Cellphone tours are popular in the United States however they have not been initiated or utilised in India largely. Navi Mumbai is lucky to have Karnala Bird Sanctuary (KBS) within its municipal limits yet Navi Mumbaikars underappreciate this green zone. They resist venturing on these nature trails on their own for several reasons such as lack of guidance and missing data links about the biodiversity.
KBS is a small sanctuary with an expanse of 12.11 sq.m. and is situated in Panvel Taluka. For urbanised bird lovers, it is a precious birding spot. Despite being small with habitat thickly wooded, it supports and comprises and birdlife of 222 species and is declared an Important Bird Area (IBA).
Fort is one of the historic archaeological features. There are several trails inside this park. There are no tour guides currently available to guide the visitors, hence many of them refuse to venture out. Given the pandemic situation where social distancing is desired while exploring outdoors, mobile technology could be useful which will encourage and boost urbanites to venture out and explore the wilderness on their own.
This project will fulfil five UN’s SDGs (Goal 3,4,8,11,15). In collaboration with our Knowledgeable Partner, Ladybird Environmental Consulting, who developed an Android mobile app previously as eForestrails - SGNP for Sanjay Gandhi National Park. With their assistance and help, we are now proposing to develop a similar mobile app for the cellphone nature tour for Karnala Bird Sanctuary (KBS). Through this mobile app, we believe in decentralizing natural history information through mobile technology and enhancing e-learning for the future generation.
Project Location: Karnala Bird Sanctuary (KBS), Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra
Project Duration: 3 months
Project Partner: Thane Forest Dept.
Knowledge Partner: Ladybird Environmental Consultancy LLP
Funding Agency: DCB Bank Ltd
We are developing Cellphone nature tours for Karnala Bird Sanctuary in a form of mobile app. This is supported by DCB Bank. Cellphone nature tour is a self-guided nature trail which the visitors could undertake using their mobile phones. We chose three nature trails of Karnala Bird Sanctuary and identified 20 points of interest for each trail. The trails selected are Hariyal trail, Tadamba trail, and Mortaka trail. These three trails were selected based on the flora fauna observed on these trails and in consultation with the Forest Department. The information about these points has been, compiled and will be available in audio as well as text format on the mobile app. The visitor needs to download this app before venturing out on mobile guided trail. The app development working is ongoing.