Journal of Threatened Taxa | | 26 June 2017 | 9(6): 10325–10333







A checklist of the avian fauna of Chittagong University campus, Bangladesh



M. Tarik Kabir 1, M. Farid Ahsan 2, M. Mizanur Rahman 3 & M. Manirul Islam 4



1 Wildlife and Biodiversity Conservation Officer, Wildlife Management and Nature Conservation Division, Rajshahi, Bangladesh

2,3 Department of Zoology, University of Chittagong, Chittagong, Bangladesh

4 Wildlife and Biodiversity Conservation Officer, Wildlife Management and Nature Conservation Division, Khulna, Bangladesh

1 (corresponding author), 2, 3, 4





doi: | ZooBank:


Editor: Hem Baral, Zoological Society of London (ZSL) Nepal Office, Kathmandu, Nepal. Date of publication: 26 June 2017 (online & print)


Manuscript details: Ms # 1885 | Received 05 November 2016 | Final received 13 April 2017 | Finally accepted 03 May 2017


Citation: Kabir, M.T., M.F. Ahsan, M.M. Rahman & M.M. Islam (2017). A checklist of the avian fauna of Chittagong University campus, Bangladesh. Journal of Threatened Taxa 9(6): 10325–10333;


Copyright: © Kabir et al. 2017. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. JoTT allows unrestricted use of this article in any medium, reproduction and distribution by providing adequate credit to the authors and the source of publication.


Funding: Self-funded.


Competing interests: The authors declare no competing interests.


Acknowledgements: Many young and famous birdwatchers accompanied us during the field visits. Of which Mr. Enam Ul Haque helped us to identify a few species; Rajib Chandra Bhowmick, Ayesha Khatoon, Foysal, Omar Sahadat, Rubel, Ibrahim Al Haidar, Toriqul Islam, Ariful Islam, A.H. Noman, Alamgir Hossain, Abdur Rahman, We also greatly acknowledge to Md. Shahidul Islam, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Chittagong, Chittagong, Bangladesh for preparing the map of CUC Asheque and many others accompanied us during field observations. We owe our gratitude to them.




Abstract: Avian composition of the Chittagong University Campus (CUC), Chittagong, Bangladesh was studied through direct field observations between 2007 and 2014. Two-hundred-and-fifteen species belonging to 63 families were recorded during the study period, which are 33.08% of the country’s total species of birds. Among the birds, 160 species were resident, 51 migratory and 4 vagrant; of which 101 species were very common, 36 common, 29 uncommon, 22 few and 27 rare. The status of these birds in CUC has also been compared with the country’s status. The species richness of birds in the study area reveals that it is a potential habitat for birds, so an urgent step should be taken to conserve this unique habitat in Bangladesh.


Keywords: Bangladesh, birds, Chittagong University Campus, diversity, species richness, status.




Bangladesh sustains diverse avian composition compared to its small land area (Khan 1982; Sarker & Sarker 1988; Khan 2008; Siddiqui et al. 2008). More than 650 species of birds have so far been sighted in the country (Siddiqui et al. 2008). Chittagong University Campus (CUC) is a notable bird habitat in the country. Asmat et al. (1985) published the first list of the birds of CUC and then Ahsan & Khanom (2005). Later, Kamruzzaman et al. (2007) made an additional list of birds of the CUC. Similarly, birds of some other institutional campuses in Bangladesh have also been reported, for instance, Rajshahi University Campus, Rajshahi (Haque 1976; Reza et al. 2012), Jahangirnagar University Campus, Savar, Dhaka (Feeroz et al. 1988; Mohsanin & Khan 2009), BARD (Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development), Comilla (Jaman et al. 2011) and Dhaka University Campus (Chowdhury et al. 2014). The last adding list of birds of the CUC (see Kamruzzaman et al. 2007) has already been passed one decade. Since the last published paper, many researchers have added new sightings to the checklist of the birds of the CUC from time to time based on regular intensive field visits. This paper provides the list of all the birds observed during the present study period in the CUC.



Study area and ecological features

The CUC is situated at Fatehpur, a village of Hathazari Upazila (sub-district) under Chittagong District of Bangladesh; about 22km north of Chittagong City and 3km southwest of Hathazari Upazila headquarter. It is connected with the Chittagong-Rangamati road little closer to Chittagong­­–Nazirhat railway branch line. The study area is situated at the close proximity of Sitakunda Hill Forest. The area lies between 22.45833333–22.48333333 N & 91.77500000–91.79583333 E (Fig. 1). The campus covers an area of 7km2 ( The CUC is dominated by hills, valleys, creeks and streams, lakes, crop fields, and grass and fallow lands. This is the junction of hills and plains adorned with hilly streams. These features constitute a suitable habitat for avian diversity. Approximately, 72% of the total land is constituted by hillocks, which are 15–90 m high (Islam et al. 1979). The rest of the land is valley and/or plain.

