Journal of Threatened Taxa | www.threatenedtaxa.org | 26 August 2021 | 13(9): 19212–19222

 

ISSN 0974-7907 (Online) | ISSN 0974-7893 (Print) 

https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.6945.13.9.19212-19222

#6945 | Received 28 November 2020 | Final received 23 May 2021 | Finally accepted 20 July 2021

 

 

Factors affecting the species richness and composition of bird species in a community managed forest of Nepal

 

Bishow Poudel 1, Bijaya Neupane 2, Rajeev Joshi 3, Thakur Silwal 4, Nirjala Raut 5 & Dol Raj Thanet 6

 

1 Faculty of Forestry, Amity Global Education (Lord Buddha College), CTEVT, Tokha -11, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal.

1 The School of Forestry and Natural Resource Management, IOF, Kirtipur 44618, Nepal.

2,4,5 Tribhuvan University, Institute of Forestry, Pokhara Campus, Pokhara, Nepal.

3 Forest Research Institute (Deemed to be) University, Dehradun, Uttarakhand 248195, India.

3 Amity Global Education (Lord Buddha College), CTEVT, Tokha-11, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal.

6 Tribhuvan University, Institute of Forestry, Hetauda Campus, Hetauda, Nepal.

1 bishowpoudel0@gmail.com (corresponding author), 2 bijneu@gmail.com, 3 joshi.rajeev20@gmail.com, 4 thakur.silwal@gmail.com, 5 rnirjala@gmail.com, 6 dolrajthanet@gmail.com

 

 

 

Abstract: There exists limited information on biodiversity including avifaunal diversity and habitat condition in community forests (CF) of Nepal; thus we aimed to fulfill such gaps in Tibrekot CF of Kaski district. We used the point count method for assessing bird diversity and laid out a circular plot size of radius 5-m within 15-m distance from each point count station for recording the biophysical habitat characteristics. Bird species’ diversity, richness and evenness were calculated using popular indexes and General Linear Model (GLM) was used to test the respective effect of various biophysical factors associated with the richness of bird species. In total, 166 (summer 122, winter 125) bird species were recorded in 46 sample plots. The Shannon-Wiener diversity index was calculated as 3.99 and 4.09, Margalef’s richness index as 16.84 and 17.53 and Pielou’s evenness index as 0.83 and 0.84 for summer and winter, respectively. The influencing factors for richness of bird species were season (χ21, 90= 112.21; P= 0.016) with higher richness in the summer season and low vegetation cover (χ21, 89= 113.88; P= 0.0064) with higher richness in lower percentage cover. Thus, community managed forest should be protected as it has a significant role in increasing bird diversity, which has potential for attracting avifaunal tourism for the benefit of the local communities.

 

Keywords: Biodiversity, evenness index, Margalef’s richness index, Pielou’s vegetation cover, Shannon-wiener index.

 

 

 

Editor: Carol Inskipp, Bishop Auckland Co., Durham, UK.             Date of publication: 26 August 2021 (online & print)

 

Citation: Poudel, B., B. Neupane, R. Joshi, T. Silwal, N. Raut & D.R. Thanet (2021). Factors affecting the species richness and composition of bird species in a community managed forest of Nepal. Journal of Threatened Taxa 13(9): 19212–19222. https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.6945.13.9.19212-19222

 

Copyright: © Poudel et al. 2021. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.  JoTT allows unrestricted use, reproduction, and distribution of this article in any medium by providing adequate credit to the author(s) and the source of publication.

 

Funding: Tribhuvan University, Institute of Forestry, Office of Dean, Kirtipur/NORHED Project, funding number is 585-075-076.

 

Competing interests: The authors declare no competing interests.

 

Author details: Mr. Poudel has awarded his MSc Degree from School of Forestry and Natural Resource Management, Tribhuvan University, IOF, Kathmandu, Nepal. Currently, he has been working as a Forestry Instructor at Amity Global Education (Lord Buddha College), CTEVT, Tokha - 11, Kathmandu, Nepal. B. Neupane is an Assistant Professor at Tribhuvan University, IOF, Pokhara Campus, Pokhara, Nepal. He belongs to the Department of Park Recreation and Wildlife Management at his institution and has been working at this institution since December 2016. BN possesses more than 5 years of research and teaching experiences in ecology and wildlife conservation in Nepal as well as some field and lab experiences in Norway and Sweden. Mr. Joshi has completed M.Sc. Forestry from Forest Research Institute (Deemed to be University), Dehradun-248195, Uttarakhand, India as a SAARC Scholar. Currently, he is working as a Programme Coordinator (Forestry) at Amity Global Education (Lord Buddha College), CTEVT, Tokha- 11, Kathmandu, Nepal, and serving as a Visiting Lecturer at Faculty of Forestry, Agriculture and Forestry University, Hetauda, Nepal.  Dol Raj Thanet is an Assistant Professor at Tribhuvan University, Institute of Forestry, Nepal. His interests lie in ecology and behavior of terrestrial mammals; understand the response of wildlife to different levels of anthropogenic pressure, and human-wildlife interactions in human dominated landscapes. Dr. Silwal has completed his doctoral degree in human wildlife conflict (HWC) in the context of Nepal. For the last 10 years, he has been working as a senior faculty in the Department of Park Recreation and Wildlife Management in Tribhuvan University, Institute of Forestry, Pokhara Campus, Nepal. At present, he is also Department Head of his Department at his institution.  Ms. Nirjala Raut is Assistant Professor in ‘Wildlife Conservation and Management’ at the Institute of Forestry, Pokhara Campus, Tribhuvan University, Nepal. She topped master in forestry science in 2005 with a gold medal. She has been taking bachelor and master level classes in wildlife conservation, conservation biology, and biodiversity conservation since 2011.

