Journal of Threatened Taxa | www.threatenedtaxa.org | 26 September 2018 | 10(10): 12299–12316

 

 

Urban biodiversity: an insight into the terrestrial vertebrate diversity of Guwahati, India

 

Jayaditya Purkayastha

 

Help Earth, H/N:16, Raghunath Choudhury Path Lachitnagar, Lachit Nagar, Guwahati, Assam 781007, India

mail.jayaditya@gmail.com

 

 

 

doi: https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.3721.10.10.12299-12316   |  ZooBank: urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:8A2095BE-ECCE-4982-AFF6-BDCD151576FA

 

Editor: C. Srinivasulu, Osmania University, Hyderabad, India  Date of publication: 26 September 2018 (online & print)

 

Manuscript details: Ms # 3721 | Received 08 August 2017 | Final received 05 July 2018 | Finally accepted 10 September 2018

 

Citation: Purkayastha, J. (2018). Urban biodiversity: an insight into the terrestrial vertebrate diversity of Guwahati, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 10(10): 12299–12316; https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.3721.10.10.12299-12316

 

Copyright: © Purkayastha 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: Rufford Small Grants.

 

Competing interests: The author declares no competing interests.

 

Author Details: Dr. Jayaditya Purkayastha founder general secretary of NGO Help Earth (www.helpearth.co.in). He is also a member of IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. His main area of research is taxonomy of herpetofauna of Indo-Burma region.  His current work includes  conservation and research pertaining to Urban Biodiversity of northeastern India.

 

Acknowledgments: I am thankful to Rufford Small Grants and Assam Science Technology & Environment Council for funding during the project period. This work would not have been possible without support for Kamrup Metropolitan District Administration and Assam Forest Department.  Thanks you Sanath Bohra for assisting in the field survey.

 

 

 

 

Abstract: This study focuses on the assessment of the terrestrial vertebrate diversity of Guwahati.  Twenty-six species of amphibians, 57 species of reptiles, 214 species of birds, and 36 species of mammals were recorded during the study period.  Thirty-three species were found to be threatened with extinction and another 62 species need evaluation.  A single species of turtle was found to be categorized as Extinct in the Wild under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

 

Keywords: Assam, Biodiversity, city, Deepor Beel, Guwahati, urban, vertebrate.

 

Abbreviations: EW: Extinct in the Wild; CR: Critically Endangered; EN: Endangered; VU: Vulnerable; NT: Near Threatened, LC: Least Concern; DD: Data Deficient; NE: Not Evaluated; NS: Non Scheduled, I: Schedule I of Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972; II: Schedule II of Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972; III: Schedule III of Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972; IV: Schedule IV of Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972; V: Schedule V of Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972; *: Introduced Species.

 

 

 

introduction

 

It has been estimated that the urban population of developing countries is growing at the rate of five million people per month.  Roughly 70% of global population is expected to be urban by 2050, and the total urban area is expected to triple between 2000 and 2030 (U-Habitat 2013).  Recent studies have focussed on the biodiversity of urban areas.  A study in Hyderabad documented 1,305 vascular plant species, 30 odonates, 42 spiders, 141 butterflies, 60 fish, 16 amphibians, 41 reptiles, 314 birds and 58 mammal species (Srinivasulu & Srinivasulu 2012).  A study at National Environmental Engineering Research Institute campus at Nagpur, Maharashtra recorded 135 vascular plants including 16 monocots and 119 dicots, belonging to 115 genera and 53 families (Gupta et al. 2008).  A rapid assessment survey at the campus of Indian Institute of Technology, Madras recorded 298 plant species, 50 butterflies, eight amphibians, 13 reptiles, 51 birds and 12 mammal species (Care Earth 2006).  Sudha & Ravindranath (2000) recorded 374 species of plants in Bangalore, where a study of street trees identified 108 species belonging to 33 families (Nagendra & Gopal 2010).  A similar study in Delhi found 125 tree species (Bhalla & Bhattacharya 2015).  A study in Chennai metropolitan city revealed the presence of 45 species of plants representing 21 families (Muthulingam & Thangavel 2012).

During the past 50 years the population of India has grown 2.5-fold and the urban population five-fold (Taubenböck et al. 2009).  Analyses suggest that 8% of terrestrial vertebrate species on the IUCN Red List are imperiled largely because of urban development (McDonald et al. 2008), and 13% of endemics are in ecoregions that are under threat from urban expansion (McDonald et al. 2018).  Thus, it is important to take research and conservation efforts regarding urban biodiversity more seriously.  In urban landscapes the participation of inhabitants is a must for conservation, where effort must be invested in sensitising the community about the benefits of conserving urban biodiversity.  Some of the services provided by urban biodiversity are improvement of air quality and regulation of microclimate by urban parks and vegetation.  Tree cover and vegetation also helps in proper percolation of rain water to soil, adding to ground water and reducing floods while improving quality of life by adding aesthetic and recreational value.  It has been estimated that a ten percent increase in canopy cover can reduce local temperature by 3-–4 0C (Gill et al. 2007; Middel et al. 2015).

