Students contribute to biodiversity database

By TheHindu on 22 Mar 2017

These students not only got a chance to be in the midst of nature during school hours but also were rewarded for it. In a showcasing of competitive spirit for a green cause, about 600 city students vied with each other to sight and record their campus biodiversity. As part of the ‘Urban iNature Watch Challenge’ organised by the WWF, 1,200 recordings of trees, birds and butterflies were made by students of five schools in a span of six months.

Apart from Hyderabad, the competition was launched in four cities, including Delhi, Bombay and Kolkata. At a programme organised on Friday at LV Prasad Eye Institute, students were asked to share their experiences and best performing schools were recognised. Students of the participating schools were provided mobile apps containing information about urban wildlife along with pictures. They were required to refer to the app and document their sightings in the form of photographs and upload it to a website where it would be assessed.

“My love for nature has increased because of this competition,” said Ahana Sarkar, a class 8 student of Meridian school, who won the first place for maximum recorded sightings. “Not just the regular ones, but I also got to know more about the rare species of trees and birds during the exercise. I have uploaded data of about 15 recordings.”

The app, which was part of the ‘Mobile Apps for Climate Change’ initiative, was developed by Ladybird Environmental Consulting.

V. Shubhalaxmi, Founder and Director of Ladybird Consulting said, “We created three mobile apps, one each for birds, trees and butterflies on Android platform. These apps, with a list of 50 species commonly found in urban locales, were given to schools. Out of all the cities, Hyderabad students documented the maximum number of birds and trees.”