Avian Diversity in Kaligandaki River Basin, Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal

Juna Neupane, Laxman Khanal, Mukesh Kumar Chalise

Abstract


Birds represent an important component of earth’s biodiversity and the study of avian diversity is an essential ecological tool, which acts as an indicator to evaluate different habitat types and conditions. The main aim of this study was to assess the diversity and abundance of birds and the seasonal variation in Kaligandaki River basin, within Annapurna Conservation Area. Data were collected in two seasons of 2019- winter (January and February) and summer (May and June) using point count method. Birds were surveyed within 90 different plots with three replications on each 100 m elevational rise during 6 AM to 11 AM in the morning and 3 PM to 5 PM in the evening. During this study, a total of 1,036 individuals of 120 bird species from 33 families of eight orders were recorded. Out of eight orders, order Passeriformes had the highest species richness followed by the order Piciformes and Columbiformes. Family Muscicapidae had the highest number of bird species, followed by Sylviidae, Corvidae and Fringillidae. Analysis of feeding guild structure revealed insectivores as the largest feeding guild followed by omnivores. Number of resident birds were higher than summer and winter migrants. Shannon-Weiner diversity index (H'=4.134) and the evenness index (e= 0.5205) indicated the diverse assemblage of the avian fauna in the study area. However, analysis of variance by one-way ANOVA (Fstat= 0.48, p>0.05) revealed no significant variation in species richness in the two seasons. Extensive avian survey covering all seasons is important for further exploration of more diverse community assemblage and composition in the area, which might play a crucial role in developing baseline information and implementing conservation implications.


Keywords


Bird Diversity; Community; Elevational Gradient; Evenness; Feeding Guilds; Passeriformes.

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