Guwahati (26.1440N & 91.7360E), the capital of Assam, is the biggest urbanized centre of northeastern India.  The city falls within the Indo-Burma Biodiversity Hotspot, situated between the southern bank of the Brahmaputra River and the foothills of the Shillong plateau.  It is spread over 216.79km2 area, and has a population of around a million with a density of 2695.43 humans per sq.km.  The city is situated on undulating plain with varying altitude of 49.5–55.5 m.  The city is surrounded by 18 hills.  Guwahati has eight reserve forests (South Kalapahar RF, Fatasil RF, Jalukbari RF, Gotanagar RF, Hengrabari RF, Sarnai Hill RF, Garbhanga RF, Rani RF) and two wildlife sanctuaries (Deepor beel WLS and Amchang WLS) along with an internationally acclaimed wetland and Ramsar Site, the Deepor Beel, within the city limits.  Deepor Beel Wildlife Sanctuary (WS) is a part (4.01km2) of the Ramsar site which is 40km2 in area.  The mighty Brahmaputra River flows through the city for about 25km dividing it into northern and southern areas (Devi & Bhattacharyya 2015).

Guwahati has a tropical monsoon climate and receives about 1,600mm annual rainfall with an average annual temperature of 230C.  Certain patches of forest still exist within the city (Fig. 1).  The overall habitat type in the study area mainly comprises of forest patches, scrublands, grasslands, plantations, wetlands, agricultural lands, human settlements and commercial areas.  The forest patches are of moist deciduous type (Purkayastha 2012, 2015).

Due to urbanization and anthropogenic pressure, the biodiversity of the city is under stress.  Cutting of hills, illegal felling of trees and degradation of wetlands is having an immense adverse effect on the biodiversity of the city.  The hills of the city are used for illegal settlements most of which are reserve forest lands raising serious ecological concern.  In the hills within Guwahati Municipal Area, there are 65,894 households of which 10,208 are within reserve forests (Devi & Bhattacharyya 2015).  Importantly, a large part of Guwahati has been developed by filling of wetlands and the process of filling and degradation of wetlands still continues.  Owing to this, Guwahati is seeing a rise of the artificial flood in the low lying city centers.

Due to factors cited above, an assessment of biodiversity of Guwahati becomes important for the formulation of long-term conservation policies.  It is a fact that Guwahati has lost a big chunk of its biodiversity, but quantification of the same is not possible as we do not have data on its biodiversity from the past to compare with the present status of biodiversity.  This paper provides an inventory of terrestrial vertebrate biodiversity occurring in the city limits of Guwahati.

 

 

Materials and Methods

 

This study was conducted between the year 2011 and 2016 spanning over a period of six years with survey emphasizing on terrestrial vertebrates.  The study site was the Guwahati city (26.18590N, 91.74770E), the biggest metropolis of northeastern India and the economic hub of the region (Fig. 1).  Since the main goal of the study was to create a checklist, visual encounter survey (Crump & Scott 1994) employing randomized walk (Lambert 1984) was conducted.  Active search (Rolfe & McKenzie 2000) was employed specifically for herpetofaunal survey.  For herpetofaunal survey, six man hours were invested per survey, with an approximate of six surveys per month from April to October each year between 2011 and 2016.  Most of these surveys were undertaken in the evening and early night which also covered observations on nocturnal birds and mammals.  Bird surveys were conducted round the year, with more survey efforts being invested during the winters (November–March).  We used Olympus 10X50 DPS binocular for the survey.  Twelve man hours were generally invested per survey with most conducted in early morning or evening.  Mammal survey was conducted in association with bird survey.  Records of rescued animal with locality details by Assam State Zoo were also taken into account while creating the checklist.  In most cases animals were photographed and identified using literature (Smith 1931, 1935, 1943; Ahmed et al. 2009; Grimmett et al. 2011; Purkayastha 2012; Menon 2014).

 

 

Results

 

During this study a total of 332 species of terrestrial vertebrates were recorded.  Birds were found to be the most diverse group accounting for 214 species, followed by reptiles (57 species), mammals (36 species) and amphibians (25 species).

Amphibia: A total of 26 species of amphibians representing seven families were encountered.  Among these, a single species is Vulnerable, four species are Data Deficient and 21 species are Least Concern (IUCN 2017).  Of these, 11 species are included in Schedule IV of Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 (IWPA) and rest were non-scheduled species (Table 1; Images 1–16).

Reptilia: A total of 53 species of reptiles representing eleven families were encountered from Guwahati City during the present study.  Among these, a single species is Extinct in the Wild (Black Softshell Turtle), two species are Endangered, five are Vulnerable, 31 species are Not Evaluated and 14 species are Least Concern as per the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (IUCN 2017).  Of these, seven species are under Schedule I, three are under Schedule II, 25 are under Schedule IV of Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 (IWPA) and the rest are non-scheduled animals (Table 2; Images 17–43).

Aves: Birds are the most diverse group of animals found in the study area, with 214 species representing 59 families.  One species is Critically Endangered (Baer’s Pochard), two species each are Endangered (Greater Adjutant Stork, Steppe Eagle) and Vulnerable (Common Pochard, Lesser Adjutant), 14 species are Near Threatened and the rest are Least Concern species (IUCN 2017).  Three species are listed in Schedule I, one species in Schedule V, and the rest were in the Schedule IV of Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 (IWPA, Table 3; Images 44–58).

Mammalia: Mammals were represented by 36 species in 21 families.  One species is Critically Endangered (Chinese Pangolin ), six species are Endangered (Gee’s Golden Langur, Bengal Slow Loris, Asiatic Elephant, Hog Deer, Dhole, and Ganges River Dolphin), six species are Vulnerable (Capped Langur, Smooth-coated Otter, Sambar, Leopard, Gaur, and Western Hoolock Gibbon), and the remaining twenty two species are Least Concern (IUCN 2017).  A total of 36 species are scheduled under Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 (Schedule I: ten species, Schedule II: 14 species, Schedule II: four species, Schedule IV: a single species, Schedule V: five species and two non-scheduled species (Images 59–63).

