Avian communities in fragmented wetlands around Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, India
Keoladeo National Park, a world heritage site, is famous for its rich avifaunal diversity but is now facing water shortages. Therefore, many species of migratory birds have been moving to nearby wetlands for foraging. In this connection, a survey was carried out during 2009-10 to understand the status of birds and their use of these wetlands. A total of 27 wetlands have been identified within 100 km radius of the Keoladeo National Park. These wetlands were either on agricultural land or the dams that have been created mainly for supplying water for irrigation of the agricultural fields of surrounding areas. They ranged in distance from KNP from 4.3 to 125.82 km (X̅ = 53.25, SD = 34.35) and area from 10 to 26,667 ha (X̅ = 1980.8, SD = 5622.7). Of the 27 wetlands, 12 wetlands were surveyed and it is found that Rediabundh is the most species rich with 44 bird species, while only one species was found in Chicksana wetland. Larger-sized wetlands with more water attracted larger numbers of species, including more individual birds, than the smaller wetlands. A landscape level conservation plan, including these wetlands, is needed for the long term conservation of birds in Keoladeo National Park.