275 bird species were counted during the survey at Corbett Tiger Reserve

275 bird species were counted during the survey at Corbett Tiger Reserve

Context : 

At the Corbett Tiger Reserve, 275 bird species were tallied, including two that are severely endangered, four that are vulnerable, and two that are endangered.

What are the Key findings of the Survey taken at Corbett Tiger Reserve?

  • Species Count: 275 different bird species in all were discovered throughout the survey.
  • Threatened Species: The survey discovered two bird species that are both categorized as severely endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the red-headed and white-rumped vultures.
  • Endangered species: Pallas’s fish eagle and Egyptian vulture were identified as two endangered bird species.
  • Four threatened bird species were identified: the great hornbill, the great slaty woodpecker, the grey-crowned prinia, and the river tern.
  • Near-Threatened Species: The survey discovered 10 near-threatened bird species, including the Alexandrine parakeet, black-necked stork, Asian woolly-necked stork, red-breasted parakeet, smaller fish-eagle, Himalayan griffon, great thick-knee, and grey-headed fish-eagle.
  • Least Concern Species:256 of the total number of species recorded in the survey were deemed to be of least concern by the IUCN.

What do we know about the Threatened species mentioned in the survey?

  • Critically Endangered Species:
    • The White-rumped Vulture (Gyps bengalensis), a big bird of prey that was once common throughout South Asia, is a critically endangered species. Due to the extensive use of the veterinary medication diclofenac in livestock, which results in catastrophic renal failure in vultures who devour the drug-contaminated corpses, they have experienced a quick and severe population drop. Diclofenac use is prohibited, and vulture-safe feeding procedures are established.
    • The Asian king vulture is another name for the red-headed vulture (Sarcogyps calvus). They have seen substantial population losses, similar to the white-rumped vulture, partly as a result of diclofenac poisoning. By scavenging and eliminating animal carcasses, these vultures serve a critical part in maintaining the health of the ecosystem.
  • Endangered Species:
    • Pallas’s Fish-Eagle (Haliaeetus leucoryphus) is an endangered species. A sizable raptor called the Pallas’s fish-eagle can be found in portions of South and Southeast Asia. It lives in wetland environments and mostly eats fish. Some of the dangers this species confronts include habitat loss, pollution, and disturbance to breeding areas.
    • Neophron percnopterus, an Egyptian vulture, is a small scavenger bird that lives in a variety of settings, including open spaces, deserts, and cities. They are recognizable by their distinguishing features, which include their small stature and yellow face. Loss of habitat, poisoning, and other human activities put these vultures in danger.
  • Vulnerable Species:
    • The Great Hornbill (Buceros bicornis) is a huge, affable bird with a distinctive casque on its bill. In South and Southeast Asia, it lives in woods. The biggest risks to this species are habitat loss and hunting.
    • One of the biggest woodpeckers in the world is the Great Slaty Woodpecker (Mulleripicus pulverulentus). In several locations of South and Southeast Asia, it can be found in woods. Significant dangers to its survival include logging and habitat loss.
    • The Grey-crowned Prinia (Prinia cinereocapilla) is a tiny passerine bird that inhabits scrubby and grassy areas. This species is impacted by habitat loss brought on by agriculture and urbanization.
    • Waterbirds known as river terns (Sterna aurantia) live in rivers, lakes, and coastal environments. They are susceptible to pollution, habitat loss, and disruptions at breeding locations.

What are the steps available to Protect them?

  • Habitat Protection and Restoration:
    • Identification of key habitats for these species, such as nesting locations, feeding grounds, and migration routes, should be done to protect them.
    • Through conservation efforts, habitat management, and reforestation, restore damaged habitats.
  • Reducing Threats Caused by Humans:
    • Adopt and implement restrictions on dangerous drugs, such as diclofenac, that have an impact on vultures and other scavenging animals.
    • Inform farmers and owners of livestock of the risks associated with employing dangerous substances that can damage birds through tainted food sources.
  • Anti-Poaching Measures:
    •  Strengthen anti-poaching initiatives to stop the unlawful killing and sale of these birds and their parts.
    • To safeguard these species from poachers, work with law enforcement organizations.
  • Programs for conservation breeding:
    • To increase the populations of critically endangered species like vultures, establish and manage captive breeding programs.
    • Reintroduce captive-bred animals into the wild gradually while keeping an eye on how they adjust and fare.
  • Community Engagement:
    • Engage local communities in conservation efforts by educating them on the value of these birds for the sustainability of ecosystems and human livelihoods.
    • Implement sustainable livelihood initiatives that offer substitutes for practices that endanger these species, such as unauthorized hunting.
  • Policy Advocacy: 
    • Promote stricter local, national, and international rules and regulations for the protection of wildlife.
    • Ensure that laws protecting animals are properly implemented and enforced by working with government organizations.

The significance of the Corbett Tiger Reserve as a habitat for several bird species, including those that are critically endangered, endangered, fragile, and near-threatened, is highlighted by these studies. Monitoring the populations of different bird species and developing future conservation plans are made possible by the survey, which contributes essential data to ongoing conservation activities in the region.