Panaji, July 22, 2015: Goa Tourism has decided to undertake massive promotion of Goa as a leading destination for Ornithologists and bird lovers from all over the world, given the fact, that the tiny State has an amazing bird diversity boasting of almost 423 bird species which are available in the State. This is expected to give a big boost for eco and hinterland tourism.
Goa Tourism has tied up with the Bird Society of Goa based in Panjim, which is an autonomous society to promote ornithological interest in the State. As a part of this initiative, Goa Tourism will be supporting the Bird Society with a special grant of Rs.10.00 lakhs for publishing a photographic field guide on ‘Birds of Goa’ authored by Mr. Bikram Grewal and Mr. Savio Fonseca. The Bird Society will also help GTDC in developing bird trails in the State, and provide information to bird lovers on the GTDC website.
Avi-tourism is expected to attract high-end tourists and bird lovers from all over the world to it’s bird hotspots scattered across the State. Goa is also expected to be prominently featured as a Bird Watchers Paradise on the global map.
Records have it that Goa has 4 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) identified by the Global Program of the Bombay Natural History Society along with Bird Life International – UK namely Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary and Carambolim lake, in addition to the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary.
The move is to include three more IBAs namely Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary and Navelim wetlands in Bicholim.
The Hon’ble Minister for Tourism, Shri. Dilip Parulekar said, “Goa Tourism has several tourism facets which are big attractions for tourists from far and wide. Avi-tourism is one of the many highlights that brings Ornithologists and bird lovers to Goa in large numbers. We are very proud to have one more feather in the cap that is taking Goa Tourism’s name to greater heights. ‘Birds of Goa’ is a big achievement in this regard and I appreciate the efforts taken by the Bird Society of Goa for scripting and publishing this Bird Guide. The strength of this book lies in its photographs and content. I am confident that Bird Watching Expeditions will get more exciting and enlightening.”
“Avi-tourism has attracted attention in recent years as an environmentally-friendly activity,”said Chairman of Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) Mr. Nilesh Cabral.
“Goa also has great potential for avi-tourism tourism than is currently being realized,” he said pointing out to success stories of other countries where bird watching is a potentially lucrative and growing market.
Goa offers the perfect setting for ornithologists and bird watchers which would include fanatics for the highly specialized ones and those who are into it as a hobby.
Many in the mainstream tourism industry in Goa tend to see Avi-tourism as a relatively specialized niche sought after by tourists from the West.
The months of October to February offer a wide spectra of birds with migratory birds invading Goa’s wetland hotspots for the season.
Goa’s avian diversity which offers a treat for bird lovers include the Frog Mouth bird, Blue Eared Kingfisher, Collared Kingfisher, Malabar Grey Horn Bill, Grey Headed Bulbul, Rufous Babbler and the State bird – the Flame Throated Bulbul.
‘Bird of Goa’ gives meaning to birds and bird watching in Goa and is intended for general readers and ornithologists! The Bird guide will be released in August!