 

Author contributions: Conceptualization and research design- BP and BN; Methodology- BP and BN; Data analysis and interpretation-BP and BN; Data collection- BP, BN, TS and NR; Manuscript drafting and editorial input- BP, BN, RJ and DRT; Critical review and revision at different stages- All authors contributed equally; Finalizing the manuscript- BP, BN and RJ, and Corresponding to the journal- BP.

 

Acknowledgements: We are grateful to Tribhuvan University, Institute of Forestry, Office of Dean, Kirtipur/ NORHED Project for providing Faculty Strategic Research Grant scheme. We would like to acknowledge Mr. Mannshanta Ghimire of Pokhara Bird Society (PBS) and his team for assisting us in bird monitoring and identification. Similarly, we provide sincere gratitude to Prof. Krishna Raj Tiwari, PhD (dean), Prof. Santosh Rayamajhi, PhD (research director), Prof. Achyut Raj Gyawali, assistant professor Amir Sedai, assistant professor Menuka Maharjan, PhD, Mr. Giri Raj Poudel, and the staffs of IOF for their contributions to accomplish this study. We are thankful to Mr. Laxman Kunwar, Ms. Prativa Bhandari, Mr. Prabin Poudel, Mr. Pawan Karki, & Mr. Pradip Subedi and some field experienced local people of Tibrekot Community Forest, Hemja, Kaski for their generous supports during the field work.

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Nepal is a biodiversity-rich country that represents a significant share of global biodiversity (Paudel et al. 2012). The country occupies about 0.1% of the global area, but harbors 3.2% and 1.1% of the world’s known flora and fauna, respectively (MoFSC 2014). This includes 5.2% of the world’s known mammals, 9.5% birds, 5.1% gymnosperms, and 8.2% bryophytes. The Middle Mountains, also known as Middle Hills or Mid-hills is physiologically the most diverse region of Nepal (MoFSC 2014). The zone has the greatest diversity of ecosystems (52) and species in Nepal due to climatic variations ranging from subtropical to temperate monsoonal climate and a great variety of terrain and soil types.

Birds are an important part of forest ecosystems and a key part of food chains that are crucial for maintaining ecosystem function and resilience (Lundberg & Moberg 2003; Mahiga et al. 2019). In addition, birds play vital ecological roles in both agricultural land and forest ecosystems especially pest control, pollination, and seed dispersal (Whelan et al. 2008; Mulwa et al. 2012; Basnet et al. 2016). Bird communities are also indicators of the quality of forest habitats and thus can help to guide management and conservation at regional and landscape levels (Canterbury et al. 2000; Moning & Müller 2008). Many new research studies have focused on the distribution of bird species richness and diversity (Wu et al. 2013) and their changes over time. Studies have found variation in species diversity among different regions of Nepal. For example, Jha (2019) observed 78 bird species belonging to seven orders and 24 families in the foothills of Phulchoki Hill. Pandey et al. (2020) recorded 112 species belonging to 13 orders and 35 families in the Mardi Himal trekking region. In contrast, the diversity of bird species was found to be higher in Reshunga Forest in the west with 201 recorded bird species (Thakuri 2011).

Bird species diversity and richness are associated with distribution and presence of field margins, forest edges, habitat fragmentation, habitat quality, landscape changes, landscape structure, farming systems, type of vegetation, and climate (Basnet et al. 2016). A recent study has found that temperature, precipitation, habitat resources, and the level of disturbances influenced bird species’ diversity and richness in the mid-hills (Pandey et al. 2020). Heterogeneity of bird habitats and the level of human disturbance have significantly influenced the distribution, diversity, and abundance of threatened bird species in central Nepal (Adhikari et al. 2019). However, there is limited information about the seasonal diversity and composition of bird species and the associated vegetation characteristics and other habitat factors influencing the species richness in Nepal.

Seasonal change in climate is an additional prominent characteristic of mountain ecosystems that can influence the temporal dynamics of bird species richness and composition. Birds in mountain environments are sensitive to seasonal variation in climate, due to resource bottlenecks for food and water availability and to temperature regulation requirements (Katuwal et al. 2016). In Nepal, seasonal migration of birds is closely linked to changes between the dry and monsoon seasons. Summer migration usually starts between March and May (premonsoon season) and sometimes migration is extended to the monsoon season in June and July, while the winter migration starts during the post-monsoon season in September (Katuwal et al. 2016). In contrast, although the diversity index was found to be higher in the summer season, species richness remained uniform in both summer and winter seasons in the Mardi Himal region of the mid-hills (Pandey et al. 2020).

The livelihood of people of developing countries, as well as biodiversity, is enhanced through the maintenance of forest cover (Persha et al. 2010). When forest habitats are protected, avifaunal tourism can be promoted that can contribute to the rural economy of poor people (Girma et al. 2017; Gupta et al. 2019). However, the role of community-managed forests in conservation of avifaunal diversity is often neglected. In this study, we explore the contribution of community forest to the avifaunal composition and species richness, followed by determining the associated habitat characteristics. To the best of our knowledge, such information is lacking in Nepal, therefore we believe that this study helps to fill such gaps, which can ultimately contribute to conservation of bird species and their habitats.

 

 

STUDY AREA

 

Tibrekot Community Forest (CF) is located at Hemja in the northern part of Pokhara Metropolitan City ward number 25, Kaski district in Nepal at 28.29° N latitude and 83.93° E longitude (Figure 1). The CF covers an area of 120 ha with elevation of 1,000–1,400 m from mean sea level that was handed over as community forestry to the local users in the year 2000. The average annual temperature is 14–25 °C and the average annual rainfall is 1,000 mm. Schima-Castanopsis is the dominant species of the forest composition; other species recorded are Alnus nepalensis, Engelhardia spicata, and Myrica esculanta. Mammal species recorded include Rhesus macaque, Panthera pardus, Canis aureus, and Hystrix brachyura.