 

Conservation status

The conservation status of about 60% of the reptilian fauna recorded from Guwahati is yet to be evaluated (IUCN 2017), creating conservation concerns.  Of all the turtles mentioned here, most of these are found in temple ponds of Urgratara and Kamakhya.  Though protected by law, unorganized turtle trade for flesh and as pet still continues within the city.  There also exists illegal trade for local bird species such parakeets which are sometimes sold under the veil of exotic bird trade.

 

Threats

The major threats to the terrestrial vertebrates of Guwahati perceived during the study are:

Habitat destruction and alteration: Many of the green patches are cleared away for constructional activities.  Even the hills are used for settlement more than ever before with the city becoming the economic hub of the region.  Again these hills are continuously exploited for resources.  The city itself is fast losing its floral diversity and many of the trees planted through afforestation program lack suitability to provide nesting sites for birds.  Moreover, concrete structures are replacing the age old Assam type houses which used to have nooks and corners providing living space to birds.  Stone quarries and felling of trees in the hills is making the situation worse (All India Disaster Mitigation Institute 2014).  The blasting of dynamite in stone quarries has made many species leave the area and surroundings.  The blasting activities adjacent to Deepor Beel poses a challenge to its birdlife.

Degradation and filling up of wetlands: Most of Guwahati is reclaimed from wetlands and the process is a continuous one.  As a result of the loss of wetland, we are losing out on a wide range of biodiversity which in turn is disturbing the local ecological balance.  Due to filling up of the wetland, the city is under artificial floods more than ever before (All India Disaster Mitigation Institute 2014).  Deepor beel, the biggest wetland of the city, suffers from degradation of water quality, encroachment, and development of industries around it.  The wetland famous for its birdlife is fast losing its glamor with fewer birds visiting the place.

Lack of interest: Urban biodiversity conservation gets the least priority in the conservation arena in the region.  In fact, the term urban biodiversity is alien to many policy makers.  Thus very few efforts are taken in the region for research and conservation of urban biodiversity.

 

 

Discussion

 

Cities form less than 3% of the terrestrial surface of the Earth, but they are responsible for 78% of carbon emissions, 60% of residential water use, and 76% of the wood used for various industrial purposes (Grimm et al. 2008).  On the other hand, urban trees absorb pollutants to improve air quality and reduce the effects of greenhouse gases and, in some cases, they may do so three times more effectively than adjacent exurban forests (Akbari 2002).  Since urban ecosystem is a human modified one, human induced habitat alteration makes the ecosystem susceptible to invasion of non-native species (Aggarwal & Butsch 2012).  In this study, we also found an invasive reptile, Hemidactylus flaviviridis Rüppell, 1835, which was initially restricted to the commercial area but now has started spreading to residential areas and having a negative effect on native gecko populations (Das et al. 2011).  The gecko made its way to the city through the interstate transportation system.  Similarly, introduction of exotic trees is a threat not only to native trees but also the biodiversity dependent on these native trees.  A decline in bird diversity was seen with the increase in exotic plant species in Delhi (Khera et al. 2009).  It is a myth that cities cannot be rich in biodiversity.  Infact, with proper management plan and peoples participation cities can serve as a hub of biodiversity.  A study of 61 gardens in the city of Sheffield, UK, found 4,000 species of invertebrates, 80 species of lichen, more than 1,000 species of plants (McDonald et al. 2008).  One of the most developed cities in the world, Singapore still has a wealth of biodiversity.  Among the native species recorded are 2,145 vascular plants, 52 mammals, 364 birds, 301 butterflies, 127 dragonflies, 103 reptiles, 400 spiders, 66 freshwater fishes, and 255 hard corals.  Between 2000 and 2010, intensive surveys found more than 500 species of plants and animals new to Singapore, of which more than 100 were new to science (Cities & Biodiversity Outlook 2012).  All of this points to the potentially huge scope of urban biodiversity research.

Since most of the studies in terms of biodiversity are conducted within protected areas (Brandon & Wells 1992; Scott et al. 2001; Rodrigues et al. 2004), human aspect in the framework of biodiversity is not well studied.  India’s population is currently about 30% urban and is expected to become 50% urban by about 2044 (Cities & Biodiversity Outlook 2012).  All these point to the fact that our country will have more urbanized space than ever before with more proportion of biodiversity occupying these urbanized spaces.  Thus we are in need of better understanding of the multidimensional aspect of urban biodiversity taking in consideration, the human aspect for formulating long term research and conservation policies.

 

Recommendations

1. Afforestation effort is to be hastened, but the selection of plant species is an important aspect.  Often fast growing trees, usually exotic, are selected for the purpose rather than suitable trees, such as fruiting trees and trees which the birds generally prefer for building nests.

2. Artificial living space, more specifically for birds has to be created by installing nesting boxes and bird feeders.  Not only shall it help birds but shall also help generate interest amongst masses regarding conservation of urban biodiversity.

3. Children’s urban biodiversity tour is another important aspect that would help create awareness and conserve the biodiversity of Guwahati.  These tours can be a part of schools ecological club program; can also be conducted through district administration.  We can only save things we love and can only love things that we have seen, thus these tours shall serve the purpose of conservation in long run.

