Avifaunal diversity and bird community responses to man-made habitats in St. Coombs Tea Estate, Sri Lanka

Main Article Content

J. Dananjaya Kottawa-Arachchi
Rajika N. Gamage

Abstract

A survey on birds was conducted at St. Coombs Tea Estate, Talawakelle, Sri Lanka with the objective of assessing the avifaunal diversity of a given tea plantation ecosystem. Bird populations were sampled in man-made habitats such as home garden, wetland, tea plantation, Eucalyptus plantation and small scale reservoir. Hundred-and-twenty counts were made for each habitat and in addition, activities of birds, feeding habits and food recourses were also observed. A total of 87 species, including 11 endemic and 11 migrant species of birds, was recorded, which included one globally threatened species, Kashmir Flycatcher Ficedula subrubra and 16 nationally threatened species. A majority of the bird species were observed in home gardens (75%), followed by reservoirs (57%), wetlands (48%), tea plantations (43%) and in Eucalyptus plantations (23%). Home gardens support bird diversity while the species richness of endemic bird species increases thereby enabling these findings to be used as guidelines in long term conservational practices. Several conservation measures such as increasing plant diversity, introduction of shade trees and prevention of fire are recommended to conserve and enhance avifaunal diversity in tea plantations.

Article Details

How to Cite
[1]
Kottawa-Arachchi, J.D. and Gamage, R.N. 2015. Avifaunal diversity and bird community responses to man-made habitats in St. Coombs Tea Estate, Sri Lanka. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 7, 2 (Feb. 2015), 6878–6890. DOI:https://doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o3483.6878-90.
Section
Communications
Author Biographies

J. Dananjaya Kottawa-Arachchi, Friends of Horton Plains, Tea Research Institute, Talawakelle, Sri Lanka

Mr. J. Dananjaya Kottawa-Arachchi is a research officer and he has conducted research on biodiversity in tea plantations and birds of montane ecosystems in Sri Lanka. He is the vice president of Hill Country Environment Association and secretary of Friends of Horton Plains, Sri Lanka.

Rajika N. Gamage, Friends of Horton Plains, Tea Research Institute, Talawakelle, Sri Lanka

Mr. Rajika N. Gamage is a wildlife photographer and author of illustrated guide to the Butterflies of Sri Lanka. He is a photographer at Tea Research Institute and has conducted research on butterflies of Sri Lanka. He is the president of Hill Country Environment Association and committee member of Friends of Horton Plains, Sri Lanka.

References

Anonymous (1999). Biodiversity conservation in Sri Lanka: A framework for action. Ministry of Forestry and Environment, Sri Lanka, 126pp.

Bambaradeniya, C.N., M.S. Perera, W.P. Perera, L.M. Wickramasinghe, L.D. Kekulandala, V.A.P. Samarawickrema, R.H.S.S. Fernando & V.A.M.P.K. Samarawickrema (2003). Composition of faunal species in the Sinheraja world heritage site in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lanka Forester 26: 21–40.

Barlow, J., L.A.M. Mestrec, T.A. Gardner & C.A. Peres (2007). The value of primary, secondary and plantation forests for Amazonian birds. Biological Conservation 136: 212–231; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2006.11

Calviño-Cancela, M. (2013). Effectiveness of eucalypt plantations as a surrogate habitat for birds. Forest Ecology and Management 310: 692–699; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2013.09.014

de la Hera, I., J. Arizaga & A. Galarza (2013). Exotic tree plantations and avian conservation in northern Iberia: a view from a nest-box monitoring study. Animal Biodiversity and Conservation 36(2): 153–163.

Farwig, N., N. Sajita & K. Bohning-Gaese (2008). Conservation value of forest plantations for bird communities in western Kenya. Forest Ecology and Management 255: 3885–3892; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2008.03.042

Gunaratne, A.M., & C.V. Gunatilleke (2003). Avifaunal diversity and plant-bird interactions in three selected habitats of lawer Hantana (Campus Land), Sri Lanka. The Sri Lanka Forester 26: 41–52.