Altogether, 260 households manage the Tibrekot CF. The forest was one of the long-term research sites of Tribhuvan University, Institute of Forestry/ ComForM Project-funded by Denmark from 2004 to 2014 (https://www.iofpc.edu.np/project/community-based-natural-forest-management-in-the-himalaya-comform). As the study site lies near the Pokhara valley and on the way to the popular Mardi Himal trekking route, protecting such community-managed forest can attract avifaunal tourists who should consequently benefit local communities. Besides, protection and maintenance of green forest nearby the city not only attracts tourists, but also provides important ecosystem services and beauty to the city’s surroundings.

 

 

FIELD METHODS

 

Bird Survey

 

Bird species in the study area were surveyed using the point count method (Ralph et al. 1995). Points were laid at a distance of 200 m apart (as far as possible except on some sites with steep slopes, ridges, and dense bushes) along the existing trails as well as new trails in order to represent the entire forest area (Ralph et at. 1995). In addition, a few point count stations were placed on the private lands that were connected to the CF (on the southwestern side) in order to include the bird species from that region (Figure 3). The distance between two consecutive stations was maintained at 200 m to avoid double counting. The bird species seen and heard within a 20 m radius were counted for a period of 10 minutes (Ralph et al. 1995; Hostetler & Main 2001). To minimize disturbances during the survey, a waiting period of 3 to 5 min prior to counting was applied. The data collection was carried out for five hours per day from 06:30 to 10:00 h in the morning and from 16:30 to 18:00 h in the evening, as during those time intervals the activities of the birds were considered to be prominent (Hostetler & Main 2001). The winter field data was collected during January 2019 while the summer data was collected during August 2019 by assuming that most of the seasonal migratory bird species visit the study area by that time. In total, we spent 15 days for the fieldwork during each season. We avoided performing point counts in days with rain and stronger wind. We belonged to a team of 10 people including a bird expert, Bachelor in Forestry graduates, and experienced local people, for the entire field survey of each season. In addition, we hired the bird expert to identify the birds and record their associated habitat characteristics during the field survey. The bird expert, prior to the collection of field data, trained all the field team members for a few days. Furthermore, the bird species were identified at species level with a popular guide, Helm Field Guide ‘Birds of Nepal’ (Nepali version) and details like number of individuals of particular bird species were also noted. Photographs and calls were used to identify the conspicuous birds whereas others were identified with the aid of binoculars and a spotting scope.

 

Recording habitat characteristics

A circular plot of 5 m radius was laid near each point count station (within 15 m) for recording the habitat characteristics of bird species (Bernard et al. 2014). The habitat characteristics include vegetation canopy layer (≥20 m above ground), understory vegetation (5 to 20 m above ground), low vegetation (2 to 5m above ground) and ground vegetation (≤2 m above ground) according to the designed quadrat size for different categories of species. Different parameters of the trees were recorded including DBH, height, crown cover, ground cover, number of trees, frequency of shrubs and herbs. Additionally, habitat parameters such as elevation, aspect, slope, geographic coordinates were also recorded from the same plots.

 

Data Analysis

Abundance and diversity analysis

We followed Bird Life International for the nomenclature and classification of birds (Burfield et al. 2017), IUCN (2017) for the global status and population trend and National Red List Series of Nepal’s Birds for the national and migratory status (Inskipp et al. 2016). The relative abundance was determined using the equation:   

Relative abundance (%)= n/N ×100                            

Where,

n= numbers of individuals of particular recorded species

N= total number of individuals of recorded species

In addition, the abundance status was assessed as per the criteria of Khan & Ali (2014).

Very common if seen on >75% of visits

Common if seen on 50–74% of visits

Uncommon if seen on 25–49% of visits

Rare if seen on <25% of visits

 

Complete checklists of bird species were compiled in Microsoft office excel showing orders, family, species, and bird type.

Similarly, species diversity was determined using Shannon-Wiener’s index (Odum 1971) (H´), Margalef’s richness index (Margalef 1958), and Pielou’s evenness index (Pielou 1996).

 

Shannon-Wiener’s index

H’= -∑ni/N lnni/n

where,

ni= number of individuals of ith species

N= total number of all individuals

ln= natural logarithm

The value of the index ranges from 1.5 (low species richness and evenness) to 5.0 (high species evenness and richness).

 

Margalef’s richness index

R= S-1/ln N

where,

S= total number of species

N= total number of individuals encountered

ln= natural logarithm

Higher the value of ‘R”, higher will be the species richness.

 

Pielou’s evenness index

e= H’/ ln S

where,

S= total number of species

H= Shannon-Weaver diversity index

The value of ‘e’ ranges from 0 to 1 with 1 being complete evenness i.e. species are equally distributed throughout the habitat.

 

Modeling analysis

Generalized linear model (GLM) was used to test the respective effect of various biophysical factors associated with occupied habitats on the richness of bird species. The independent pre-determined predictor variables were season, aspect, elevation, slope, percentage cover of different vegetation categories including canopy layer (≥20 m above ground), understory layer (5–20 m above ground), lower vegetation layer (2–5 m above ground), and ground vegetation layer (≤2 m above ground) whereas the dependent response variable was bird species richness. After checking the normality and linearity using histogram and Q-Q plot diagram, we found that most of the assumptions were fulfilled by our data and the analysis was followed by a backwards selection method (stepwise removal of non-significant variables or factors). The final model was developed with significant predictor variables for which the likelihood ratio of χ2 was significant (i.e., P ≤0.05). All the modeling analysis was performed using R×64 3.3.3 (http://cran.r-project.org/) with R Studio and the significance was set at 5%.