4. Deepor Beel is one of the most sensitive spots in terms of wetland birds, with 104 species of wetland birds recorded by us in the year 2016 including the endangered Greater Adjutant Stork which has a population of around 240 in the wetland.  Unfortunately, this wetland is facing dual problems.  The wetland is degrading mainly due to anthropogenic activity, and there is a tug of war between the community and an administration unable to find common ground.  The current need to secure the future of the wetland is to adopt an approach that includes water quality improvement of the wetland via bioremediation (bacterial treatment) and a study of the socioeconomic structure of community living around the wetland to provide alternative sources of livelihood to the community who are primarily fishermen (this may include promotion of local handicraft, skill development programme for handicraft using water hyacinth, ecotourism, development of fisheries in government land, etc.).  The selective incentive can be provided to the fishermen to encourage “no-fishing” in breeding seasons to help increase the productivity of the wetland.

5. Turtles are one of the most vulnerable groups of vertebrates with about half of the species threatened with extinction (Turtle Conservation Coalition 2011).  Thus, through captive breeding programme with the stock in the temple ponds, and subsequently through release of the hatched turtles to the wild, we can boost the wild population of these threatened animals.  The temple ponds can thus serve the role of a breeding, conservation and education centers in terms of turtles.

 

 

 

 

 

Table 1. Checklist of amphibian diversity of Guwahati

 

Family

Common name

Scientific name

IUCN/RL

IWPAS

Bufonidae

Common Asian Toad

Duttaphrynus melanostictus (Schneider, 1799)

LC

NS

 

Marbled Toad

Duttaphrynus stomaticus (Lütken, 1864)

LC

NS

Megophryidae

Red-eyed Frog

Leptobrachium smithi (Matsui et al. 1999)

LC

NS

 

White-lipped Horned Toad

Megophrys major Boulenger, 1908

LC

NS

 

Concave-crowned Horned Toad

Megophrys parva (Boulenger, 1893)

LC

NS

Microhylidae

Ornate Narrow-mouthed Frog

Microhyla ornata (Duméril & Bibron, 1841)

LC

NS

 

Berdmore's Narrow-mouthed Frog

Microhyla berdmorei (Blyth, 1856)

LC

NS

Rhacophoridae

Garo Hills Bush Frog

Philautus garo (Boulenger, 1919)

VU

NS

 

Six-lined Tree Frog

Polypedates teraiensis (Dubios, 1987)

LC

NS

 

Double-spotted Tree Frog

Rhacophorus bipunctatus Ahl, 1927

LC

NS

 

Annandale's Pigmy Tree Frog

Chiromantis simus (Annandale, 1915)

LC

NS

Dicroglossidae

Nepal Cricket Frog

Fejervarya nepalensis (Dubois, 1975)

LC

IV

 

Pierre’s Cricket Frog

Fejervarya pierrei (Dubois, 1975)

LC

IV

 

Small Cricket Frog

Fejervarya syhadrensis (Annandale, 1919)

LC

IV

 

Terai Cricket Frog

Fejervarya teraiensis (Dubois, 1975)

LC

IV

 

Skittering Frog

Euphlyctis cyanophlyctis (Schneider, 1799)

LC

IV

 

Indian Bull frog

Hoplobatrachus tigerinus (Daudin, 1802)

LC

IV

 

Khasi Wart Frog

Limnonectes khasianus (Anderson, 1871)

DD

IV

Ranidae

Assam Hills Frog

Clinotarsus alticola (Boulenger, 1882)

LC

IV

 

Theobald’s Ranid Frog

Hylarana tytleri (Theobald, 1868)

LC

IV

 

Bhamo Frog

Humerana humeralis (Boulenger, 1887)

LC

IV

 

Cope’s Assam Frog

Hydrophylax leptoglossa (Cope, 1868)

LC

IV

 

Sengupta’s Cascade Frog

Amolops assamensis (Sengupta, Hussain, Choudhury, Gogoi, Ahmed & Choudhury, 2008)

DD

IV

 

Gerbil Stream Frog

Amolops gerbillus (Annandale, 1912)

LC

IV

Ichthyophidae

Garo Hills Caecilian

Ichthyophis garoensis (Pillai & Ravichandran, 1999)

DD

NS

 

Manipur Moustached Ichthyophis

Ichthyophis moustakius Kamei et al. 2009

DD

NS

 

 

Table 2. Checklist of reptilian diversity of Guwahati

 

Family

Common name

Scientific name

IUCN/RL

IWPAS

Agamidae

Common Garden Lizard

Calotes versicolor (Daidin, 1802)

NE

NS

 

Blue-throated Lizard

Ptyctolaemus gularis (Peters, 1864)

NE

NS

Gekkonidae

Common House Gecko

Hemidactylus frenatus (Duméril & Bibron, 1836)

LC

NS

 

Brook’s House Gecko

Hemidactylus brookii (Gray, 1845)

NE

NS

 

Garnot’s House Gecko

Hemidactylus garnotii (Duméril & Bibron, 1836)

NE

NS

 

Flat-tailed House Gecko

Hemidactylus platyurus (Scheider, 1792)

NE

NS

 

*Yellow-bellied Gecko

Hemidactylus flaviviridis (Rüppell, 1835)

NE

NS

 

Northern House Gecko

Hemidactylus aquilonius (McMahan & Zug, 2007)

NE

NS

 

Tokay Gecko

Gekko gecko (Linnaeus, 1758)

NE

IV

 

Assamese Day Gecko

Cnemaspis assamensis (Das & Sengupta, 2000)

NE

NS

 

 

Cyrtodactylus sp 1

 

NS

 

 

Cyrtodactylus sp 2

 

NS

Scindae

Many Lined Skink

Eutropis multifasciata (Kuhl, 1820)