The primary semi-evergreen vegetation of CUC area (Champion 1936) is heavily affected due to anthropogenic factors and consequently lost and now it is a secondary growth (Ahsan & Khanom 2005). Through plantation and natural regeneration the area has become a unique habitat for birds and other wildlife (see also Asmat et al. 2003; Ahsan & Khanom 2005; Ahsan & Chowdhury 2008; Ahsan & Rahman 2014; Ahsan et al. 2015). About 665 species of plants have so far been reported from the CUC (Alam & Pasha 1999). During observation of the study period, birds consumed either nectar, pulp, or fruit of 87 plants species of which 59 and 28 species are native and exotic respectively. Although the upper canopy is not yet prominently distinct but planted Dipterocarpus spp. cover it. The middle canopy, lower canopy and undergrowth are the major nesting, roosting and foraging habitat of the birds. Hilly stream, lake and water bodies attract waders and other water birds. Trees, scrub forest, undergrowth and water bodies constitute unique habitats for the birds in the campus. The major habitats for the birds in the CUC are Katapahar, Botanical garden, south campus, Vice Chancellor’s Hill, and north side of the Shaheed Abdur Rab Hall (Fig. 1).



Materials and Methods

The present checklist is a result of long time field work from 2007–2014. Field observations were conducted early morning (06:00–10:00 hr) and evening (16:00–18:00 hr) in every month from 2007–2010 and every week of every month from 2011–2014. Observations were made by walking through the existing roads, walking trails, bridle paths and streams/creeks. Birds were identified through direct sightings and calls. Opportunistic sightings have also been included in this checklist, which are sighted by the authors and/or other bird watchers. Bushnell (10x42), Opticron (8x32) and Vixen (8x32) binoculars and field guides (Ali & Ripley 1983; Grimmett et al. 2001; Siddiqui et al. 2008) were used in the field for identification of the recorded birds. Photographs and long hand notes were also taken to identify the bird species following guidebooks on birds. The relative frequency of the presence of the species has been assessed as very common (VC): seen during 80–100 % of the field visits; common (C): found during 50–79 % of the field visits; uncommon (UC): observed during 20–49% of the field visits; few (F): met less than 19% field visits and rare (R): found occasionally (Khan 1982). Scientific and common names are based on BirdLife International (2016). All species have been categorized as resident, migrants and vagrants based on Siddiqui et al. (2008).







Two-hundred-and-fifteen species of birds representing 63 families were observed from the CUC during 2007–2014, of which 107 (49.77%) species were non-passerine and 108 (50.23%) passerine (Table 1). Resident birds (74.42%) constituted major avifaunal composition in the campus and local migrants (0.47%) the lowest (Fig. 2). Very Common and Few constituted the highest (46.98%) and the lowest (10.23%) composition respectively (Fig. 3). Among them, Chestnut-winged Cuckoo Clamator coromandus, Baillon’s Crake Zapornia pusilla, Yellow-wattled Lapwing Vanellus malabaricus, Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus, Blue-naped Pitta Hydrornis nipalensis, Crow-billed Drongo Dicrurus annectens, Black-breasted Thrush Turdus dissimilis, and Thick-billed Flowerpecker Dicaeum agile are rare resident birds at the CUC and are rare in the whole country (Siddiqui et al. 2008). The CUC is a natural breeding ground of many bird species and the Red Junglefowl Gallus gallus and Kalij Pheasant Lophura leucomelanos are the most important breeding species of the CUC. Breeding ecology and habits of these species are little known and population is also declining at an alarming rate at CUC (M. Tarik Kabir per. obs. 2014).













Though the CUC is a small area its bird life is quite rich and diverse, and it supports 33.08% of the total avian fauna of Bangladesh. Furthermore, every year new records are being added, so, the total number of bird species in the CUC is expected to increase in due course of time.

Ahsan (M. Farid Ahsan pers. comm. 15 March 2014) listed 75 species during 1983–84 and Asmat et al. (1985) reported 79 species of birds from the CUC. Ahsan & Khanom (2005) accounted for the occurrence of 92 species at the campus. Later, Kamruzzaman et al. (2007) added 34 species to the list of Asmat et al. (1985), which made a total of 113 species for the CUC. Kamruzzaman et al. (2007) also listed three species: Brown-headed Barbet Psilopogon zeylanicus, White-cheeked Barbet Psilopogon viridis and White-naped Tit Machlolophus nuchalis, which are, in fact, new records for the country, although they did not mention it, but assessed their status as ‘very common’ (Brown-headed Barbet) and fairly common (White-cheeked Barbet and White-naped Tit). Obviously, they (Kamruzzaman et al. 2007) made a mistake in identifying these three birds because of the occurrence of these birds in Bangladesh has not yet been confirmed by any other researcher. It should be mentioned here that 39 species of birds were reported from the CUC by other researchers (Table 2) but these were not seen during this study period (2007–2014), and hence these species have not been included in the present list. This list further provides reconfirmation of the continual occurrence of the bird species recorded previously by other researchers.







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