 

 

RESULTS

 

A total of 166 bird species was recorded in 46 sample plots. Among the recorded species, 122 species of birds were recorded in summer while 125 species of birds were recorded in winter. A total of 44 bird species was recorded only in winter and 41 bird species were recorded only in summer, whereas 81 bird species were recorded in both summer and winter. Among the total number of bird species 65% species were found to be carnivores, 9% species were insectivores, 17% species were omnivores, 6% species were frugivores, and 3% species were nectivores (Figure 2). The richness of bird species was found to differ among the measured plots (Figure 3).

 

Relative abundance and diversity of bird species

As per the criteria of Khan & Ali (2014), most of the species were rare (recorded on less than 25% of visits). The most abundant bird species found in the study area was Black Bulbul Hypsipetes leucocephalus (RA= 8.28) followed by White-crested Laughingthrush Garrulax leucolophus (RA= 6.99), and Great Barbet Psilopogon virens (RA= 6.3) in summer, whereas in winter the most abundant bird species was Grey-hooded Warbler Phylloscopus xanthoschistos (RA= 7.54) followed by Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica (RA= 6.61) and White-crested Laughingthrush Garrulax leucolophus (RA= 5.68) in winter. The relative abundance of 10 most dominant species is given below (Table 1).

 

Species Diversity

The value of Shannon-wieners index ranges from 1.5 to 5 in which 1.5 was the low species richness and evenness and 5 was the high species richness and evenness. The values of index of bird in summer and winter were 3.99 and 4.09, respectively, which mean the species richness and evenness of birds was high in the study area. It was high because there were more species with single individual and two individuals recorded. The higher the value of Margalef’s richness index, the higher will be the species richness. The values of the index in summer and winter were 16.84 and 17.53, respectively, which means the species richness was high. The value of Pielou’s evenness index ranges from 0 to 1 in which 1 means complete evenness that indicates the species are equally distributed throughout the habitat. The values of the index in summer and winter were 0.83 and 0.84, respectively, which means the species were evenly distributed in the study area (Table 2).

 

Habitat factors influencing the richness of bird species

Among different pre-determined biophysical variables, GLM analysis found significant effect of two variables only, i.e., season and low vegetation percentage cover on the richness of bird species in the occupied plots. There was a seasonal effect on richness of bird species in the study area (χ21, 90= 112.21; P= 0.016), with higher richness of bird species in the summer season than in the winter season (Figure 4). There was a significant effect of low vegetation percentage cover on the richness of bird species (χ21, 89= 113.88; P= 0.0064), with a higher richness of bird species in lower percentage cover (Figure 5). However, results of the GLM showed no significant differences in the richness of bird species with regard to other independent habitat variables.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

This study aimed to assess the species composition and the habitat factors influencing the bird species richness in Tibrekot community forests (CF) that helped to fulfill such research gap, particularly in the context of community forests in Nepal. A total of 166 bird species was recorded in 46 sample plots in the CF during summer and winter surveys. In Tibrekot CF, we recorded two globally near threatened vulture species, the Himalayan Griffon Gyps himalayensis and Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus and these two species were nationally Vulnerable and Endangered species, respectively.

Thus, the large number of bird species recorded including two globally near threatened species justifies the importance to birds of Tibrekot CF. The value of Shannon-wieners index (3.99 and 4.09) showed that richness and evenness of birds was high in both seasons in the study area. The value of Margalef’s richness index (16.84 and 17.53) also showed that richness of birds was high. In addition, the value of Pielou’s evenness index (0.83 and 0.84) showed that the bird species were equally distributed throughout the habitat in the study area. In contrast, some past studies have reported lower richness and evenness of birds in more disturbed regions (Peh et al. 2006; Shahabuddin & Kumar 2007).

The general positive effect on biodiversity is likely to reveal the contribution of CF not only in revitalizing the degraded forestlands, but also the communities’ efforts in maintaining the richness of faunal species (Luintel et al. 2018; Joshi & Singh 2020; Joshi et al. 2020). The higher richness and diversity of forest specialists birds in sites within CF areas may be related to the fact that anthropogenic disturbance is limited in such areas (Baral & Inskipp 2005). Various studies have shown that extraction and over consumption of fodder, fuel wood, and non-timber forest product can negatively influence avifaunal communities (Shahabuddin & Kumar 2007; Dahal et al. 2009; Kumar et al. 2011; Inskipp et al. 2013). The different disturbance intolerant species of CF may therefore benefit from sustainable forest management that restricts the illegal removal of standing dead trees, fallen timber for firewood and pruning of canopies (Dahal et al. 2014; Joshi et al. 2019, 2020). However, the relationship between the richness of bird species and the level of disturbances were not investigated in this study.

Seasonality was one of the influencing factors for bird species richness in the study area. In Nepal, seasonal migration of birds is closely linked to changes between the dry and monsoon seasons. It was found to be the determining factor for the abundance and distribution of both migratory and non-migratory bird species (Girma et al. 2017). In addition, Manu & Cresswell (2007) reported that other environmental factors influence the distribution and richness of bird species including floristic composition, habitat structure, food availability, temperature, and climate. Pandey et al. (2020) reported that multiple variables have profound influences on bird diversity and richness in Nepal comprising habitat area, gradients of climate (temperature and precipitation), resource availability and disturbance. Adhikari et al. (2019) have mentioned that human disturbance negatively influences the distribution and diversity of bird species. Nevertheless, we did not take into account the climatic variables as well as habitat disturbance activities that can influence bird species composition and diversity. Heterogeneous and natural habitat conditions can help to protect the bird diversity in the mid-hills of Nepal (Basnet et al. 2016). Therefore, it is essential to conduct further studies on how birds respond to habitat modifications and the influence of different climatic and habitat biophysical variables at the local level. Such crucial information will help the concerned authorities to prepare the site-specific strategies and plans focused on protecting the bird species at the local level.