NE

NS

 

Bronze Skink

Eutropis macularia (Blyth, 1853)

NE

NS

 

Spotted Forest Skink

Sphenomorphus maculates (Blyth, 1853)

NE

NS

 

White-spotted Supple Skink

Lygosoma albopunctata (Gray, 1846)

NE

NS

Varanidae

Bengal Monitor Lizard

Varanus bengalensis (Daudin, 1802)

LC

I

 

Yellow Monitor lizard

Varanus flavescens (Gray, 1827)

LC

I

Typhlopidae

Brahminy Blindsnake

Indotyphlops braminus (Daudin, 1803)

NE

IV

 

Diard’s Blindsnake

Argyrophis diardii (Schlegal, 1839)

LC

IV

Pythonidae

Burmese Python

Python bivittatus (Kuhl, 1820)

VU

I

Colubridae

Rainbow Water Snake

Enhydris enhydris (Schneider, 1799)

LC

IV

 

Common Wolf Snake

Lycodon aulicus (Linnaeus, 1758)

NE

IV

 

Zaw's Wolf Snake

Lycodon zawiSlowinski, Pawar, Win, Thin, Gyi, Oo & Tun, 2001

LC

IV

 

Rat Snake

Ptyas mucosa (Linnaeus, 1758)

NE

II

 

Indo-Chinese Rat Snake

Ptyas korros (Schlegal, 1837)

NE

IV

 

Red-necked Keelback

Rhabdophis subminiatus (Schlegal, 1837)

LC

IV

 

Painted Bronzeback

Dendrelaphis proarchos (Wall, 1909)

NE

IV

 

White-barred Kukri Snake

Oligodon albocinctus (Cantor, 1839)

NE

IV

 

Günther's Kukri Snake

Oligodon cinereus (Günther, 1864)

LC

IV

 

Buff Striped Keelback

Amphiessma stolatum (Linnaeus, 1758)

NE

IV

 

Eastern Cat Snake

Boiga gokool (Gray, 1835)

NE

IV

 

Green Cat Snake

Boiga cyanea (Duméril, Bibron & Duméril,1854)

NE

IV

 

Assamese Cat Snake

Boiga quincunciata (Wall, 1908)

NE

IV

 

Checkered Keelback

Xenochrohis piscator (Schneider, 1799)

NE

II

 

Bar-necked Keelback

Xenochrohis schnurrenbergeri (Kramer, 1977)

NE

IV

 

Painted Keelback

Xenochrohis cerasogaster (Cantor, 1839)

NE

IV

 

Common Mock Viper

Psammodynastes pulverulentus (Boie, 1827)

NE

IV

 

Copper-headed Trinket Snake

Coelognathus radiatus (Schlegal, 1837)

LC

IV

 

Trinket Snake

Coelognathus helena (Daudin, 1803)

NE

IV

 

Long-nosed Whip Snake

Ahaetulla nasuta (Laćèpede, 1789)

NE

IV

 

Ornate Flying Snake

Chrysopelea ornata (Shaw, 1802)

NE

IV

Elapidae

Monocled Cobra

Naja kaouthia (Lesson, 1831)

LC

II

 

Banded Krait

Bungarus fasciatus (Schneider, 1801)

LC

IV

 

Greater Black Krait

Bungarus niger Wall, 1908

NE

IV

Viperidae

 

Trimeresurus sp.

 

IV

 

Gumprecht’s Green Pit Viper

Trimeresurus gumprechti David, Vogel, Pauwels & Vidal, 2002

 

IV

Trionychidae

Ganges Soft-shelled Turtle

Nilssonia gangetica (Cuvier, 1825)

VU

I

 

Black Soft-shelled Turtle

Nilssonia nigricans (Anderson, 1875)

EW

IV

 

Peacock Soft-shelled Turtle

Nilssonia hurum (Gray, 1831)

VU

I

 

Indian Flap-shelled Turtle

Lissemys punctata (Bonnaterre, 1789)

LC

I

 

Indian Narrow-headed Softshell Turtle

Chitra indica (Gray, 1831)

EN

IV

Geoemydidae

Assam Roofed Turtle

Pangshura sylhetenis (Jerdon, 1870)

EN

NS

 

Indian Tent Turtle

Pangshura tentoria (Gray, 1834)

LC

NS

 

Indian Roofed Turtle

Pangshura tecta (Gray, 1831)

LC

NS

 

Indian Eyed Turtle

Morenia petersi (Anderson, 1879)

VU

NS

 

Spotted Pond Turtle

Geoclemys hamiltonii (Gray, 1831)

VU

I

 

 

 

 

Table 3. Checklist of avian diversity of Guwahati

 

Family

Common name

Scientific name

IUCN/RL

IWPAS

Anatidae

Fulvous Whistling Duck

Dendrocygna bicolor (Vieillot, 1816)

LC

I

 

Lesser Whistling Duck

Dendrocygna javanica (Horsfield, 1821)

LC

IV

 

Graylag Goose

Anser anser (Linnaeus, 1758)

LC

IV

 

Bar-headed Goose

Anser indicus (Latham, 1790)

LC

IV

 

Ruddy Shelduck

Tadorna ferruginea (Pallas, 1764)

LC

IV

 

Common Shelduck

Tadorna tadorna (Linnaeus, 1758)

LC

IV

 

Cotton Pygmy Goose

Nettapus coromandelianus (Gmelin, 1789)

LC

IV

 

Gadwall

Mareca strepera (Linnaeus, 1758)

LC

IV

 

