Birds of lower Palni Hills, Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu
Journal of Threatened Taxa
The current altitudinal distribution and breeding observations on birds of lower Palni Hills, Western Ghats were documented by conducting road transects, opportunistic surveys including trail walks and mist netting. A total of 196 species belonging to 63 families were recorded during the study. The Accipitridae family was foremost in species richness, followed by Cuculidae and Muscicapidae, Picidae, Timaliidae and other families. Altitudinal distribution of birds was higher between 600 and 900
... etween 600 and 900 m. The general patterns of the decreasing species richness with increasing altitude were observed in mid and upper Palnis. This could be probably because the lower Palnis have more deciduous and scrub forest which can support high food availability. Resident and migrant species made up to 87.76% and 12.24% of the community, respectively. We recorded a species that was threatened, three nearly threatened, and five endemic to the Western Ghats. Most of the endemics were confined to the higher altitudes due to the presence of moist evergreen and high altitude montane forests and grasslands. In total, 51 breeding bird observations were recorded. Interestingly, the variation in the breeding season of some birds was noticed with respect to earlier studies. Overall, our study illustrated useful information on bird community in this region which serves as a baseline for future monitoring programs.