201 bird, 157 butterfly species recorded at STR

Double-banded Judy

Double-banded Judy   | Photo Credit: HANDOUT_E_MAIL

An impressive 201 bird species and 157 butterfly species were recorded during the two-day ‘Bird and Butterfly Survey’ held on December 14 and 15 at Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR) here.

Organised by the Forest Department for the second consecutive year and supported by The Nature and Butterfly Society (TNBS), Coimbatore Nature Society (CNS) and WWF-India and Vulture Conservation Forum (VCF), the survey was conducted by 20 teams comprising 91 naturalists and 150 forest officials, in the two forest divisions, Sathyamangalam and Hasanur, covering all the nine forest ranges.

The planning exercise was done by STR biologists, C. Sakthivel and V. Kannan while the team members were from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry and Karnataka.

“The teams followed a defined and structured survey methodology to record the birds and butterfly species present,” said V. Naganathan, Chief Conservator of Forest and Field Director, STR. He along with Divisional Forest Officers and Deputy Directors, P.G. Arunlal (Sathyamangalam) and K.V. Appala Naidu (Hasanur) monitored the entire exercise.

Among the birds recorded, 28 belong to water birds, 20 vultures and raptors, 10 owls and nightjars while the remaining 143 belong to assorted family of birds. The most dominating species are Black Drongo, Spotted Dove, Laughing Dove, Green Bee-eater, Rufous Treepie, Indian Jungle Crow, Oriental Magpie Robin, Indian Robin, Pied Bushchat, Yellow-billed Babbler, Red-vented Bulbul, Common Myna and Purple Sunbird. Species like Indian Grey Hornbill, Green Imperial Pigeon and Yellow-footed Green Pigeon are seen to have significant healthy population.

Among the butterflies recorded, 10 belong to swallowtails, 25 whites and yellows, 44 the Nymphalidae family, 46 blues and judies and 32 to the Skippers. Interesting butterfly sightings include Nilgiri Tit (first known record for the Eastern Ghats), Common Onyx, Pale Four-Lineblue, Blank Swift (all significant records for the Eastern Ghats), Sinhalese Five-ring, Blue Admiral, Rounded Palm-redeye, Angled Flat, Common Shot Silverline and Scarce Shot Silverline.

Explaining the findings, Mr. Naganathan said the healthy numbers of birds and butterflies recordings confirmed the healthy eco-system present in the tiger reserve and reflected the various conservation programme in place. “The critically endangered vulture species continue to thrive in the STR, and renewal of earlier abandoned nesting sites by them is good,” he added.

He said the rare Sinhalese Five-ring butterfly had a well-established presence across the STR and suitable scientific studies would be planned to study the favourable conditions that existed for their high and healthy population and the same would be protected.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 3:52:54 PM |

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