13 bird, 7 butterfly species newly spotted in Munnar

In all, 188 bird species recorded

A recent faunal survey in the Munnar Wildlife Division has recorded the presence of 13 bird and seven butterfly species that were hitherto unrecorded in the high-range landscape. The species have now found their way into the management plans of the national parks and sanctuaries in the region.

The four-day exercise, conducted by the Forest Department in association with the Travancore Natural History Society, a Thiruvananthapuram-based non-governmental organisation, last week covered all the protected areas in the Munnar Wildlife Division.

The presence of 188 bird species was recorded with the highest number being found in Chinnar (144), followed by Eravikulam (103). The additions to the bird species are Indian long-billed vulture, Ruddy-breasted crake, Malayan night heron, Taiga flycatcher, Indian cormorant, Rufous-bellied hawk eagle, Spotted owlet, Oriental scops owl, Brown wood owl, Alexandrine parakeet, Jerdon’s bushlark, Skyke’s warbler and Clamorous reed warbler. With their discoveries, the Munnar checklist for bird species has grown to 245.

Among other interesting finds, the State bird Great Indian hornbill and Mountain hawk eagle (Legge’s hawk eagle) were spotted in Chinnar. The endemic species recorded included Nilgiri wood pigeon that was spotted in all sanctuaries, Nilgiri pipit which was commonly found in all the high-elevation grasslands, Broad-tailed grass warbler (Broad-tailed grassbird), Nilgiri flycatcher, Black-and-Orange flycatcher, White-bellied sholakili, Scaly thrush (Nilgiri thrush) and Nilgiri blackbird.

As many as 173 butterfly species were recorded during the survey. The seven newly recorded butterfly species are Sahyadri clear sailer, Indian common shot silverline, Oriental common awl, Oriental spotted angle, Oriental chestnut angle, Black angle and Rounded palm-redeye.

The State butterfly Malabar banded peacock was spotted at Anamudi Shola. Several other species such as Sahyadri birdwing, African marbled skipper and the African grass jewel, and endemic ones, including Malabar raven, Nilgiri clouded yellow, Palni bushbrown, Red-disc bushbrown, Nilgiri four-ring, Nilgiri jewel four-ring, Palni four-ring, Palni fritillary, Nilgiri tiger and White-disc hedge blue were also found. The survey also revealed the presence of 30 Odonata species, among which five species, Anax guttatus, Lathrecista asiatica, Neurobasis chinensis, Orthetrum chrysis and Vestalis gracilis, were recorded for the first time. The researchers observed that all of these are typical lowland species and could have ascended owing to the warmer climate in the lower slopes.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 1:11:05 AM |

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