First Bird Atlas in India: Importance for Environment and Biodiversity

First Bird Atlas in India: Importance for Environment and Biodiversity

Question: Kerala will be the first state in the history of the nation to create a bird atlas. Provide an overview of this avian guide.

• Kerala is the first state in India to create a complete and comprehensive avian guide only developed countries like UK, US and Australia presently have

• Atlas documents domestic and migratory bird population across 39,000 sq km of the state

• It will serve as a valuable resource for those who want to know more about the flora and fauna of the state

• It is also an extremely reliable barometer for measurement and monitoring of biodiversity

• It has been launched by Indian Bird Conservation Network’s Kerala Unit in collaboration with well known Bombay Natural History Society and Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in UK

• This will also provide insight into changes in nature as birds signal an important part of the ecosystem’s condition

• Kerala has the most advanced bird watching programme in the nation

• Kerala has 6 bird monitoring schemes including common birds, heronries, pelagic birds, forest birds and water birds

• The coordinator of this project is P. O. Nameer from the College of Forestry

• Entire area of the state will be divided into cells of one square km each and at the end of the 5 year project, there is documentation of the bird population in each cell of Kerala
• Bird atlas will provide precise distribution pattern of birds of the region and accurate trends for bird presence

• Wetlands of Kerala will also be protected through the publication of this atlas

Facts and Stats

• This state is home to 475 bird species and of them, 15 are endemic to the Western Ghats

• This state also has 35 important Bird and Biodiversity Areas and 11 recently identified IBAs

• Some of the common species found in Kerala are common myna, crow pheasant, and red whiskered bulbul

• Rare species found in this region include Nilgiri wood pigeon, Malabar parakeet, Nilgiri flycatcher and black and orange fly catcher
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