Mushtaq Ahmed Rather and Dr. Reetu Bhanot
Birds are considered as fascinating creatures and are acknowledged by humans for their beauty, melodious tonality and the magnificence attributed with their ability to fly. Bird community structure is considered as an inevitable component of vibrant ecosystem and is reflective of the quality of the habitats and truly offer pleasure, joy and spiritual enthralling to humans. Birds are truly considered as one of the best tools and parameters of environmental vitality of any ecosystem because of their sensitivity to various kinds of perturbances. Therefore any sort of fluctuation in avian community dynamics has serious ramifications for the entire ecosystem. The main purpose to understand urbanization, COVID-19 and their impact on avian community structure is to facilitate in depth analysis of the ecosystems that support all life forms on earth. In this study, a multidimensional questionnaire was designed and was circulated among 300 local people of Southern Landscape of Kashmir valley, India to generate varied responses without compromising the personal information of the respondents. The ultimate aim of coming with this research paper was to figure out conclusive perception and approach of regional populace in relation to urbanization, COVID-19 and their influence on aves. The data that surfaced from the survey was analyzed by employing standard statistical tools. The conclusive result of the study from the regional populace revealed that congested vehicular traffic, lack of vegetation, lack of proper nesting sites, unhygienic food, noisy surroundings, prevalence of aggressive species, large scale environmental pollution, least concern of humans towards the well-being of aves in an urbanized habitat has catastrophic and devastating bearing on majority of bird species in an urban setting. The respondents in unison reported the increased and frequent bird sightings during COVID-19 lock down. To overcome the challenges posed by urbanization to avifauna it was projected that mass scale awareness cum orientation initiatives need to be undertaken at governmental, non-governmental and community level to sensitize local people about the ecological role played by aves in a vibrant ecosystem.
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