Bird-Habitat Relationships in Modified Forest Habitats of Delhi Ridge.
Munish Kumar Gupta
Ambedkar University DelhiAuthors
Munish Kumar Gupta, Ghazala Shahabuddin, Koustubh Sharma
Introduction: What conservation problem or question does your study address?
There is scarce knowledge about the effects of habitat modification on avifauna in urban green spaces. I examined the distribution and abundance of bird species in modified forest habitats in Delhi Ridge, including two recreational parks and four forest sites in order to understand the effects of habitat modification, in particular, conversion of forests to parks.
Methods: What were the main research methods you used?
Birds were sampled using point count method at six points within each of the six sites. Sampling was repeated five times over a 1-month period (March-April 2014). Vegetation attributes were also sampled at each of the sites including canopy cover, basal area, tree density, % shrub cover, % exotic shrub cover, % exotic trees and maximum tree height. Bird densities at each site were calculated using Distance sampling. Densities of selected bird species were correlated with vegetation attributes to study bird-habitat relationships in park and forest habitats.
Results: What are your most important results?
Park sites showed lower total shrub and exotic shrub cover than forest sites. Of the abundant bird species (recorded ≥ 40 times, 19 species), 7 showed higher densities in park sites than in forest sites, 6 species were more abundant in forest sites while the rest did not show any visible patterns.
Discussion: What are your important discussion points and what is the relevance of your results to conservation (if any)?
The study suggests that modification of habitat to parks alters bird community composition. The study was limited by infrequent sightings of rare species (34 in number), many of which can be considered dry forest specialists (22 in number). The study suggests that retaining forest characteristics (presence of shrub cover) and elimination of food provisioning and garbage, in parks, should be prescribed to help native bird conservation.