Journal of Threatened Taxa | www.threatenedtaxa.org | 26 March 2018 | 10(3): 11399–11409

 

 

 

 

A checklist of bird communities In Tamhini Wildlife Sanctuary, the northern Western Ghats, Maharashtra, India

 

Dhananjay Chavan Vinayak 1 & Subhash Vitthal Mali 2

 

1 Department of Environmental Science, Fergusson College, affiliated to Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune, Maharashtra 411004, India

2 Department of Environmental Science, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune, Maharashtra 411007, India

1 vinayakdc002@gmail.com (corresponding author), 2 subhash.environment@gmail.com

 

 

 

Abstract: Bird communities in Tamhini Wildlife Sanctuary in the northern Western Ghats were studied using line transect and point count methods from the year 2011 to 2013.  The updated checklist of birds at the Sanctuary is now represented by 164 bird species.  The present study reported 35 new records to the area, while 15 earlier reported bird species were not observed.  Overall, 55 insectivorous, 19 omnivorous, 14 granivorous, nine piscivorous, eight frugivorous, eight carnivorous and six nectarivorous species were observed.  Out of these, 98 were residents, 17 winter visitors, three vagrant visitors and one was summer migrant.  Four restricted range species were recorded from the Sanctuary as Nilgiri Wood Pigeon Columba elphinstonii, Malabar Grey Hornbill Ocyceros griseus, White-bellied Blue Flycatcher Cyornis pallipes and Crimson-backed Sunbird Leptocoma minima.  Human activities such as pruning, cutting, grazing, fires, quarrying, trailing and camping were also reported in and around the Sanctuary.

 

Keywords: Avifauna, checklist, human activities, Tamhini, Western Ghats.

 

 

 

 

doi: http://doi.org/10.11609/jott.3377.10.3.11399-11409   |  ZooBank: urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:D594549F-1665-45CD-9453-53B8BB020CE5

 

Editor: V. Gokula, National College, Tiruchirappalli, India.              Date of publication: 26 March 2018 (online & print)

 

Manuscript details: Ms # 3377 | Received 18 May 2017 | Final received 03 March 2018 | Finally accepted 07 March 2018

 

Citation: Vinayak, D.C. & S.V. Mali (2018). A checklist of bird communities In Tamhini Wildlife Sanctuary, the northern Western Ghats, Maharashtra, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 10(3): 11399–11409; http://doi.org/10.11609/jott.3377.10.3.11399-11409

 

Copyright: © Vinayak & Mali 2018. 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.

 

Author Details: Dhananjay Chavan Vinayak works in ecology and interested in disturbance ecology to understand impact of ecological disturbances on terrestrial vertebrates using GIS. Subhash Vitthal Mali worked on conservation biology of Malabar Giant Squirrel, species recovery of endangered medicinal plants, joint forest management, environmental impact assessments and environment management of industrial projects.

 

Author Contribution: DCV and SVM designed the study plan. DCV carried out the field work. DCV wrote the manuscript and SVM provided critical inputs.

 

Acknowledgements: We would like to express our deep sense of gratitude to the villagers of Tamhini and tribal people for their support during the field surveys.  We are thankful to the forest department for providing geographic limits of the Sanctuary.  We acknowledge Dr. Mandar Datar for sharing his insights on the flora of the sanctuary.  We thank our friends Avishkar Munje, Anish Pardeshi, Shekhar Marathe and Dhairyashil Jagdale for their support during the fieldwork.  We thank Rohan Jogalekar and Swapnil Thatte for proving some field photographs. We specially thank Amruta Chavan and Amir Mulla for thier off field support.

 

 

 

 

Introduction

 

Birds are known as ecological indicators of habitat quality (Bibby 1999; Morelli et al. 2014) as bird species composition varies across vegetation types and depends on stratification, canopy density, altitude, season and disturbance (Das 2008; Jayson & Mathew 2003).  Comparing temporal information on bird communities helps to keep track of any change in species composition and alterations in habitats at local level.  The present study provides information on bird communities composition and their habitat utilization in the Tamhini Wildlife Sanctuary (TWS).