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

Out of 166 bird species, 81 species were recorded in both seasons within the study area. Although richness of bird species was similar in the different seasons, relative abundance and species evenness was higher in summer. The most abundant bird species found in the study area was Black Bulbul Hypsipetes leucocephalus. There was a significant seasonal effect on richness of bird species with higher richness in summer season and at low vegetation percentage cover. Such vital information about the avifaunal species and the associated habitat factors in the community managed forest will help to develop strategies and plans to protect the avifaunal species and their habitats, which has also potential to initiate avifaunal tourism in Nepal for the benefit of local communities.

 

 

Table 1. Relative abundance and diversity of bird species.

 

Common name

Scientific name

Relative abundance

Summer

Winter

1

Barn Swallow

Hirundo rustica

2.27

6.61

2

Black Bulbul

Hypsipetes leucocephalus

8.28

0

3

Black-lored Tit

Machlolophus xanthogenys

1.97

3.05

4

Great Barbet

Psilopogon virens

6.3

1.52

5

Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher

Culicicapa ceylonensis

2.35

2.79

6

Grey-hooded Warbler

Phylloscopus xanthoschistos

4.78

7.54

7

Grey Treepie

Dendrocitta formosae

4.93

5.17

8

Long-tailed Minivet

Pericrocotus ethologus

3.03

4.32

9

Red-vented Bulbul

Pycnonotus cafer

2.43

2.88

10

White-crested Laughingthrush

Garrulax leucolophus

6.99

5.68

 

Table 2. Species diversity index of the bird species.

 

Species diversity index

Summer bird species

Winter bird species

1

Shannon-wieners index

3.99

4.09

2

Margalef’s richness index

16.84

17.53

3

Pielou’s evenness index

0.83

0.84

 

 

 

For figures - - click here

 

 

REFERENCES

 

Adhikari, J.N., B.P. Bhattarai & T.B. Thapa (2019). Factors affecting diversity and distribution of threatened birds in Chitwan National Park, Nepal. Journal of Threatened Taxa 11(5): 13511–13522. https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.4137.11.5.13511-13522

Baral, H.S. & C. Inskipp (2005). Important Bird Areas in Nepal: key sites for conservation. Bird Conservation Nepal, 242 pp.

Basnet, T.B., M.B. Rokaya, B.P. Bhattarai & Z. Münzbergová (2016). Heterogeneous landscapes on steep slopes at low altitudes as hotspots of bird diversity in a hilly region of Nepal in the Central Himalayas. PLOS ONE 11(3): e0150498. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0150498

Bernard, H., E.L. Baking, A.J. Giordano, O.R. Wearn & A.H. Ahmad (2014).Terrestrial mammal species richness and composition in three small forest patches within an oil palm landscape in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Mammal Study 39(3): 141–154. https://doi.org/10.3106/041.039.0303

Burfield, I.J., S.H. Butchart & N.J. Collar (2017). BirdLife, conservation and taxonomy. Bird Conservation International 27(1): 1–5. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0959270917000065

Canterbury, G.E., T.E. Martin, D.R. Petit, L.J. Petit & D.F. Bradford (2000). Bird communities and habitat as ecological indicators of forest condition in regional monitoring. Conservation Biology 14(2): 544–558. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1523-1739.2000.98235.x

Dahal, B.R., C.A. McAlpine & M. Maron (2014). Bird conservation values of off-reserve forests in lowland Nepal. Forest Ecology and Management 323: 28–38. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2014.03.033

Dahal, B.R., P.J. McGowan & S.J. Browne (2009). An assessment of census techniques, habitat use and threats to Swamp Francolin Francolinus gularis in Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, Nepal. Bird Conservation International 19(2): 137–147. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0959270908008083

Girma, Z., G. Mengesha & T. Asfaw (2017). Diversity, relative abundance and distribution of Avian fauna in and around Wondo Genet forest, South-Central Ethiopia. Research Journal of Forestry 11 (1): 1–12. https://doi.org/10.3923/rjf.2017.1.12  

Gupta, N., M. Everard., I. Kochhar & V.K. Belwal (2019). Avitourism opportunities as a contribution to conservation and rural livelihoods in the Hindu Kush Himalaya-a field perspective. Journal of Threatened Taxa 11(10): 14318–14327. https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.4911.11.10.14318-14327  

Hostetler, M.E. & M.B. Main (2001). Florida Monitoring Program: Point Count Method to Survey Birds. University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, EDIS, Gainesville, 45pp.

Inskipp, C., H.S. Baral, S. Phuyal, T.R. Bhatt, M. Khatiwada, T. Inskipp & L. Poudyal (2016). The Status of Nepal’s Birds: The National Red List Series. Zoological Society of London, UK.

Inskipp, C., H.S. Baral, T. Inskipp & A. Stattersfield (2013).The state of Nepal birds 2010.  Journal of Threatened Taxa 5(1): 3473–3503. https://doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o3276.933

IUCN (2017). The IUCN Red List of threatened species. Version 2017-1. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Gland, Switzerland. Available from http://www.iucnredlist.org Electronic version accessed May 2020.

Jha, P.K. (2019). Diversity of Birds in the Foothills of Phulchoki Hill, Lalitpur, Nepal. Forestry: Journal of Institute of Forestry, Nepal 16: 62–71.

