In his floppy hat, flak jacket and carrying heavy equipment, Mirza Naim Beg looks a typical wildlife photographer. Only when you start talking to him do you find an ex-banker who took early retirement to follow his passion.
His previous incarnation firmly behind him, Beg is now known as the man who organises increasingly popular wildlife viewing tours across Pakistan. And ever since he was persuaded by a friend three years ago to join the FaceBook page Birds Of Pakistan, he has held three exhibitions, conducted wildlife photography workshops as well as lectures. “Now I maintain a page called Birds Of Sindh on FaceBook,” he says with pride.
“During these three years, many (people) in and around Karachi including Larkana, Mithi and Kathore who have long lenses, love wildlife and didn’t know where to go have joined me in helping raise awareness of our wildlife and focus on conservation. So far, I have recorded around 180 bird species of Sindh and above 200 across the country,” he tells thethirdpole.net.
Beg is worried about the threats humans pose to the birds. “Threats to our wildlife include the burgeoning human population, boom in real estate development, uncontrolled hunting of game birds like Grey Francolin, migratory birds and trigger-happy hunters shooting during the breeding season, netting and sale both for meals and business,” he says. “Loss of habitat has been predominantly due to the real estate expansion in places like DHA phase 8 of Karachi, where I have recorded more than 30 bird species that will not be there in years to come.”
Here is Beg’s own selection of birds photographed by him.
This article originally appeared on The Third Pole and has been reproduced with permission.