Bird survey at Parambikulam Tiger Reserve has commenced on 7th of February with more than 40 participants from all over India participating in it. This is conducted by Kerala Forest Department, College of Forestry, Kerala Agricultural University and Bird Count India, as a part of Kerala Bird Atlas - a massive statewide bird survey to cover every corner of the state. This will be the first time that Kerala Bird Atlas Survey is being conducted in this tiger reserve.
Participants will camp in 14 different camps inside the tiger reserve and monitor birds for one hour in randomly selected, pre-defined 1 sq.km. sub-cells. After they complete the bird monitoring in the sub-cell, they continue bird-watching and uploads their observations in 15 minute checklists. They would use mobile apps like Locus Free to reach the sub-cells and eBird to enter the bird sightings. Bird Atlas Surveys are conducted twice a year - in wet season and dry season. This survey is a part of the dry season surveys. A report will be generated out of the data collected by the volunteers from different parts of the tiger reserve.
“Parambikulam Tiger Reserve is well-known for path-breaking studies from the time of Dr. Salim Ali, when he camped in Kuriarkutti way back in 1930s. Since then, many researchers have studied the birds of Parambikulam and a combined checklist of over 250 species has been recorded here. However, this is the first time we would be getting the densities of different birds at a spatial scale across the entire tiger reserve.” Said Madhusoodanan IFS, Deputy Director, Parambikulam Tiger Reserve.
Parambikulam Tiger Reserve has got most habitat types found in southern Western Ghats except typical shola grasslands and covers an altitude range of 470m to 1438m.
Kerala Bird Atlas is an ambitious citizen science project that aims to map the birds of the entire state over a period of five years. More than 75% of the work is already over and the project winds up in 2020. More than 1,000 volunteers have already participated in these statewide surveys.
“There are 30 sub-cells in Parambikulam Tiger Reserve. This is a challenging and one of the largest of bird surveys we have coordinated in the past. With excellent support from the Kerala Forest Department, and hopefully favourable weather conditions, we are hopeful to complete the entire dry season survey of the tiger reserve in four days” said Praveen J of Bird Count India.