Comparison of avifaunal diversity in and around Neora Valley National Park, West Bengal, India

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U.S. Roy
A. Pal
P. Banerjee
S.K. Mukhopadhyay


Anthropogenic intervention has led to conversion of much of the global diversity by means of habitat alterations. The present study was carried out to investigate the importance of habitat quality and habitat heterogeneity for the diversity, distribution and abundance of avifauna in and around Neora Valley National Park (NVNP) during April-May 2010. A total of 73 bird species belonging to 25 families were recorded during the present study applying a modified point count method. Forest edges were found to be most diverse with a total count of 54 bird species having an abundance of 172.53 number of birds ha-1. Study areas with human settlements was represented by a total species count of 24 with an abundance of 130.39 number of birds ha-1 while a total species count of 22 with an abundance of 69.32 number of birds ha-1 was recorded from thick vegetation assemblage with close canopy cover. This site specific occurrence pattern for avifauna was reflected in the study of diversity indices. The highest Shannon-Wiener general diversity score of 3.77 was recorded for bird species from forest edges. Study areas with dense canopy closure were found to support more habitat specialist bird species while areas having human settlements harboured more opportunistic bird species. An overall negative influence of human settlements on bird diversity, distribution and abundance was evidenced from the present study and needs further investigation. Moreover, intensive studies will certainly enrich our knowledge of avian diversity and distribution pattern from the present study location.

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