Eurasian Wigeon

Mareca penelope (Linnaeus, 1758)

LC

IV

 

Mallard

Anas platyrhynchos Linnaeus, 1758

LC

IV

 

Northern Shoveler

Spatula clypeata (Linnaeus, 1758)

LC

IV

 

Northern Pintail

Anas acuta Linnaeus, 1758

LC

IV

 

Garganey

Spatula querquedula (Linnaeus, 1758)

LC

IV

 

Common Teal

Anas crecca Linnaeus, 1758

LC

IV

 

Red-Crested Pochard

Netta rufina (Pallas, 1773)

LC

IV

 

Common Pochard

Aythya ferina (Linnaeus, 1758)

VU

IV

 

Baer's Pochard

Aythya baeri (Radde, 1863)

CR

IV

 

Ferruginous Duck

Aythya nyroca (Güldenstädt, 1770)

NT

IV

Podicipedidae

Little Grebe

Tachybaptus ruficollis (Pallas, 1764)

LC

IV

 

Great Crested Grebe

Podiceps cristatus (Linnaeus, 1758)

LC

IV

 

Black-necked Grebe

Podiceps nigricollis Brehm, 1831

LC

IV

Ciconiidae

Asian Openbill

Anastomus oscitans (Boddaert, 1783)

LC

IV

 

Black-necked Stork

Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus (Latham, 1790)

NT

IV

 

Lesser Adjutant

Leptoptilos javanicus (Horsfield, 1821)

VU

IV

 

Greater Adjutant

Leptoptilos dubius (Gmelin, 1789)

EN

IV

Phalacrocoracidae

Indian Cormorant

Phalacrocorax fuscicollis Stephens, 1826

LC

IV

 

Great Cormorant

Phalacrocorax carbo (Linnaeus, 1758)

LC

IV

 

Little Cormorant

Microcarbo niger (Vieillot, 1817)

LC

IV

Anhingidae

Orinetal Darter

Anhinga melanogaster Pennant, 1769

NT

IV

 

Great White Pelican

Pelecanus onocrotalus Linnaeus, 1758

LC

IV

 

Spot-billed Pelican

Pelecanus philippensis Gmelin, 1789

NT

IV

Ardeidae

Gray Heron

Ardea cinerea Linnaeus, 1758

LC

IV

 

Purple Heron

Ardea purpurea Linnaeus, 1766

LC

IV

 

Great Egret

Ardea alba Linnaeus, 1758

LC

IV

 

Intermediate Egret

Ardea intermedia Wagler, 1829

LC

IV

 

Little Egret

Egretta garzetta (Linnaeus, 1766)

LC

IV

 

Cattle Egret

Bubulcus ibis (Linnaeus, 1758)

LC

IV

 

Indian Pond Heron

Ardeola grayii (Sykes, 1832)

LC

IV

 

Striated Heron

Butorides striata (Linnaeus, 1758)

LC

IV

 

Black-crowned Night Heron

Nycticorax nycticorax (Linnaeus, 1758)

LC

IV

Ardeidae

Black-headed Ibis

Threskiornis melanocephalus (Latham, 1790)

NT

IV

 

Glossy Ibis

Plegadis falcinellus (Linnaeus, 1766)

LC

IV

Pandionidae

Osprey

Pandion haliaetus (Linnaeus, 1758)

LC

I

Accipitridae

Black-shouldered Kite

Elanus axillaris (Latham, 1801)

LC

IV

 

Cinereous Vulture

Aegypius monachus (Linnaeus, 1766)

NT

IV

 

Himalayan Griffon

Gyps himalayensis Hume, 1869

NT

IV

 

Crested Serpent Eagle

Spilornis cheela (Latham, 1790)

LC

IV

 

Changeable Hawk-eagle

Nisaetus cirrhatus (Gmelin, 1788)

LC

IV

 

Lesser Spotted Eagle

Clanga pomarina (Brehm, 1831)

LC

IV

 

Steppe Eagle

Aquila nipalensis Hodgson, 1833

EN

IV

 

Grey-headed Fish Eagle

Icthyophaga ichthyaetus (Horsfield, 1821)

NT

IV

 

Pied Harrier

Circus melanoleucos (Pennant, 1769)

LC

IV

 

Shikra

Accipiter badius (Gmelin, 1788)

LC

IV

 

Black Kite

Milvus migrans (Boddaert, 1783)

LC

IV

 

Grey-headed Fish Eagle

Icthyophaga ichthyaetus (Horsfield, 1821)

NT

IV

 

Long-legged Buzzard

Buteo rufinus (Cretzschmar, 1827)

LC

IV

Rallidae

White-breasted Waterhen

Amaurornis phoenicurus (Pennant, 1769)

LC

IV

 

Purple Swamphen

Porphyrio porphyrio (Linnaeus, 1758)

LC

IV

 

Eurasian Moorhen

Gallinula chloropus (Linnaeus, 1758)

LC

IV

 

Eurasian Coot

Fulica atra Linnaeus, 1758

LC

IV

Recurvirostridae

Black-winged Stilt

Himantopus himantopus (Linnaeus, 1758)

LC

IV

 

Pied Avocet

Recurvirostra avosetta Linnaeus, 1758

LC

IV

Charadriidae

Northern Lapwing

Vanellus vanellus (Linnaeus, 1758)

NT

IV

 

Gray-headed Lapwing

Vanellus cinereus (Blyth, 1842)

LC

IV

 

Red-wattled Lapwing

Vanellus indicus (Boddaert, 1783)

LC

IV

 

