Bird survey finds eleven new species in Periyar Tiger Reserve
The survey also helped confirm the presence of 11 species of birds that were not recorded during the previous surveys, said assistant field director P J Shuhaib.
KOCHI: A four-day bird survey conducted by the forest department has identified 231 species of birds in the Periyar Tiger Reserve. Among the birds identified during the survey, 14 belonged to endangered species and 20 were endemic to the Western Ghats.
The survey also helped confirm the presence of 11 species of birds that were not recorded during the previous surveys, said assistant field director P J Shuhaib. The most significant observation of the bird survey was the spotting of two Kashmir Flycatchers in the Periyar Tiger Reserve. The bird breeds in the north-west Himalayas in the Kashmir region and migrates to the hills of central Sri Lanka and the Western Ghats during winter. This is the first time the bird has been spotted in the Periyar Tiger Reserve.
The survey also recorded sightings of seven orange-breasted green pigeon, a bird found across tropical Asia south of the Himalayas. A significant observation is the spotting of 11 species of birds for the first time. These species are normally found in the dry tropical regions of Tamil Nadu and the presence of the species could be an indicator of climate change. “We cannot say the spotting of these birds indicates change in ecosystem. However, we have to study the indicators to comment on it,” said Kerala Agricultural University department of wildlife science head P O Nameer.
The species recorded for the first time are little grebe (4), orange breasted green pigeon (7), cinnamon bittern (1), black headed ibis (5), greater spotted eagle (12), white eyed buzzard (2), mottled wood owl (3), Indian roller (2), yellow crowned woodpecker (5), Kashmir flycatcher (2) and Siberian stonechat (2).
The endangered species spotted during the survey are night wood pigeon, white bellied shola bird (14), great hornbill (228), Kashmir flycatcher (2), Malabar parakeet (1810), greater spotted eagle (12), pallid harrier (8), Malabar grey hornbill (541), Palani laughing thrush (153), grey-headed bulbul (82), black and orange flycatcher (30), Nilgiri flycatcher (60), green imperial pigeon (24) and rufous-bellied eagle (21).
The survey was coordinated by chief conservator P P Pramod and led by PTR east division deputy director Patil Suyog Subhash Rao, assistant field director P J Shuhaib, conservation biologists Anoop Vijayakumar, Ramesh Babu, scientist P O Nameer and bird watchers Premchand Reghuvaran and Ahmed Omar.