DIVERSITY OF AVIFAUNA IN AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPE: RECORDS FROM PANIPAT, HARYANA, INDIAParmesh Kumar and Sharmila Sahu
Birds constitute an important component in the agro-ecosystems, and often execute various ecosystem services such as pest control, scavenging, nutrient deposition, seed dispersal, and pollination. However, studies on status of avifauna in agricultural landscapes of India are very limited. As a preliminary effort, the present study depicts the avian species assemblage of agricultural landscapes, using Panipat, Haryana, India, as a study area. Adopting line-transect and point method together with opportunistic encounter, a total of 102 bird species under 44 families and 15 orders were recorded from the study area. The bird species richness was highest for the order Passeriformes (49) followed by Pelecaniformes (13), Charadriiformes (7) and rest12 orders. Muscicapidae was the most diverse bird family represented by 7 species and accounted for 6.86 % of the total bird community in the study area. Among the recorded avifauna, 75 species were residents, 21 species were winter visitors and 6 species were summer visitors. Species richness was found to be highest in the month of January compared to the remaining months. The study records the presence of four near threatened species (Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala, Black-necked Stork Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus, Black-headed Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus and Alexandrine Parakeet Psittacula eupatria) in the region. Moreover, five species having a globally declining population trend are still common in the study area. The observed richness of bird species in the study area calls for further studies on habitat preference, seasonal abundance, foraging ecology and breeding biology to underline species specic roles in agroecosystem functions and sustenance of ecosystem services.
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