TWS is spread across Pune and Raigad districts of Maharashtra, India. The Sanctuary spans over 49.05km2 of geographical extent between 18020Õ–18030ÕN & 73021Õ-730 30ÕE and altitude ranging from 560–1,050 m.  Vegetation in this northern part of the Western Ghats is broadly classified as tropical semi-evergreen forest (Champion & Seth 1968).  The secondary vegetation formations include patches of open forest, scrubs and grasses.

Vegetation is represented by tree species such as Memecelon umbellatum, Syzygium cumini, Terminalia bellerica, Diospyros montana, Termanilia paniculata, Meyna laxiflora, Actinodaphne angustifolia, Albizia chinensis, Neolamarkia kadamba, Termanalia elliptica, Lagerstroemia microcarpa, Ficus racemosa and Macaranga peltata, while the scrubs are represented by Bridelia retusa, Catunaregam spinosa and Erythrina stricta.  Among grassy patches species like Dimeria stafiana, Fimbristylis lawianus, Themeda triandra, Apluda mulica, Iscaemum polytrias, Hetropogon ritchiei, H. contortus, Sehina nervosa, Oplismenus burmannii, Arthraxon lanceolatus, A. hispida etc. are common (Datar 2016; Potdar et al. 2012).

 

 

Methods

 

The base map of the Sanctuary was prepared by using Gram ++ software and sampling sites locations were collected and imported to the software by using Global Positioning System (Garmin, GPS 60).

Surveys were conducted using line transects at 12 accessible sites and point counts at three dense and inaccessible sites (Bibby et al. 2000), covering six major habitats, viz. dense forest (Fd), open forest (Fo), sparse open forest with scrub (Fs), cliffs and plateaus with rocks and grasses (C), agriculture (A), and water bodies (W) (Fig. 1; Images 1–4).  These habitats were walked between sunrise to 10:00hr from October 2011 to September 2013.  Birds were directly observed by binoculars (Olympus: 8x40, 10x50) and calls of species were used to confirm the presence of species; however, species were recorded only after their sighting.  Identification of most of the bird species was possible on the field, while for the ambiguities in identification, Grimmett et al. (2011) was referred.  Sightings of bird species were ranked according to following abundance categories-—Stray (S) (1 or 2 sightings), Occasional (O) (3–5 sightings), Uncommon (U) (6–15 sightings), Common (C) (16–25 sightings) and Abundant (A) (>25 sightings).  Cumulative number of species recorded was plotted against number of samples.  Migratory status and feeding guild of species were observed and referred to literature (Pande  2003; Grimmett et al. 2011).

 

 

Results and Discussion

 

The updated checklist of birds at TWS including present and past records, now contains 164 species (Table 1; Images 5–16).  The present study alone reported 149 species belonging to 59 families and 17 orders, of which 119 within TWS while 30 were just outside TWS limit.  Past survey in 1997–98 (Padhye et al. 2007) reported 102 species.  Highlights of the present survey includes 35 new records of species to the area, 87 common species to that of the earlier survey; 84 of which were recorded within sanctuary and three were recorded outside the sanctuary limits, while 15 species from the past survey were not reported.  Feeding guild wise classification of 119 birds species reported within sanctuary limits includes 55 insectivorous, 19 omnivorous, 14 granivorous, nine piscivorous, eight frugivorous, eight carnivorous and six nectarivorous birds.  Of the total, 98 were residents, 17 winter visitors, three were vagrant visitors and one was summer visitor from Konkan region.  The highest number of sightings of species was recorded in agriculture (A), followed by sparse open forest with scrub (Fs), open forest (Fo), dense forest (Fd), water bodies (W) and cliffs and plateaus with rocks and grasses (C).

Four bird species from the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (IUCN 2016) are recorded in the Sanctuary: Indian Vulture Gyps indicus - Critically Endangered, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon Columba elphinstonii - Vulnerable, Malabar Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros coronatus and River Tern Sterna aurantia - Near Threatened.  Seven Western Ghats endemic bird species recorded from the sanctuary were the Nilgiri Wood Pigeon Columba elphinstonii, Malabar Grey Hornbill Ocyceros griseus, White-bellied Blue Flycatcher Cyornis pallipes, Crimson-backed Sunbird Leptocoma minima, White-cheeked Barbet Megalaima viridis, Malabar Lark Galerida malabarica and VigorÕs Sunbird Aethopyga (siparaja) vigorsii, of these, the first four species are listed as restricted range species (Birdlife International 2018).

