Metropolitan garbage dumps: possible winter migratory raptor monitoring stations in peninsular India

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S. Pande
A. Pawashe
N. Sant
A. Mahabal
N. Dahanukar

Abstract

Winter raptor migration and movement is poorly documented for peninsular India, mainly due to the lack of geographical bottlenecks. We describe, for the first time, the use of a garbage dump in a metropolitan city as an alternative visual winter raptor monitoring station. The daily count, adult to juvenile ratios and species composition of three migratory raptor species, Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis, Black-eared Kite Milvus migrans lineatus and Tawny Eagle Aquila rapax are presented. Ground temperatures at the garbage dump site and surrounding area, and the wing beat rate of migratory raptors before and after arrival in the early morning were measured. A total of 355 raptors migrating over a period of six observation days with 250 adults and 105 juveniles were recorded. The temperature of the garbage dump was significantly higher than the surrounding area, while the wing flapping rate was significantly lower over the garbage dump area. It is possible that migrating raptors use garbage dump thermals in the early morning to save energy with soaring and gliding flight (versus flapping flight). We propose that such sites may be used as visual winter migration monitoring stations in metropolitan cities in peninsular India.

Article Details

How to Cite
[1]
Pande, S., Pawashe, A., Sant, N., Mahabal, A. and Dahanukar, N. 2010. Metropolitan garbage dumps: possible winter migratory raptor monitoring stations in peninsular India. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 2, 10 (Sep. 2010), 1214–1218. DOI:https://doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o2403.1214-8.
Section
Communications
Author Biographies

S. Pande

Satish Pande is a Fellow of Maharashtra Academy of Sciences. He is an Interventional Vascular Radiologist and Associate Professor of Radiology at B.J. Medical College, Pune. He works in ecology and field ornithology and has made several video films on raptor ecology, marine ecosystem and conservation. He has published more than 40 papers and has authored several field guides and popular books on ornithology, nature education, orchids and other subjects for popularization of science and to promote conservation.

A. Pawashe

Amit Pawashe is an avid conservationist with interest in field work related to ornithology. He likes to draw birds. He gives lectures and conducts seminars to promote nature conservation.

N. Sant

Niranjan Sant is a mechanical engineer. He likes field work related to ornithology. He has co-authored several ornithological field guides. He is a nature photographer and has won several awards for bird photography.

A. Mahabal

Anil Mahabal has retired as the Additional Director of the Zoological Survey of India, Akurdi, Pune. He has published several papers on ornithology and ecology and has authored books related to nature. He works for popularization of science and for promoting conservation.

N. Dahanukar

Neelesh Dahanukar works in ecology and evolutionary biology with an emphasis on theoretical and statistical analysis.

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