Records of Avifauna of Wetlands around Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, India
Keoladeo National Park (KNP) is one of the six natural World Heritage Sites in India inscribed by UNESCO. KNP is famous for its rich avifaunal diversity, resulting from its location in a semi-arid landscape on the Central Asian Flyway. Several species of migratory bird of this wetland also move to nearby satellite wetlands for foraging whenever the water in KNP is inadequate. In this context, ecological surveys were carried out during 2009–2011 as part of a long-term monitoring exercise to develop a database of the migratory birds that use KNP and its satellite wetlands. The objective of developing the database was to prepare a comprehensive landscape-level management plan. Twelve satellite wetlands within a 100 km radius of KNP were surveyed. The data set lists distribution data of the avifauna, including the status and taxonomic information, descriptions of the wetlands (with localities, county and geographic coordinates) and sampling details (collector and sampling dates). The data set includes 33,238 records corresponding, with 15 families involved. This data record is a significant contribution to the knowledge management system of the avifauna of this region. It will be useful for future studies on birds and their habitats and conservation.
All over the world there is increasing interest in the conservation of water birds and their wetland habitats. These habitats are under pressure due to certain environmental changes and human activities (Turner et al. 2000; Froneman et al. 2001). India is estimated to have about 58.2 million hectares of wetlands (Prasad et al. 2002). Many of these wetlands are distributed around the Indo-Gangetic plains. Numerous direct and indirect pressures arising from different types of economic development and associated activities are having adverse impacts on these wetlands habitat. Apart from the natural wetlands of India, which support 20% of the known biodiversity (Deepa and Ramachandra 1999), there are many man-made wetlands, such as dams and ponds, in the country that also support floral and faunal diversity. The importance of artificial wetlands has been studied by many authors, and they have suggested that these wetlands can provide suitable habitats for water birds (Tourenq et al. 2001, McKinstry and Anderson 2002, Paracuellos and Telleria 2004, Santoul et al. 2004, Okes et al. 2008, Rendon et al. 2008). Keoladeo National Park (KNP), a protected area, is a man-made wetland of the Gangetic plains that attracts several thousands of migratory birds in winter. Significant numbers of birds also visit the nearby satellite wetlands daily for foraging, but these wetlands are not protected. A few scattered studies have been carried out on the avifauna of this region (Bhadouria et al. 2010). Narwade et al. (2011) have provided data available in the literature on the birds of northeast India. But so far no comprehensive dataset has been published on the avifauna of the region. The purpose of this paper is to document a data set, comprising 33,238 sight records of birds belonging to 15 families (Fig.2) from the satellite wetlands of KNP. Biodiversity data are neither accessible nor discoverable (Chavan and Ingwersen, 2009).We believe that this dataset is a significant contribution to the knowledge management system of the avifauna of this region and that it will be useful for future studies on birds and their habitats. Further, this data set will help develop a landscape-level management plan for KNP and its satellite wetlands, with a special focus on the birds.
Date range: Jul 1, 2009 - Dec 31, 2011
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