Elevational pattern and seasonality of avian diversity in Kaligandaki River Basin, central Himalaya

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Juna Neupane
Laxman Khanal
Basant Gyawali
Mukesh Kumar Chalise


This study explored bird diversity, seasonal variation, and associated factors along an elevational gradient in an important biodiversity area (IBA) of central Nepal: the Kaligandaki River basin of Annapurna Conservation Area.  The field survey was carried out in 2019 over two seasons, winter (January and February) and summer (May and June) using the point count method.  A total of 90 sampling plots were set up from elevations of 800m (Beni) to 3,800m (Muktinath).  Data for variables including the number of fruiting trees (indicator of resource availability) and distance to the road (indicator of disturbance) were collected, and their influence on avian diversity were assessed.  The results revealed a diverse assemblage of avian fauna in the study area with consistent species richness over the two seasons.  A decline in species richness and diversity with increasing elevation was observed.  Of the different habitat types within the study area, forest and shrubland habitats showed the strongest association with bird species distribution and richness.  We emphasize the need for long-term monitoring programs with standardized sampling approaches to better understand the avifauna in the central Himalaya.

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