Avifaunal Diversity of Bibhutibhushan Wildlife Sanctuary, West Bengal, India
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Birds are found in a variety of habitats, performing various functions. They are highly sensitive to even minor perturbation in ecosystems. Documentation of avian assemblages in different ecosystems is, therefore, becoming increasingly important from environmental monitoring perspective. In absence of comprehensive account of birds of Bibhutibhushan Wildlife Sanctuary, West Bengal, India, we made an attempt to document the birds thriving in this protected area. A total of 102 species of birds belonging to 13 orders and 46 families were recorded during the study period (June 2013 – May 2016). Maximum number of species belong to the order Passeriformes (49 species) and minimum under order Anseriformes (1 species). Among the total bird species, 83 species (81.37%) were resident, 15 species (14.71%) were winter visitor, three species (2.94%) were summer visitor and one species (0.98%) was passage migrant. We noted 38 species of birds (including 36 residents and two summer visitors) to breed within the sanctuary. Analysis of feeding guild data revealed that 46.08% were insectivore, 22.55% were carnivore, 15.69% were omnivore, 6.86% were granivore, 5.88% were frugivore, 1.96% were nectarivore and 0.98% were herbivore. Grey-headed Fish Eagle (Icthyophaga ichthyaetus) and Red-breasted Parakeet (Psittacula alexandri) are two Near Threatened (NT) species designated by IUCN. Present study is the first scientific documentation of avian assemblage of this protected area and will serve as a baseline data for future avifaunal research, as well as, will be useful in the preparation of Peoples’ Biodiversity Register (PBR) of this area.
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