Little Ringed Lapwing

Charadrius dubius Scopoli, 1786

LC

IV

Jacanidae

Pheasant-tailed Jacana

Hydrophasianus chirurgus (Scopoli, 1786)

LC

IV

 

Bronze-winged Jacana

Metopidius indicus (Latham, 1790)

LC

IV

Scolopacidae

Common Sandpiper

Actitis hypoleucos Linnaeus, 1758

LC

IV

 

Wood Sandpiper

Tringa glareola Linnaeus, 1758

LC

IV

 

Marsh Sandpiper

Tringa stagnatilis (Bechstein, 1803)

LC

IV

 

Spotted Redshank

Tringa erythropus (Pallas, 1764)

LC

IV

 

Black-tailed Godwit

Limosa limosa (Linnaeus, 1758)

NT

IV

 

Temminck’s Stint

Calidris temminckii (Leisler, 1812)

LC

IV

 

Common Snipe

Gallinago gallinago (Linnaeus, 1758)

LC

IV

Glareolidae

Small Pratincole

Glareola lactea Temminck, 1820

LC

IV

Laridae

Brown-Headed Gull

Larus brunnicephalus Jerdon, 1840

LC

IV

 

Black-headed Gull

Larus ridibundus Linnaeus, 1766

LC

IV

 

Pallas’s Gull

Larus ichthyaetus Pallas, 1773

LC

IV

 

Whiskered Tern

Chlidonias hybrid (Pallas, 1811)

LC

IV

 

River Tern

Sterna aurantia Gray, 1831

NT

IV

Columbidae

Rock Pigeon

Columba livia Gmelin, 1789

LC

IV

 

Oriental Turtle Dove

Streptopelia orientalis (Latham, 1790)

LC

IV

 

Eurasian Collared Dove

Streptopelia decaocto Frivaldszky, 1838

LC

IV

 

Red-collared Dove

Streptopelia tranquebarica (Hermann, 1804)

LC

IV

 

Western Spotted Dove

Spilopelia suratensis (Gmelin, 1789)

LC

IV

 

Grey-capped Emerald Dove

Chalcophaps indica (Linnaeus, 1758)

LC

IV

 

Yellow-footed Pigeon

Treron phoenicopterus (Latham, 1790)

LC

IV

 

Green Imperial Pigeon

Ducula aenea (Linnaeus, 1766)

LC

IV

Cuculidae

Pied Cuckoo

Clamator jacobinus (Boddaert, 1783)

LC

IV

 

Large Hawk Cuckoo

Hierococcyx sparverioides (Vigors, 1831)

LC

IV

 

Common Hawk Cuckoo

Hierococcyx varius (Vahl, 1797)

LC

IV

 

Plaintive Cuckoo

Cacomantis merulinus (Scopoli, 1786)

LC

IV

 

Asian Koel

Eudynamys scolopaceus (Linnaeus, 1758)

LC

IV

 

Green-Billed Malkoha

Phaenicophaeus tristis (Lesson, 1830)

LC

IV

 

Greater Coucal

Centropus sinensis (Stephens, 1815)

LC

IV

Tytonidae

Barn Owl

Tyto alba (Scopoli, 1769)

LC

IV

Strigidae

Oriental Scops-owl

Otus sunia (Hodgson, 1836)

LC

IV

 

Brown Hawk-owl

Ninox scutulata (Raffles, 1822)

LC

IV

 

Brown Fish-owl

Ketupa zeylonensis (Gmelin, 1788)

LC

IV

 

Tawny Fish-owl

Ketupa flavipes (Hodgson, 1836)

LC

IV

 

Collared Owlet

Glaucidium brodiei (Burton, 1836)

LC

IV

 

Asian Barred Owlet

Glaucidium cuculoides (Vigors, 1831)

LC

IV

 

Jungle Owlet

Glaucidium radiatum (Tickell, 1833)

LC

IV

 

Spotted Owlet

Athene brama (Temminck, 1821)

LC

IV

 

Brown Hawk Owl

Ninox scutulata (Raffles, 1822)

LC

IV

Caprimulgidae

Long-tailed Nightjar

Caprimulgus climacurus Vieillot, 1825

LC

IV

Apodidae

House Swift

Apus nipalensis (Hodgson, 1836)

LC

IV

 

Asian Palm Swift

Cypsiurus balasiensis (Gray, 1829)

LC

IV

Alcedinidae

Common Kingfisher

Alcedo atthis (Linnaeus, 1758)

LC

IV

 

Stork-billed Kingfisher

Pelargopsis capensis (Linnaeus, 1766)

LC

IV

 

White-throated Kingfisher

Halcyon smyrnensis (Linnaeus, 1758)

LC

IV

 

Pied Kingfisher

Ceryle rudis (Linnaeus, 1758)

LC

IV

Meropidae

Blue-bearded Bee-eater

Nyctyornis athertoni (Jardine & Selby, 1830)

LC

IV

 

Green Bee-eater

Merops orientalis Latham, 1802

LC

IV

 

Chestnut-headed Bee-eater

Merops leschenaulti Vieillot, 1817

LC

IV

 

Blue-tailed Bee-eater

Merops philippinus Linnaeus, 1766

LC

IV

Coraciidae

Indian Roller

Coracias benghalensis (Linnaeus, 1758)

LC

IV

 

Dollarbird

Eurystomus orientalis (Linnaeus, 1766)

LC

IV

Bucerotidae

Oriental Pied Hornbill

Anthracoceros albirostris (Shaw & Nodder, 1807)

