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International Journal of Zoological Research
Year: 2017  |  Volume: 13  |  Issue: 1  |  Page No.: 12 - 19

A Study on the Avifauna of Palakkal Kole Wetland, Thrissur: A Ramsar Site of South India

Kezia Kuruvilla and K.J. Ann Maria    

Abstract: Background: Kole wetland, a highly productive habitat forms a unique ecosystem that supports large number of birds. Palakkal Kole wetland, Thrissur, which is part of Vembanad Kole is a Ramsar site and this study identifies the species richness and composition of avian fauna of this wetland. Materials and Methods: Bird survey was done by line transect method, direct counting, point counting and block counting methods. Results: Sixty five species of birds belonging to 12 orders and 28 families were recorded from Palakkal Kole. Two vulnerable species, Ciconia episcopus and Clanga clanga and 5 near threatened species were recorded from the area. Anhinga melanogaster, Pelecanus philippensis, Threskiornis melanocephalus, Mycteria leucocephala and Limosa limosa seen in this habitat are near threatened species. About 66.15% of birds in Palakkal Kole are water dependent foragers. About 43.08% of the avian fauna of this area are aquatic carnivores. Waders have the highest species representation in Kole wetlands. About 6570 birds were recorded during the study with maximum number of birds during the month of January. Shannon Wiener diversity index was highest in February. Charadriiformes were the most represented order with 15 species, followed by Passeriformes and Pelecaniformes. Pelecaniformes was the most abundant order with maximum number of birds during the months January-April. Twenty species showed trans-continental migration, 15 local migration and 30 species were resident to the area. Conclusion: Wetlands provide habitat for large number of birds including several threatened and near threatened bird species. Mycteria leucocephala identified as a vagrant visitor to the wetlands of Malabar and South Kerala by earlier researchers was found to have extended its range. The conservation of vulnerable and threatened species and their habitats require prioritization. Migratory birds connect continents and countries and act as excellent environmental indicators.

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