Status of raptors in the Moyar River Valley, Western Ghats, India

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N.R. Anoop
S. Babu
S. Bharathidasan
R. Nagarajan


This study examined the species composition and nest-tree characteristics of diurnal raptors in the tropical forests of Moyar Valley, Western Ghats between December 2012 and March 2013.  We recorded 28 species of raptors including three species of vultures.  Accipitridae was the dominant family comprising of 25 species followed by two from Falconidae and the monotypic Pandionidae.  Among them, eight species fall under various threatened category: three Critically Endangered, one Endangered, two Vulnerable and two Near Threatened.  The Critically Endangered Gyps bengalensis was frequently recorded during the survey (175 sightings) followed by Milvus migrans (39 sightings) and Haliastur indus (27 sightings).  We located 53 active nests of four species of raptors, viz., Gyps bengalensis (42 nests), Nisaetus cirrhatus (4 nests), Haliastur indus (4 nests), and Milvus migrans (3 nests).  A notable difference in the nest-tree characteristics among the sympatric raptors was observed.  These results would be important to identify priority areas for developing future conservation and management programs for the long-term conservation of raptorial birds in the Western Ghats.

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