Mysore/Mysuru: The four-day bird census conducted at Biligiri Ranganathaswamy Temple (BRT) Tiger Reserve concluded on Jan. 29 where 274 species were recorded by the volunteers.
Notably, in the 2012 census, 272 bird species were recorded in the BRT Tiger Reserve and now, after 11 years, 274 species have been recorded. Mysore royal family member Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, who participated in the valedictory of the bird census organised at K. Gudi, said that after Amazon Forests, the BRT Reserve in Western Ghats has a wide variety of bird and animal species.
“After the Amazon forests, the Western Ghats are the next place with the highest concentration of biodiversity. The BRT Reserve can be considered an extension of the Ghats and commendable work has been done in conducting the survey,” he said.
Recalling the close association of Wadiyars of Mysuru with the BRT Reserve, Yaduveer said that the former rulers used to come to places like Boodipadaga in BRT. “I feel relaxed and close to nature when I come to BRT and this place was close to the heart of the Wadiyars,” he said. Yaduveer later distributed certificates to the census volunteers.
BRT Tiger Reserve Director (Project Tiger) and Deputy Conservator of Forests Deep J. Contractor said that the 2023 bird census recorded 274 species while 272 species were recorded in 2012. “We had given just four days for participants to register in the census this time and more than 300 volunteers had registered for the bird survey,” she added.
The Great Indian Hornbill has been sighted after many years and two new migratory species were also recorded that includes Northern Shoveler and Northern Pintail.
Over 50 volunteers and 17 students took part in the census that began from K. Gudi and the participants were divided into 25 groups and a field survey was conducted across the Tiger Reserve. Participants counted birds on roads like the Game road, Main roads and Safari routes. The survey focussed on water bodies and canopies.
State Wildlife Board Member Malleshappa said that when world-renowned ornithologist Saleem Ali visited BRT forests in 1939, he discovered 139 species. “Thanks to the conservation efforts of decades, today we are seeing 274 species and this bird population indicates that the BRT Tiger Reserve is one of the vital biodiversity spots in the world,” he added.