Joshi, R., R. Chhetri & K. Yadav (2019).Vegetation analysis in Community Forests of Terai Region, Nepal. International Journal of Environmental Science 8(3): 68–82. https://doi.org/10.3126/ije.v8i3.26667

Joshi, R. & H. Singh (2020). Carbon sequestration potential of disturbed and non-disturbed forest ecosystem: A tool for mitigating climate change. African Journal of Environmental Science and Technology 14(11): 385–393. https://doi.org/10.5897/AJEST2020.2920

Joshi, R., H. Singh, R. Chhetri & K. Yadav (2020). Assessment of carbon sequestration potential in degraded and non-Degraded community forests in Terai Region of Nepal. Journal of Forest and Environmental Science 36(2): 113–121. https://doi.org/10.7747/JFES.2020.36.2.113

Katuwal, H.B., K. Basnet, B. Khanal, S. Devkota, S.K. Rai, J.P. Gajurel & M.P. Nobis (2016). Seasonal changes in bird species and feeding guilds along elevational gradients of the Central Himalayas, Nepal. PLOS ONE11(7): e0158362. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0158362

Khan, B. & Z. Ali (2014). Assessment of birds’ fauna, occurrence status, diversity indices and ecological threats at ManglaDam, AJK from 2011 to 2014. Journal of Animal and Plant Science 25(3): 397–403.

Kumar, R., G. Shahabuddin & A. Kumar (2011). How good are managed forests at conserving native woodpecker communities? A study in sub-himalayandipterocarp forests of northwest India. Biological Conservation 144(6): 1876–1884. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2011.04.008

Luintel, H., R.A. Bluffstone & R.M. Scheller (2018).The effects of the Nepal community forestry program on biodiversity conservation and carbon storage. PLOS ONE13(6): e0199526. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0199526  

Lundberg, J. & F. Moberg (2003). Mobile link organisms and ecosystem functioning: implications for ecosystem resilience and management. Ecosystems 6(1): 0087–0098. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10021-002-0150-4

Mahiga, S.N., P. Webala, M.J. Mware & P.K. Ndang’Ang’A (2019). Influence of land-use type on forest bird community composition in Mount Kenya Forest. International Journal of Ecology (Volume 2019) Article ID 8248270.  https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/8248270

Manu, S. & W.R. Cresswell (2007). Addressing sampling bias in counting forest birds: a West African case study. Ostrich-Journal of African Ornithology 78(2): 281–286. https://doi.org/10.2989/OSTRICH.2007.78.2.25.105

Margalef, R. (1958). Temporal succession and spatial heterogeneity in phytoplankton. Perspectives in Marine Biology (Série B. Colloques) 27: 323–349.

MoFSC (2014). Nepal Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan: 2014-2020. Government of Nepal, Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation, Singhdurbar, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Moning, C. & J. Müller (2008). Environmental key factors and their thresholds for the avifauna of temperate montane forests. Forest Ecology and Management 256(5): 1198–1208. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2008.06.018  

Mulwa, R.K., K. Böhning-Gaese & M. Schleuning (2012).High bird species diversity in structurally heterogeneous farmland in western Kenya. Biotropica 44(6): 801–809. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-7429.2012.00877.x  

Odum, E.P. (1971). Fundamentals of Ecology. WB Saunders Company. Philadelphia, London, Toronto, 574 pp.

Pandey, N., L. Khanal & M.K. Chalise (2020). Correlates of avifaunal diversity along the elevational gradient of Mardi Himal in Annapurna Conservation Area, Central Nepal. Avian Research 11(1): 1–14.

Paudel P.K., B.P. Bhattarai & P. Kindlmann (2012). An overview of the biodiversity in Nepal, pp. 1–40. In: Kindlmann P. (ed.). Himalayan Biodiversity in the Changing World. Springer, Dordrecht, 216 pp. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-1802-9_1

Peh, K.S.H., N.S. Sodhi, J. De Jong, C.H. Sekercioglu, C.A.M. Yap & S.L.H. Lim (2006). Conservation value of degraded habitats for forest birds in southern Peninsular Malaysia. Diversity and Distributions 12(5): 572–581. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1366-9516.2006.00257.x  

Persha, L., H. Fischer, A. Chhatre, A. Agrawal & C. Benson (2010). Biodiversity conservation and livelihoods in human-dominated landscapes: Forest commons in South Asia. Biological Conservation 143(12):  2918–2925. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2010.03.003  

Pielou, E.C. (1996). A clearcut decision. Nature Canada 25(2): 21–25.

Ralph, C.J., S. Droege & J.R. Sauer (1995). Managing and monitoring birds using point counts: standards and applications. In: Ralph, C.J., J.R. Sauer & S. Droege (technical editors). Monitoring Bird Populations by Point Counts. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-149. Albany, CA: US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, 149pp.

Shahabuddin, G. & R. Kumar (2007). Effects of extractive disturbance on bird assemblages, vegetation structure and floristics in tropical scrub forest, Sariska Tiger Reserve, India. Forest Ecology and Management 246(2–3): 175–185. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2007.03.061  

Thakuri, J.J. (2011). An ornithological survey in Reshunga Forest, Potential IBA, West Nepal. A report submitted to Oriental Bird Club (OBC), United Kingdom, 47pp.

Whelan, C.J., D.G. Wenny & R.J. Marquis (2008). Ecosystem services provided by birds. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1134(1): 25–60.

Wu, Y., R. K. Colwell, C. Rahbek, C. Zhang, Q. Quan, C. Wang & F. Lei (2013). Explaining the species richness of birds along a subtropical elevational gradient in the Hengduan Mountains. Journal of Biogeography 40(12): 2310–2323. https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.12177

 

 

Appendix 1. Protection status of bird species.

