Birds

Principal Investigator:
Dr. Suhel Quader (Nature Conservation Foundation)
Co-Investigators:
Dr. Advait Edgaonkar (Indian Institute of Forest Management)
Dr. Rajah Jayapal (Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History)
Dr. Ramana Athreya (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune)
Dr. Robin Vijayan (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Tirupati)
Dr. Shirish Manchi (Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History)
Dr. Suresh Kumar (Wildlife Institute of India)
Dr. Sutirtha Dutta (Wildlife Institute of India)
Dr. Umesh Srinivasan (Centre for Ecological Sciences)

Birds are ubiquitous, easily identifiable, and high in the food chain, and thus are excellent indicators of environmental change. Long term information on bird communities, populations, demography, movements and long-distance migration has been used in many parts of the world to gain detailed information on the effects of climate and habitat change. To monitor bird populations and communities, permanent line transects or fixed point counts will be established. Because these transects will be walked frequently or the fixed points monitored through the year, information on the timing of migration will also emerge.

To unpack the influence of survival and reproduction on population outcomes, it is also important to monitor demographic processes. This will be done through establishing permanent plots at each LTEO site, within which mistnetting and ringing will be carried out during defined periods. Pulses of netting of above a week’s duration will be carried out, and these pulses will be distributed at four evenly spaced intervals across each year. By analysing these data using robust mark-recapture techniques, it is possible to estimate population densities, survival rates and reproductive rates. Measuring the latter two vital rates is crucial if one is to understand the causes of population change over time.