The study revealed that four species were restricted to a single habitat.  Among this the Indian Vulture was observed nesting and roosting only at higher cliffs of the sanctuary with around 20 individuals and six active nests, while Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Orange-headed Thrush and Crimson-backed Sunbird were reported only from the undisturbed dense semi-evergreen forest.

Five species were widely distributed and found in three or more habitats and nine or more sites.  Among these the Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis found across five habitats and 12 sites, Purple-rumped Sunbird Leptocoma zeylonica found across four habitats and 10 sites, Purple Sunbird Cinnyris asiaticus found across four habitats and 10 sites, Red-whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus found across six habitats and 14 sites and White-cheeked Barbet Megalaima viridis was found across three habitats and 11 sites. Four bird species found restricted towards western side of Western Ghats, i.e., Konkan part of Sanctuary which includes Malabar Grey Hornbill, Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher, Vernal Hanging Parrot and VigorÕs Sunbird.

The present study brings out an updated checklist of bird species, with considerable addition to the earlier recorded avifauna.  It also provides critical information on their habitats along with the abundance in terms of number of sightings.  Though TWS is comparatively small with an area of 49.05km2, it has a high diversity of habitats and rich avifauna including threatened and endemic species.  It houses the locally rare Niligiri Wood Pigeon and globally rare Indian Vulture.  These species are facing population decline, and hence the recent declaration of the Tamhini region as a Wildlife Sanctuary, would go a long way in ensuring protection of such species.  Reduction in existing human disturbances such as pruning, cutting, grazing, fires, quarrying, trailing and camping, would likely bring further change in the species composition and/or distribution (Vijayan & Gokula 2006).  Long-term studies on habitat-wise distribution of the species and impact of ongoing disturbances on bird communities are needed for providing inputs to better conservation of the avifauna and its habitats within the Tamhini Wildlife Sanctuary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 1. Checklist of birds of Tamhini Wildlife Sanctuary, northern Western Ghats, Maharashtra, India.

 

 

Family/Species

Feeding guild

Migratory status

Habitat

Locality

Total sightings

Abundance

Remarks

 

Accipitridae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Black Kite Milvus migrans

C

R

Fs

7

10

U

PP

2

Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus

C

R

A, W

10, 11, 12, 13

10

U

PP

3

Black Eagle Ictinaetus malayensis

C

R

Fd

3

2

S

NR

4

Bonelli's Eagle Aquila fasciata

 

 

 

 

 

 

OR

5

Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus

 

 

 

 

 

 

OR

6

Crested Hawk Eagle Nisaetus cirrhatus

C

R

Fo, Fs

5, 6, 7

2

S

NR

7

Crested Serpent Eagle Spilornis cheela

C

R

Fo, Fs

4, 6, 7

7

U

PP

8

Oriental Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus

 

 

 

 

 

 

OR

9

Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus

 

 

 

 

 

 

PR

10

Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus

 

 

 

 

 

 

OR

11

Shikra Accipiter badius

C

R

Fs

7

5

O

PP

12

Indian Vulture Gyps indicus

C

R

C

14, 15

11

U

PP

13

White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis

 

 

 

 

 

 

PR

 

Pandionidae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14

Osprey Pandion haliaetus

 

 

 

 

 

 

OR

 

Bucerotidae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15

Malabar Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros coronatus

 

 

 

 

 

 

POR

16

Malabar Grey Hornbill Ocyceros griseus

O

R

Fo, Fs

6

4

O

NR

 

Apodidae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17

Alpine Swift Tachymarptis melba

I

R

C

14, 15

10

U

PP

18

Little Swift Apus affinis

I

R

C, A

14, 15, 10, 11

11

U

PP

 

Caprimulgidae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19

Indian Nightjar Caprimulgus asiaticus

I

R

C

14

3

O

NR

 

Charadriidae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20

Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus

I

R

A

10, 11

7

U

PP

21

Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius

 

 

 

 

 

 

OR

 