 

Species

Category

Number of observation

1

Total

 

166

2

CITES

I

1

II

19

III

1

3

IUCN Global

Critically endangered

3

Endangered

2

Vulnerable

0

Near Threatened

2

4

IUCN National

Critically endangered

2

Endangered

2

Vulnerable

5

Near Threatened

5

5

B05

 

5

6

B07

 

12

7

B08

 

22

8

B11

 

3

 

 

Appendix 2. List of the most abundant bird species.

 

Common name

Scientific name

Order

Family

Feeding character

No. of observations

Summer

Winter

1

Barn Swallow

Hirundo rustica

Passeriformes

Hirundinidae

Insectivores

30

78

2

Black Bulbul

Hypsipetes leucocephalus

Passeriformes

Pycnonotidae

Omnivorous

109

0

3

Black-lored Tit

 

Machlolophus xanthogenys

Passeriformes

Paridae

Insectivores

26

36

4

Great Barbet

Psilopogon virens

Piciformes

Megalaimidae

Frugivorous

83

18

5

Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher

Culicicapa ceylonensis

Passeriformes

Stenostiridae

Insectivores

31

33

6

Grey-hooded Warbler

Phylloscopus xanthoschistos

Passeriformes

Phylloscopidae

Insectivores

63

89

7

Grey Treepie

Dendrocitta formosae

Passeriformes

Corvidae

Omnivorous

65

61

8

Long-tailed Minivet

Pericrocotus ethologus

Passeriformes

Campephagidae

Insectivores

40

51

9

Red-vented Bulbul

Pycnonotus cafer

Passeriformes

Pycnonotidae

Omnivorous

32

34

10

White-crested Laughingthrushh

Garrulax leucolophus

Passeriformes

Leiotrichidae

Insectivores

92

67

 

 

Appendix 3. List of total bird species (166) recorded in the study area.

 

