Today, it is very important to rationally use the wealth of native environment, protect its beauty and biodiversity, and improve people’s ecological literacy. Annually, the first day of April, the whole planet celebrates the International Day of Birds – ecological holiday, dedicated to the promotion of “green” ideas, attracts people’s attention to solve problems related to the extinction of various bird species from the face of the Earth, which inhabit all continents of the planet. Currently, there are about 9 thousand species of birds in the world.
The Bird Day was established in the United States in 1894, quickly gained expansion and popularity thanks to the mass media, covered massively all states, then came to Europe and now is celebrated in many countries of the world.
The Museum of the State Cultural Center of Turkmenistan organized an exhibition entitled “Birds – Decoration of Nature” for the International Day of Birds.
As one of the exhibition’s organizers, head of the Department of Nature and Local History State Museum Enejan Altyeva reported to us, in Turkmenistan protection of birds carried out since 1968, when it was organized the Turkmen society of nature protection, headed by an ornithologist of international fame – academician A. G. Rustamov, member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). He supported and made public in Turkmenistan the idea of UNESCO to celebrate the day of birds and suggested that this date should be celebrated in the country on April 1. Members of the Turkmen society for nature protection promoted the protection of birds, held seminars and lectures in cities and villages of Turkmenistan.
Since 2004, in Turkmenistan the Bird Day has been celebrated more actively on the initiative of members of the Turkmen branch of the Menzbir Ornithological Society and with the support of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds of Great Britain. At the same time, a club of bird-fanciers appeared in the city of Turkmenbashi.
More than 430 species of birds live permanently or temporarily on the territory of Turkmenistan. And the date of the holiday – April 1 – was chosen not by chance, just at this time, the most important periods in the life of birds: some have been already breeding, and others fly further north, where they will brood, return back and winter, gaining strength.
The exhibition presents numerous species of birds found on the territory of Turkmenistan, feathered birds depicted in paintings, photographs and carpets, and original souvenir products. The exposition is opened with a landscape carpet with birds, presented to the President of Turkmenistan during the opening of the Kiyanli Polymer Plant in 2018. Dioramas with near-water birds are widely represented. In autumn and spring, migratory birds stay at the lakes formed along the bed of the Karakum River. Here you can find a spoonbill, various types of herons, osprey, purple swamp hen, bittern and many representatives of duck. In winter the Eastern coast of the Caspian Sea is home for one of the most beautiful birds in the world – the pink Flamingo, listed in the International Red Book. The largest representative of birds of prey is the vulture-scavenger, whose wingspan reaches 2.5 meters. Typical mountain inhabitants are the eagle-bearded vulture, goshawk, Caspian snowcock, and golden eagle.
At the exhibition, you can get acquainted with scientific and popular literature about birds, and besides see portraits of Turkmen scientists-ornithologists. According to them, during the past 400 years, more than 100 species of birds have disappeared in the world, thirty of which have become extinct in the last century. One of the main reasons for this is the activity of people on change and, often, disruption of the natural landscapes of the earth and the ecology in general. That is why today, more than ever, the issues of preserving the earth’s biodiversity and protecting all living things that inhabit our planet are urgent.
The exhibition will run during the first decade of April.