Nagaland community ownership of the land covers the bulk of the area, such local initiatives would ensure local support for conservation
- The village headmen were powerful and have a say on every major issue.
- This system of land ownership means that the people will be the most well-versed in the biodiversity around them and are thus the best stewards for conservation.