Birds are diverse, impressive creatures. In their own ways they are indicators of the health of the environment. They more than just flap their wings in the air and decorate the skies, they are the first ones to witness change in the surroundings and respond to these changes. We have already lost a lot of bird species because of man’s greed and selfishness, however not all men are like that some live and work for their betterment and conservation, and we have one such example amidst us, Mr. Arvind Mishra. In 2006 October Mr. Mishra received information about a potential new species of bird spotted in Bhagalpur district of Bihar. Within no time he reached the destination and saw two pairs of bird species with white eyes, a red pouch, white feathers around their neck and dark wings when he saw them he clearly understood it was Greater Adjunct the species that IUCN has classified as endangered and it has been kept under WPA 1972 schedule IV by Indian Government.
The Greater Adjunct species saw a decline in the numbers during the 20th century due to hunting and habitat loss. Presently the species are found only in Assam, Bihar and Cambodia with population of around 1000. Mr. Mishra says that the bird was mainly sighted in the Pipal tree of Kosi Diara in Bhagalpur district.
These sightings gave him a sense of encouragement that alongwith wildlife he needs to work towards conservation of bird species as well and it is only due to his conservation efforts that the number of these Adjuncts or Garuda as they are called in common parlance has increased to 600 from mere 78.
Mr Mishra says, after sighting the bird in 2007 he had submitted a report of his research which got published in Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS). Mr Mishra very carefully identified the threats faced by these species in the breeding and foraging grounds and very carefully and systematically worked towards it. Although he faced a lot of flak from the village community, they saw him as a police informant, an intruder, and a smuggler of these species in the black market but over time he was able to win over their trust and convinced everyone of his good intentions of preserving the Greater Adjuncts and in doing so he even got the help of the village people.
After so many years of hardwork we Biharis can proudly say that a person from Bihar has successfully revived a bird population that was not sighted for years and now Bihar houses all the six species of Greater Adjunct all thanks to the efforts of Mr. Arvind Mishra.