Laridae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22

River Tern Sterna aurantia

P

R

W

12, 13

2

S

PP

 

Scolopacidae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

23

Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos

O

W

W

12, 13

2

S

 PP

 

Columbidae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

24

Common Pigeon Columba livia

G

R

Fs, A

7, 8, 9, 10, 11

29

C

PP

25

Nilgiri Wood Pigeon Columba elphinstonii

F

R

Fd

1

3

O

NR

26

Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis

G

W

Fs, A

 9, 11

3

O

NR

27

Eurasian Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto

G

R

Fs, A

9, 11

2

S

PP

28

Red Collared Dove Streptopelia tranquebarica

G

R

Fs, A

7, 9, 11

14

U

PP

29

Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis

G

R

Fs, A

9, 11

9

U

PP

30

Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis

G

R

Fs, A

7, 8, 9, 10, 11

22

C

PP

31

Yellow-legged Green Pigeon Treron phoenicopterus

G

R

Fd, Fo

2, 6

4

O

NR

32

Emerald Dove Chalcophaps indica

G

R

R

4

3

O

NR

 

Alcedinidae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

33

Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher Ceyx erithaca

P

V

W

8

1

S

NR

34

Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis

P

R

A, W

10, 11, 12, 13

10

U

PP

35

Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis

 

 

 

 

 

 

POR

36

White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis

P

R

A, W

10, 11, 12, 13

10

U

PP

37

Stork-billed Kingfisher Pelargopsis capensis

 

 

 

 

 

 

PR

 

Coraciidae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

38

Indian Roller Coracias benghalensis

I

R

Fs

8

4

O

NR

 

Meropidae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

39

Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis

I

R

Fo, Fs, C, A, W

4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 10, 11, 12, 13

24

C

PP

 

Cuculidae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

40

Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis

O

R

A

10, 11

8

U

PP

41

Common Hawk Cuckoo Hierococcyx varius

I

R

Fs

7, 9

3

O

NR

42

Jacobin Cuckoo Clamator jacobins

 

 

 

 

 

 

PR

43

Asian Koel Eudynamys scolopaceus

F

R

Fs, A

7, 9, 10, 11

15

U

PP

44

Blue-Faced Malkoha Phaenicophaeus viridirostris

 

 

 

 

 

 

PR

 

Falconidae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

45

Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus

C

R

C

14, 15

10

U

NR

 

Phasianidae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

46

Indian Peafowl Pavo cristatus

 

 

 

 

 

 

OR

47

Jungle Bush Quail Perdicula asiatica

G

R

Fo

4, 5

2

S

NR

48

Common Quail Coturnix Coturnix

 

 

 

 

 

 

PR

49

Painted Francolin Francolinus pictus

G

R

Fo

5

2

S

PP

50

Grey Junglefowl Gallus sonneratii

G

R

Fo

4, 5

17

C

PP

51

Red Spurfowl Galloperdix spadicea

G

R

Fo

4

2

S

NR

 

Anatidae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

52

Indian Spot-billed Duck Anas poecilorhyncha

 

 

 

 

 

 

OR

53

Common Pochard Aythya ferina

 

 

 

 

 

 

OR

54

Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope

 

 

 

 

 

 

OR

55

Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula

 

 

 

 

 

 

OR

 

Rallidae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

56

Common Coot Fulica atra

 

 

 

 

 

 

OR

57

Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus

I

R

W

12

2

S

PP

58

White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus

I

R

W

12

2

S

PP

 

Acrocephalidae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

59

Blyth's Reed Warbler Acrocephalus dumetorum

I

W

Fs

10

2

S

PP

60

Paddyfield Warbler Acrocephalus Agricola

 

 

 

 

 

 

OR

 

Aegithinidae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

61

Common Iora Aegithina tiphia

I

R

Fo, Fs, A

4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11

16

C

PP

 

Alaudidae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

62

Malabar Lark Galerida malabarica

O

R

C

14, 15

3

O

PP

 

Campephagidae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

63

Orange Minivet Pericrocotus flammeus

I

R

Fo

5

5

O

PP

64

Small Minivet Pericrocotus cinnamomeus

 

 

 

 

 

 

POR

 

