Sustainability seeks volunteers for bird survey

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Web Image: Piqsels

By Poojaraj Maniyeri

UNIVERSITY CITY, SHARJAH – American University of Sharjah’s Sustainability office is inviting the community to help craft a long-term strategy to deal with birds on campus by taking part in a future avian census.

In a recent email, distributed by the Resident Life Committee, AUS Sustainability asked for volunteers to help count the birds, which include native as well as exotic species, but which also introduce health hazards and other problems.

The health hazards include fecal matter of roosting birds; attraction of unwanted animals; and an increase in exotic species pushing out the native bird population. 

Those interested in helping AUS Sustainability should email [email protected].

The email noted that several factors have helped boost the number of birds on campus. One is the AUS campus, which provides a great environment for nesting and roosting birds. Additionally, fewer people on campus due to the pandemic “has emboldened and attracted many of these exotic species.” The birds also have easy access to food, such as fruit-bearing trees of AUS and cat food left out by pet owners. 

To help “ensure a balanced ecosystem on campus to the extent possible,” AUS Sustainability recommended residents refrain from feeding birds; properly wrap garbage before putting it in dumpsters; and feeding pets indoors.