LC

IV

Megalaimidae

Coppersmith Barbet

Psilopogon haemacephalus (Müller, 1776)

LC

IV

 

Great Barbet

Psilopogon virens (Boddaert, 1783)

LC

IV

 

Lineated barbet

Psilopogon lineatus (Vieillot, 1816)

LC

IV

 

Blue-throated Barbet

Psilopogon asiaticus (Latham, 1790)

LC

IV

Picidae

Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker

Dendrocopos macei (Vieillot, 1818)

LC

IV

 

Stripe-breasted Woodpecker

Dendrocopos atratus (Blyth, 1849)

LC

IV

 

Lesser Yellownape

Picus chlorolophus Vieillot, 1818

LC

IV

 

Greater Yellownape

Chrysophlegma flavinucha (Gould, 1834)

LC

IV

 

Gray-headed Woodpecker

Picus canus Gmelin, 1788

LC

IV

 

Common Flameback

Dinopium javanense (Ljungh, 1797)

LC

IV

 

Black-rumped Flameback

Dinopium benghalense (Linnaeus, 1758)

LC

IV

 

Greater Flameback

Chrysocolaptes guttacristatus (Tickell, 1833)

LC

IV

Falconidae

Common Kestrel

Falco tinnunculus Linnaeus, 1758

LC

IV

 

Red-necked Kestrel

Falco chicquera Daudin, 1800

NT

IV

 

Oriental Hobby

Falco severus Horsfield, 1821

LC

IV

 

Peregrine Falcon

Falco peregrinus Tunstall, 1771

LC

IV

Psittacidae

Rose-ringed Parakeet

Psittacula krameri (Scopoli, 1769)

LC

IV

 

Blossom-headed Parakeet

Psittacula roseata Biswas, 1951

NT

IV

 

Red-breasted Parakeet

Psittacula alexandri (Linnaeus, 1758)

NT

IV

Vangidae

Large Wood-shrike

Tephrodornis virgatus (Temminck, 1824)

LC

IV

 

Common Woodshrike

Tephrodornis pondicerianus (Gmelin, 1789)

LC

IV

Artamidae

Ashy Woodswallow

Artamus fuscus Vieillot, 1817

LC

IV

Aegithinidae

Common Iora

Aegithina tiphia (Linnaeus, 1758)

LC

IV

Campephagidae

Short-billed Minivet

Pericrocotus brevirostris (Vigors, 1831)

LC

IV

 

Scarlet Minivet

Pericrocotus flammeus (Forster, 1781)

LC

IV

 

Large Cuckooshrike

Coracina macei (Lesson, 1831)

LC

IV

Laniidae

Brown Shrike

Lanius cristatus Linnaeus, 1758

LC

IV

 

Long-tailed Shrike

Lanius schach Linnaeus, 1758

LC

IV

 

Gray-backed Shrike

Lanius tephronotus (Vigors, 1831)

LC

IV

Oriolidae

Balck-hooded Oriole

Oriolus xanthornus (Linnaeus, 1758)

LC

IV

Dieruridae

Black Drongo

Dicrurus macrocercus Vieillot, 1817

LC

IV

 

Ashy Drongo

Dicrurus leucophaeus Vieillot, 1817

LC

IV

 

Bronzed Drongo

Dicrurus aeneus Vieillot, 1817

LC

IV

 

Hair-crested Drongo

Dicrurus hottentottus (Linnaeus, 1766)

LC

IV

 

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo

Dicrurus paradiseus (Linnaeus, 1766)

LC

IV

Monarchidae

Black-naped Monarch

Hypothymis azurea (Boddaert, 1783)

LC

IV

Corvidae

Common Green Magpie

Cissa chinensis (Boddaert, 1783)

LC

IV

 

Rufous Treepie

Dendrocitta vagabunda (Latham, 1790)

LC

IV

 

House Crow

Corvus splendens Vieillot, 1817

LC

V

 

Large-billed Crow

Corvus macrorhynchos Wagler, 1827

LC

IV

Hirundinidae

Barn Swallow

Hirundo rustica Linnaeus, 1758

LC

IV

 

Asian Plain Martin

Riparia chinensis (Gray, 1830)

LC

IV

 

Collared Sand Martin

Riparia riparia (Linnaeus, 1758)

LC

IV

Stenostiridae

Gray-headed Canary Flycatcher

Culicicapa ceylonensis (Swainson, 1820)

LC

IV

Paridae

Great Tit

Parus major Linnaeus, 1758

LC

IV

Pycnonotidae

Black-crested Bulbul

Pycnonotus flaviventris (Tickell, 1833)

LC

IV

 

Red-vented Bulbul

Pycnonotus cafer (Linnaeus, 1766)

LC

IV

 

Red-Whiskered Bulbul

Pycnonotus jocosus (Linnaeus, 1758)

LC

IV

Phylloscopidae

Tickell’s Leaf Warbler

Phylloscopus affinis (Tickell, 1833)

LC

IV

 

Greenish Warbler

Phylloscopus trochiloides (Sundevall, 1837)

LC

IV

Locustellidae

Straited Grassbird

Megalurus palustris Horsfield, 1821

LC

IV

Cisticolidae

Zitting Cisticola

Cisticola juncidis (Rafinesque, 1810)

LC

IV

 

Common Tailorbird

Orthotomus sutorius (Pennant, 1769)

LC

IV

 

Dark-necked Tailorbird

Orthotomus atrogularisTemminck, 1836

LC

IV

 

Jungle Prinia

Prinia sylvatica Jerdon, 1840

LC

IV