The WWF-India, West Bengal State Office conducted a 3 months pilot projects on documenting the status of 50 key species of trees, birds and butterflies as part of urban biodiversity documentation. 10 schools were selected from different corners of the Kolkata to get a overall picture of the urban biodiversity.
During these three months, the students collected 1196 records of species. On 22nd April 2015, during the valedictory programme, the participants from schools presented their finding and also shared their ideas with the experts . The programme was held in 'Asutosh Birth Centenary Hall' of Indian Museum, Kolkata. The valedictory programme was organised in association with Indian Museum, Kolkata under Ministry of Culture, Government of India.
The programme was chaired by Dr. V.Shubhalaxmi, Ladybird Environmental Counsulting Founder & CEO/ Co-ordinator of Project iNaturewatch; Dr. Soumen Ghosh, Senior Research Officer, West Bengal Biodiversity Board, Government of West Bengal; Dr. Anirban Gupta, Professor, IIEST; Mr. Sumanta Bose, Senior Programme Officer, USIEF; Mr. Sayan Bhattacharya, Education Officer, Indian Museum, Ministry of Culture, Government of India and Dr. Saswati Sen, State Director, WWF-India, West Bengal. It was an excellent experience when the students explained how they used the iTrees, iBirds or iButterflies mobile application and how helpful it was for them to document and identify the species.
It was interesting to know that the students from outskirts of Kolkata got an excellent data whereas the city centric schools got quite less diversity of birds and butterflies. The 'Sarangabad Jajneshwari Pathshala Girls' High School' won the 1st position with 466 entries and 'Beliaghata High school' got 2nd position, 'Mahadevi Birla World Academy' and 'St. Agnes' Convent School' jointly got the third position."
Report by : Mr. Samya Basu, Education Officer, WWF-India, Kolkatta