Broad-tailed grassbird, Garganey, and Banasura and Ashambu Laughingthrushes, which have a highly restricted distribution, are among 20 bird species of Kerala that are facing high risk of survival.
The State of India’s Birds 2023 report, which was released recently, has listed out the avian species of highest conservation priority for the State.
The earlier assessment carried out in 2020 had listed 15 species of conservation priority. The report is brought out by the State of India’s Birds Partnership, a group of 13 government and non-government organisations. This year, the report assessed the “status of 942 bird species largely using data uploaded by birdwatchers to the online platform eBird.”
Nilgiri Flycatcher (Eumyias albicaudatus), a resident species, which is endemic to the Western Ghats, is a species whose abundance has rapidly declined during the past eight years. The species is found distributed in a limited area in the State, according to the report.
High priority list
The high priority list of Kerala also includes Northern pintail, Nilgiri wood pigeon, Eurasian oystercatcher, Great knot, Malabar grey hornbill, and Black-capped kingfisher. The list also has 18 species, including Red-headed vulture, White-rumped vulture, Kashmir flycatcher and Nilgiri pipit, which enjoy high legal protection, after being listed in Schedule One of the Wildlife Protection Act. The report has assessed 101 species as of moderate concern for Kerala.
Though the presence of 550 species had been recorded in the State, 425 species for which data was adequately available were assessed, said P.O. Nameer, Dean, College of Climate Change and Environmental Science of the Kerala Agriculture University.
Six avian species, found in the forests and plantation habitats of the State, were found facing the maximum threat. Wetland and grassland birds too faced the risk. The increasing number of species on the list was a matter of concern for the State, said Dr. Nameer, one of the key evaluators from the State.