As a part of extra and co-curricular activities, the Alpine Club of Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) organized a day-long trekking and bird watching expedition at Wasturwan hills located at the backdrop of IUST campus.The event was jointly organized by the Alpine Club, Directorate of Physical Education & Sports (DPES) and Nature Interpretation Centre of IUST to connect the participants particularly students to nature and inculcate the art of volunteerism in them towards nature.The expedition was led by Vice Chancellor of IUST, and Patron of the event, Prof. Shakil A. Romshoo while appreciating the organisers, highlighted the need and importance of organizing such activities and advised students to actively participate in these programmes aimed at their overall physical and mental development.“The university is trying to create all possible opportunities and facilities to meet the needs and aspirations of the students” Prof. Romshoo said.Finance Officer, IUST Sameer Wazir also joined the expedition and assured of all the possible support for creating sufficient sports, adventure and other facilities in the university for the benefit of the students, scholars, staff, faculty and visitors.Founder and President of Birds of Kashmir, Irfan Jeelani, who was the Resource Person of the event while congratulating IUST for organizing the event, said that birds were an important part of our ecosystem and biodiversity. He gave an overview of eBird initiative in documenting and creating the database of birds around the world.The bird watching at IUST was the first edition of Himalayan Bird Count programme. During the event, the participants observed the occurrence of many bird species like Ashy Drango, Common Cuckoo, Chukar Partridge, Common Myna, Eurasian Hoopoe, Golden Oriole, Himalayan Bulbul, House Sparrow, Jackdaw, Lesser White Throat, Rock Pigeon, Siberian Stonechat, etc in and around the Biodiversity Park.Earlier Assistant Director, DPES Dr. Hilal Ahmad Rather and Nodal Officer, Biodiversity Park Dr. Aijaz Ahmad Qureshi gave an overview of the programme, besides tshring guidelines and instructions about the precautions to be taken during trekking and bird watching.The event was attended by more than 100  students, scholars and faculty from various departments including Ramanujan Fellow, Watson-Crick Centre for Molecular Medicine, Dr. Rais Ahmad Ganaie, Vice President, Birds of Kashmir, Ansar Ahmad, Sports Assistants, Altaf Hussain Shah and Majid Mukhdoomi, young birders, Mehnaz Nazir, Sobiya and Umar Nazir.

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