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How lockdown bird watching is aiding bushfire?


How lockdown bird watching is aiding bushfire?

Aastha gupta.
Birdwatchers have recorded numerous iconic birds affected by the fires while observing COVID-19 restrictions. It has been recorded in urban parks and city edges, as well as in gardens and on farms.
In April 2020, survey numbers in BirdLife Australia’s Birds in Backyards program jumped to 2,242. Which is a tenfold increase from 241 in April 2019.
The increased reporting rates of fire-affected birds is good news, as it means many birds are surviving despite losing their home. But they’re not out of the woods yet.
Their presence in marginal habitats within and at the edge of urban and severely burnt areas puts them more at risk. This includes threats from domestic cat and dog predation, starvation due to inadequate food supply, and stress-induced nest failure.
That’s why consolidating positive behaviour change, such as the rise in public engagement with birdwatching and reporting, is so important.
Australians are reporting bird sightings at record rates. In fact, Australian citizen scientists submitted ten times the number of backyard bird surveys to BirdLife Australia’s Birdata app in April compared with the same time last year, according to BirdLife Australia’s Dr. Holly Parsons.
But it’s not just a joyful hobby. Australia’s growing fascination with birds is vital for conservation after last summer’s devastating bushfires reduced many habitats to ash.
So, Australia’s native plants and animals are on the slow path to recovery after the devastating fires last summer.

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