Bird composition, diversity and foraging guilds in agricultural landscapes: a case study from eastern Uttar Pradesh, India

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Manoj Singh


Birds have a significant role in maintaining the ecological balance of agro-ecosystems. But yet there is no documentation related to bird diversity in the agricultural landscapes of eastern Uttar Pradesh. This study was conducted from March 2019 to February 2020 using fixed radius point count method in Ayodhya district of eastern Uttar Pradesh. A total of 139 bird species belonging to 107 genera, 49 families and 15 orders were recorded from the study area. Passeriformes was the most dominant order with 28 families and 76 species. Accipitridae and Muscicapidae were the most diverse families with 11 species each and RDi value of 7.91. Among the recorded bird species, 105 species (76%) were resident, 29 species (21%) were winter visitors and only 5 species (4%) were summer visitors. According to the feeding guilds, omnivores (46 species, 33%) were highly represented, followed by insectivores (31%), carnivores (25%), granivores (6%), frugivores (4%) and nectarivores (1%). The Sohawal tehsil was found to have the highest species richness and a Shannon-Weiner diversity index (133, 4.30). Aquila nipalensis and Neophron percnopterus were the two ‘Endangered’ species, Antigone antigone and Clanga hastata were the two ‘Vulnerable’ species and Ciconia episcopus, Gyps himalayensis, Mycteria leucocephala and Psittacula eupatria were the four ‘Near Threatened’ species found in this region. In addition to this, the region also supported 31 species (22%) whose global population trend is decreasing. This study provides a baseline data on the bird diversity present in agricultural landscapes of this region. Based on which further studies should be designed to understand the factors influencing the diversity of birds in these agricultural landscapes which are continuously subjected to anthropogenic pressures.

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