Common name

Scientific name

1

Ashy Drongo

Dicrurus leucophaeus

2

Ashy-throated Warbler

Phylloscopus maculipennis

3

Asian Barred Owlet

Glaucidium cuculoides

4

Asian Plain Martin

Riparia chinensis

5

Barn Swallow

Hirundo rustica

6

Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike

Hemipus picatus

7

Black Bulbul

Hypsipetes leucocephalus

8

Black-chinned Babbler

Cyanoderma pyrrhops

9

Black Drongo

Dicrurus macrocercus

10

Black Eagle

Ictinaetus malaiensis

11

Black Francolin

Francolinus francolinus

12

Black-headed Jay

Garrulus lanceolatus

13

Black Kite

Milvus migrans

14

Black-lored Tit

Machlolophus xanthogenys

15

Black-throated Sunbird

Aethopyga saturata

16

Black-throated Thrush

Turdus atrogularis

17

Black-winged Cuckooshrike

Lalage melaschistos

18

Blue-bearded Bee-eater

Nyctyornis athertoni

19

Blue-capped Rock-thrush

Monticola cinclorhyncha

20

Blue-throated Barbet

Psilopogon asiaticus

21

Blue-throated Blue-flycatcher

Cyornis rubeculoides

22

Blue Whistling-thrush

Myophonus caeruleus

23

Blue-winged Minla

Siva cyanouroptera

24

Brahminy Starling

Sturnia pagodarum

25

Bronzed Drongo

Dicrurus aeneus

26

Buff-barred warbler

Phylloscopus pulcher

27

Cattle Egret

Bubulcus ibis

28

Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch

Sitta cinnamoventris

29

Chestnut-bellied Rock-thrush

Monticola rufiventris

30

Chestnut-headed Tesia

Cettia castaneocoronata

31

Cinereous Tit

Parus cinereous

32

Cinereous Vulture

Aegypius monachus

33

Collared Owlet

Glaucidium brodiei

34

Collared Scops-owl

Otus lettia

35

Common Barn-owl

Tyto alba

36

Common Green Magpie

Cissa chinensis

37

Common Hawk-cuckoo

Hierococcyx varius

38

Common Hoopoe

Upupa epops

39

Common Kestrel

Falco tinnunculus

40

Common Myna

Acridotheres tristis

41

Common Tailorbird

Orthotomus sutorius

42

Coppersmith Barbet

Psilopogon haemacephalus

43

Crested Serpent-eagle

Spilornis cheela

44

Crimson Sunbird

Aethopyga siparaja

45

Egyptian Vulture

Neophron percnopterus

46

Eurasian Tree Sparrow

Passer montanus

47

Eurasian Wryneck

Jynx torquilla

48

Fire-breasted Flowerpecker

Dicaeum ignipectus

49

Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker

Dendrocopos macei

50

Golden-throated Barbet

Psilopogon franklinii

51

Goosander

Mergus merganser

52

Great Barbet

Psilopogon virens

53

Greater Coucal

Centropus sinensis

54

Greater Flameback

Chrysocolaptes guttacristatus

55

Greater Yellownape

Chrysophlegma flavinucha

56

Green-backed Tit

Parus monticolus

57

Green-billed Malkoha

Phaenicophaeus tristis

58

Greenish Warbler

Phylloscopus trochiloides

59

Green Shrike-babbler

Pteruthius xanthochlorus

60

Green-tailed Sunbird

Aethopyga nipalensis

61

Grey-backed Shrike

Lanius tephronotus

62

Grey-bellied Cuckoo

Cuculus passerinus

63

Grey-bellied Tesia

Tesia cyaniventer

64

Grey Bushchat

Saxicola ferreus

65

Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher

Culicicapa ceylonensis

66

Grey-hooded Warbler

Phylloscopus xanthoschistos

67

Grey-naped Woodpecker

Picus canicapillus

68

Grey Nightjar

Caprimulgus jotaka

69

Grey-throated Babbler

Stachyris nigriceps

70

Grey Treepie

Dendrocitta formosae

71

Grey Wagtail

Motacilla cinerea

72

Hair-crested Drongo

Dicrurus hottentottus

73

Hill Partridge

Arborophila torqueola

74

Himalayan Bulbul

Pycnonotus leucogenys

75

Himalayan Griffon

Gyps himalayensis

76

Himalayan Swiftlet

Aerodramus brevirostris

77

Hodgson's Treecreeper

Certhia hodgsoni

78

House Crow

Corvus splendens

79

House Sparrow

Passer domesticus

80

House Swift

Apus nipalensis

81

Hume's Leaf-warbler

Phylloscopus humei

82

Indian Cuckoo

Cuculus micropterus

83

Indian Cuckooshrike

Coracina macei

84

Indian Golden Oriole

Oriolus kundoo

85

Indian Pond-heron

Ardeola grayii

86

Jungle Myna

Acridotheres fuscus

87

Kalij Pheasant

Lophura leucomelanos

88

Large-billed Crow

Corvus macrorhynchos

89

Lemon-rumped warbler

Phylloscopus chloronotus

90

Lesser Racquet-tailed Drongo

Dicrurus remifer

91

Lesser Yellownape

Picus chlorolophus

92

Little Egret

Egretta garzetta

93

Long-tailed Broadbill

Psarisomus dalhousiae

94

Long-tailed Minivet

Pericrocotus ethologus

95

Long-tailed Shrike

Lanius schach

96

Maroon Oriole

Oriolus traillii

97

Mountain Bulbul

Ixos mcclellandii

98

Mountain Hawk-eagle

Nisaetus nipalensis

99

Mountain Scops-owl

Otus spilocephalus

100

Northern Wren

Troglodytes troglodytes

101

Olive-backed Pipit

Anthus hodgsoni

102

Orange-bellied Leafbird

Chloropsis hardwickii

103

Orange-headed Thrush

Geokichla citrina

104

Oriental Magpie-robin

Copsychus saularis

105

Oriental Turtle-dove

Streptopelia orientalis

106

Oriental White-eye

Zosterops palpebrosus

107

Paddyfield Pipit

Anthus rufulus

108

Peregrine Falcon

Falco peregrinus

109

Plumbeous Water-redstart

Phoenicurus fuliginosus

110

Puff-throated Babbler

Pellorneum ruficeps

111

Red-billed Blue Magpie

Urocissa erythroryncha

112

Red-billed Leiothrix

Leiothrix lutea

113

Red-headed Tit

Aegithalos iredalei

114

Red-headed Vulture

Sarcogyps calvus

115

Red-rumped Swallow

Cecropis daurica

116

Red-throated Flycatcher

Ficedula albicilla

117

Red-vented Bulbul

Pycnonotus cafer

118

Rock Dove

Columba livia

119

Rose-ringed Parakeet

Psittacula krameri

120

Rosy Pipit

Anthus roseatus

121

Rufous-bellied Niltava

Niltava sundara

122

Rufous-chinned Laughingthrush

Garrulax rufogularis

123

Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher

Ficedula strophiata

124

Rufous-throated Partridge

Arborophila rufogularis

125

Rufous Woodpecker

Micropternus brachyurus

126

Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-babbler

Erythrogenys erythrogenys

127

Scaly-breasted Cupwing

Pnoepyga albiventer

128

Scaly-breasted Munia

Lonchura punctulata

129

Scaly Thrush

Zoothera dauma

130

Scarlet Minivet

Pericrocotus flammeus

131

Shikra

Accipiter badius

132

Slaty-backed Flycatcher

Ficedula erithacus

133

Slaty-headed Parakeet

Psittacula himalayana

134

Slender-billed Vulture

Gyps tenuirostris

135

Small Niltava

Niltava macgrigoriae

136

Snowy-browed Flycatcher

Ficedula hyperythra

137

Speckled Piculet

Picumnus innominatus

138

Spiny Babbler

Acanthoptila nipalensis

139

Spotted froktal

Enicurus maculatus

140

Spotted Owlet

Athene brama

141

Steppe Eagle

Aquila nipalensis

142

Striated Prinia

Prinia crinigera

143

Thick-billed Warbler

Arundinax aedon

144

Tickell's Leaf-warbler

Phylloscopus affinis

145

Ultramarine Flycatcher

Ficedula superciliaris

146

Velvet-fronted Nuthatch

Sitta frontalis

147

Verditer Flycatcher

Eumyias thalassinus

148

Wallcreeper

Tichodroma muraria

149

Wedge-tailed Green-pigeon

Treron sphenurus

150

Western Koel

Eudynamys scolopaceus

151

Western Spotted Dove

Spilopelia suratensis

152

Western Yellow Wagtail

Motacilla flava

153

Whistler's Warbler

Phylloscopus whistleri

154

White-bellied Erpornis

Erpornis zantholeuca

155

White-breasted Kingfisher

Halcyon smyrnensis

156

White-browed Shrike-babbler

Pteruthius aeralatus

157

White-browed Wagtail

Motacilla maderaspatensis

158

White-capped Water-redstart

Phoenicurus leucocephalus

159

White-crested Laughingthrush

Garrulax leucolophus

160

White-rumped Munia

Lonchura striata

161

White-rumped Vulture

Gyps bengalensis

162

White-tailed Nuthatch

Sitta himalayensis

163

White-throated Fantail

Rhipidura albicollis

164

White-throated Laughingthrush

Garrulax albogularis

165

White Wagtail

Motacilla alba

166

Yellow-bellied Fairy-fantail

Chelidorhynx hypoxanthus