The Challenge
Birds add life, sound and colour to our lives. They play a vital role in ecosystem services such as pollination, seed dispersal, biomass recycling, biological pest control, and act as sensitive indicators of environmental changes. Rapid urbanisation is causing degradation and loss of urban ecosystems, making it difficult for the birds to survive. It becomes imperative to restore the urban ecological landscape to conserve urban bird fauna.
The Solution
The Bird Habitat Enhancement Program is an integral part of the site-specific Biodiversity Action Plan of TCS campuses. Before implementing the program, biodiversity mapping exercises were undertaken at various campuses with respect to the flora and fauna to understand which species are most important, and which are the ones that require special management and further protection elsewhere within their ranges.
The program was implemented with an integrated approach to create bird habitats through protection and transplantation of native trees during construction stage, plantation of native ornamental and flowering fruits, shade trees, etc. It also focussed on creating aquatic habitats for birds as an integral part of Green Buildings through rainwater harvested lakes, reflecting pools, water tank/pond with fountains, etc. Water baths, feeders and nest boxes were also installed. Additionally, a bird care program was introduced to rescue and release injured birds in their natural habitat.
Collaboration Among Entities
Administration Team for overall ownership
Facility Management Team for maintenance
Landscape Planner/Gardening Team for various aspects of native tree plantations and maintenance of landscape
Centre Head & Finance Team for required approvals, etc.
Environmental Sustainability, Health & Safety Team involved in fulfilling the needs and expectations of various internal stakeholders and also for monitoring
The Result
Improving the greenspaces in TCS campuses through the Bird Habitat Enhancement Program not only resulted in restoration of habitats in urban ecosystems, but also led to remarkable increase in bird species - from 43 in 2016-17 to 75 in 2020-21. The campuses are also supporting a large number of aquatic, native and migratory birds as well as IUCN listed bird species.
Presence of dense vegetation, variability of fruit trees, flowering trees for feeding and less human interference resulted in occurrence of large number of nests of different species within the campus. The 1,500 nest boxes which were installed showed 100% occupancy by different bird species during their breeding season and various activities pertaining to feeding chicks and first flight of chicks from nest boxes were recorded.
Similarly, 100% utilisation of grain feeders and water baths by different species of birds were noticed. Increase in Sparrow population was recorded in all campuses. Some migratory birds also visited the aquatic habitats created as part of this program.
Some threatened species as per the IUCN list were observed within the TCS campus such as:
Anhinga rufa (Snake Bird/Darter) recorded at Rainwater Harvesting Lake, Synergy Park, Hyderabad
Threskiornis melanocephalus (Blackheaded Ibis) recorded at Garima Park, Gandhinagar
Antigone (Sarus Crane) which is Vulnerable as per IUCN Status, was recorded at the Indore campus
Glimpses of some of the water bodies created at the TCS campuses
Getting up close and personal with rare bird species including the Ibis
An array of species take advantage of the nest boxes, feeders and bird baths
The program has received many accolades such as:
TCS - Yantra Park Thane received ICC-Environment Excellence Award 2020 by Indian Chamber of Commerce, Kolkata
TCS Biodiversity case studies of conservation of Butterflies @ TCS & Sacred Groves @ TCS-Kochi received Innovative Environment Project & Most Useful Environment Project Award 2020 by CII -GBC Environmental Best Practices Award 2020
TCS Garima Park, Gandhinagar received 3rd prize under service sector of CII (WR) SHE Excellence & Innovation Award 2020
New Campus - Kochi received special recognition for "Eco-friendly Campus & Biodiversity Initiatives" at the "Bombay Chamber Civic Award 2019" by Bombay Chamber of Commerce & Industries, Kolkata
TCS research paper "Integrated Approach for Developing Biologically Diversified Urban Landscapes @ TCS: A Success" published in "Biodiversity & Livelihood: Lessons from Community Research In India 2020" (pp 137-143) by Bentham Science Publisher Pte. Ltd Singapore 2020
TCS case studies on Biodiversity Conservations are published in CII -IBBI India Business & Biodiversity Initiative 2014 in proceedings of Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in PyeongChang, Republic of Korea
TCS Deccan Park & Synergy Park, Hyderabad, received Special Jury Award for Biodiversity Conservation by Green IT Award 2012 by Govt. of Andhra Pradesh