Birds are important indicator taxa for monitoring ecosystem health. Monitoring studies, in general, are crucial for detecting population changes over time and effective management of ecosystems. In India, there has been an increasing interest in setting up bird monitoring programs and there are some examples of successful implementation of such programs. However, these are isolated efforts with little cross-talk within the community of people involved in these efforts. Identifying the need for bringing people together, a survey on long-term bird monitoring was conducted. This survey received several responses from across the country and helped bring forward some sustained bird monitoring efforts. As a next step, the LTEO Bird theme along with CEDAR, Bird Count India, and the Nature Conservation Foundation conducted an online symposium on 26, 27 March 2021. The Bird Monitoring in India symposium identified important studies in this field and invited people to present their work on a common platform.
The symposium was a two-day virtual event hosted on a combination of Slack, Zoom, and live-streamed on youtube. There were 19 invited talks and 16 contributed posters at the symposium. The symposium also hosted a discussion on the “Future of bird monitoring in India” on the last day – open to all participants. It led to discussions on various topics such as inadequate training, permissions, motivation, communication, attention to lesser-studied taxa, and diversity and inclusion.