Harrison, J. & T. Worfolk (1999). A Field Guide to The Birds of Sri Lanka. Oxford University Press, 219pp.

Hettige, U.S.B., L.J.M. Wikramasinghe, T.G.M. Piyadarshana, K. Gunawardana, L.I. Perera & A. Manorathna (2000). Fauna of Gal-oya National Park. Sri Lanka Naturalist 3(4): 55–61.

Kotagama, S. & P. Fernando (1994). A Field Guide to The Birds of Sri Lanka. Wildlife Heritage Trust of Sri Lanka, 224pp.

Kottawa-Arachchi J.D., R.N. Gamage, H.A.C.K. Ariyarathne & G.G. Jayathilake (2010). Avifaunal diversity in a tea plantation ecosystem in the up-country of Sri Lanka, pp. 318–327. In: Proceedings of the 15th International Forestry and Environment Symposium 2010, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka.

Marsden, S.J., M. Whiffin & M. Galetti (2001). Bird diversity and abundance in forest fragments and Eucalyptus plantations around an Atlantic forest reserve, Brazil. Biodiversity and Conservation 10: 737–751.

Ministry of Environment (2012). The National Red List 2012 of Sri Lanka; Conservation Status of the Fauna and Flora. Ministry of Environment, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 476pp

Narayanan, S.P., A.P. Thomas & B. Sreekumar (2011). Ornithofauna and its conservation in the Kuttanad wetlands, southern portion of Vembanad-Kole Ramsar site, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 3(4): 1663–1676; http://dx.doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o1870.1663-76

Panabokke, C.R. & R.P. Kannangara (1996). Agro-ecological regions of Sri Lanka: Map 2. Survey Department of Sri Lanka.

Posa, M.R.C. & N.S. Sodhi (2006). Effects of anthropogenic land use on forest birds and butterflies in Subic Bay, Philippines. Biological Conservation 129: 256–270; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2005.10.041

Pushpakumara, D.K.N.G., B. Marambe, G.L.L.P. Silva, J. Weerahewa & B.V.R. Punyawardena (2012). A review of research on Homegardens in Sri Lanka: the status, importance and future perspective. Tropical Agriculturist 160: 55–125.

Raman, T.R.S. (2006). Effects of habitat structure and adjacent habitats on birds in tropical rainforest fragments and shaded plantations in the Western Ghats, India. Biodiversity and Conservation 15: 1577–1607; http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10531-005-2352-5

Rasmussen, P.C. & J.C. Anderton (2005). Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide, Vols. 1 and 2. Smithsonian Institute and Lynux Editions, Washington, D.C. and Barcelona, 683pp.

Soh, M.C.K., N.S. Sodhi & S.L.H. Lim (2006). High sensitivity of montane bird communities to habitat disturbance in Peninsular Malaysia. Biological Conservation 129: 149–166; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2005.10.030

Surasinghe, T.D. & C. De Alwis (2010). Birds of Sabaragamuwa University campus, Buttala, Sri Lanka. Journal of Threatened Taxa 2(5): 876–888; http://dx.doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o2113.876-88

Warakagoda, D., I. Inskipp, T. Inskipp & R. Grimmett (2012). Birds of Sri Lanka. Christopher Helm, an imprint of Bloomsberry Publishing Plc. 224pp.

Weerakoon, D.K. & W.L.D.P.T.S.A. Goonatilleke (2007). Diversity of avifauna in the Wilpattu National Park. Siyoth 2(2): 7–15.

Weerakoon, D.K. & K. Gunawardena (2012). The taxonomy and conservation status of birds in Sri Lanka. pp 114-117. In: Weerakoon, D.K. & S. Wijesundara (eds.). The National Red List 2012 of Sri Lanka; Conservation Status of the Fauna and Flora. Ministry of Environment, Colombo, Sri Lanka.