Comparing avifaunal diversity around Pench Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh
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Large tracts of natural habitat are being readily replaced by urban sprawl worldwide. We have limited knowledge about the anthropogenic activities on native species in these ecological regions. Human intervention has led to conversion of much of the global diversity by means of habitat alterations. Our conservation methods are also suffering from those superficial strategies. The present study was carried out to investigate the importance of habitat heterogeneity for the diversity, distribution and abundance of avifauna in and around Pench Tiger Reserve. In February 2014, a total of 79 bird species were recorded during the study period, applying the modified point count method. We compared species abundance and richness in Pench Tiger Reserve, considering four zones as metacommunity. Avifaunal community was distributed among Kolitmara (Western Pench, Maharashtra), Sillari (Maharashtra), Mansinghdeo (Maharashtra) and Seoni, Pench (Madhya Pradesh). Site specific biodiversity indices reflect the occurrence pattern of avifauna. Shannon – Wiener and Species diversity Index scored highest (9.56 and 1.78 respectively) in Mansinghdeo Wildlife Sanctuary. But species dominance was found high (0.62) in and around Sillari. Study areas with dense canopy closure were found to have more habitat specialist bird species, while areas having human settlements showed more opportunistic ones. An overall negative impact of human settlements on avian diversity, distribution and abundance was evidenced from the present study but more intensive study is needed to infer on the dynamics. Moreover, intensive studies may enrich us about avian diversity and distribution pattern of the study zone.
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