Cisticolidae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

65

Ashy Prinia Prinia socialis

I

R

Fs, A

7, 9, 10, 11

17

C

PP

66

Common Tailorbird Orthotomus sutorius

I

R

Fs, A

7, 9, 11

10

U

PP

67

Grey breasted Prinia Prinia hodgsonii

I

R

Fs, A

7, 9, 11

6

U

PP

68

Jungle Prinia Prinia sylvatica

I

R

Fo, Fs

5, 7, 9

6

U

NR

69

Plain Prinia Prinia inornata

 

 

 

 

 

 

OR

 

Corvidae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

70

House Crow Corvus splendens

O

R

Fs, A

7, 9, 10, 11

12

U

PP

71

Indian Jungle Crow Corvus (macrorhynchos) culminatus

O

R

Fs, A

7, 8, 9, 10, 11

34

A

PP

72

Rufous Treepie Dendrocitta vagabunda

 

 

 

 

 

 

PR

 

Dicaeidae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

73

Pale-billed Flowerpecker Dicaeum erythrorhynchos

N

R

Fo, Fs

4, 5, 7

9

U

PP

74

Thick-billed Flowerpecker Dicaeum agile

N

R

Fo, Fs

5, 7

9

U

NR

 

Dicruridae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

75

Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus

I

R

Fs, A

7, 8, 9, 10, 11

8

U

PP

76

Ashy Drongo Dicrurus leucophaeus

I

W

Fs, A, W

7, 8, 9, 10, 11

6

U

NR

77

White-bellied Drongo Dicrurus caerulescens

 

 

 

 

 

 

OR

 

Emberizidae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

78

Crested Bunting Melophus lathami

 

 

 

 

 

 

PR

 

Estrildidae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

79

Scaly-breasted Munia Lonchura punctulata

I

R

Fs, A

7, 8, 9, 11

7

U

PP

 

Fringillidae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

80

Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus

G

W

Fs, A

7, 8, 9, 10, 11

30

C

PP

 

Hirundinidae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

81

Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica

I

R

C, A

14, 15, 10, 11

6

U

PP

82

Wire-tailed Swallow Hirundo smithii

I

R

C, A

14, 15, 10, 11

9

U

PP

83

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica

I

W

C, A

14, 10, 11

4

O

NR

84

Eurasian Crag Martin Ptyonoprogne rupestris

I

W

C, A

14, 15, 10, 11

16

C

NR

85

Dusky Crag Martin Ptyonoprogne concolor

I

R

C, A

14, 15, 10, 11

17

C

PP

 

Irenidae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

86

Golden-fronted Leafbird Chloropsis aurifrons

I

R

Fo

5, 11

5

O

NR

87

Jerdon's Leafbird Chloropsis jerdoni

I

R

Fo

11

1

S

NR

88

Asian Fairy-bluebird Irena puella

 

 

 

 

 

 

PR

 

Laniidae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

89

Bay-backed Shrike Lanius vittatus

I

R

Fs, A

7, 8, 9, 10, 11

12

U

NR

90

Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach

I

R

Fs, A

7, 8, 9, 10, 11

25

C

PP

91

Southern Grey Shrike Lanius meridionalis

 

 

 

 

 

 

PR

 

Leiothrichidae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

92

Brown cheeked fulvetta Alcippe poioicephala

 

 

 

 

 

 

PR

93

Jungle Babbler Turdoides striata

I

R

Fo

4, 5, 6

28

C

PP

94

Large Grey Babbler Argya malcolmi

 

 

 

 

 

 

OR

 

Monarchidae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

95

Black-naped Monarch Hypothymis azurea

I

R

Fd, Fo

1, 4

3

O

NR

 

Motacillidae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

96

Forest Wagtail Dendronanthus indicus

I

W

W

12

3

O

PP

97

Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea

I

W

A, W

 11, 12, 13

7

U

PP

98

Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis

 

 

 

 

 

 

OR

99

White-browed Wagtail Motacilla maderaspatensis

I

R

A, W

 11, 12, 13

5

O

PP

100

White Wagtail Motacilla alba

I

W

A, W

 11, 12

2

S

PP

101

Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava

I

W

W

12, 13

4

O

PP

 

Muscicapidae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

102

Oriental Magpie Robin Copsychus saularis