CEPF Western Ghats Special Series: Birds of Meghamalai Landscape, southern Western Ghats, India

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S. Babu
S. Bhupathy


Species composition of birds in the Meghamalai landscape with respect to threat status, foraging guild and biome-restricted assemblage were assessed based on data collected opportunistically during two research projects: first one spanned 36 months (2006-2009) the other for 18 months (June 2011-December 2012) and from literature published during mid 1940s. A total of 254 species belonging to 55 families and 18 orders were recorded, which include 11% (18 of 159 species) of globally threatened birds reported from India, 88% (14 of 16 species) of endemic birds of the Western Ghats and a higher proportion of biome-restricted species (56% of Indo-Malayan tropical dry zone and 80% of Indian Peninsula inhabited by tropical moist forest birds). Among the foraging guilds, insectivorous birds (51%) dominated the bird composition followed by frugivores and carnivores. The present data shows that Meghamalai deserves to be recognized as an Important Bird Area of International Bird Conservation Network. This would enhance the conservation prospects of the landscape in a long run. The present study also highlights the importance of the area for conserving the birds of the Western Ghats.

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