Surveillance of avian mortality on the road passing through Pohra – Malkhed reserve forest district Amravati, Maharashtra
Amol S Rawankar, Gajanan A Wagh
Anthropogenic activities severely affect the avian population and becoming serious threat to avian population and its biodiversity. Roads traffic is becoming one of the greater threats to animal and plant population. In India the highways are going through many protected forest areas and causes severe impact to wildlife and their habitat. In India, few studies were carried out regarding mortality of avian fauna. Hence the attempt has been made to study the mortality in birds on state highway passing through Pohara-Malkhed reserve forest and its percentage to total avian fauna by quantitative analysis of avian carcases. For Surveillance, regular visits for 1 year at a weekly interval along with some occasional visits was undertaken during January 2015- Dec 2015 to identify the carcasses. The identification of birds was done by morphologically and through photographic evidences. The data was recorded including the name of species, family, place and date of occurrence etc. Frequency of mortality of birds was calculated by assessing the number of carcasses. From the observations it is found that the Greater Coucal (Centropus sinensis) is the most dominant species found dead in road vehicle collision, followed by Red - vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer), Spotted Owlet (Athene brama), Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis), Indian Nightjar (Caprimulgus asiaticus). Family wise maximum mortality was recorded in the family Centropodidaefollowed by Pycnonotidae, Strigidae, Caprimulgidae.Seasonal variation shows that maximum mortality was found during the months of January- February-March and minimum mortality during the months of Apr – June. This preliminary study provides a baseline data on the magnitude of avian mortality on roads passing through reserve forest. The impact of such loss on avian population remains unknown. Long term study will be needed to evaluate such impact on Biodiversity.