In 2012 Andrew Mascarenhas (Dona Paula) decided to create a non-commercial website that would serve
the purpose of archiving all information related to the bird life of Goa. Initially the site carried
only audio recordings, images and bird descriptions..
In late-2014, the site was re-engineered with the following additional features: videos can now be
stored and contributors can upload all their material directly. An administrative team has volunteered
their time to verify the correct ID of uploaded images-audio-video.
From 2015, www.birdsofgoa.org will become the official website of the Goa Bird Conservation Network (GBCN).
See 'About GBCN' for more information on the organization.
About Goa Bird Conservation Network
Goa Bird Conservation Network (GBCN) is a non- profit society registered in Goa
under the Societies Registration Act 1860.
GBCN roots go back to 2010 when a group of enthusiastic birders from the state had met
in 2005 and decided to come together as a group for documenting birds and take up issues
related to bird conservation, awareness and conservation in Goa. The group initially
represented the Goa Chapter of the India Bird Conservation Network (IBCN) and functioned
under the name of GBCN. Since its inception, members have been joining the network in large
numbers and contributing on a regular basis.
GBCN in association with the Goa Forest Department has conducted surveys and censuses in all
protected areas of the state in the past five years. GBCN is also a partner with the Goa
Forest Department for conducting the Annual Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary census between
February and March. GBCN has been regularly conducting the Asian Waterbird Census in Goa which
commenced in 2011.
2014 heralded the era of social media and the group went online on Facebook which has a wider
reach and audience. Goa Birders which is the Facebook Group of GBCN has 1,300 + members at the end of that year and the membership continues
to grow. This forum provides a lively platform for sharing of images, videos, audio recordings
of birds and checklists of bird trips and birding events.
In the same year, GBCN became an official partner of the BirdCount India Consortium
to promote documenting of birds in the state through
"Citizen Science" model by promoting eBird. This is an online, global database of bird
observations launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society.
Data from ebird provides scientists, researchers and amateur naturalists with real-time data
about bird distribution and abundance. GBCN has also been instrumental in declaring four areas
of the state as Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) in 2011 and proposing three more in 2014.
As part of public outreach, GBCN conducts monthly Bird Walks held on the 1st Sunday of
every month. These Bird walks are open to the general public and everyone including the young
and old join a team of expert birders who lead the walk to explore the birdlife of the selected
location and enjoy the "great Goan outdoors". GBCN has also conducted various events for students
in schools and colleges on various occasions, with the recent one being the Birding by Ear which
was an experiment to introduce the joys of birding to visually-impaired children of the National
Association for the Blind School at St. Cruz, Goa.