Jeypore Rainforest

Fauna-Birds

Birds form an intrinsic part of most cultures most apparently because of their fabulous colors and melodious calls. Of deeper significance is their role as predators, prey and dispersers of pollen and plant seed which are necessary for the survival of natural ecosystems. India, with its predominantly tropical climate and diverse habitats has 1,306 species of birds, which forms more than 13% of the world's bird assemblage with 57 or 4.4% being endemic species. Of these, 953 species have been recorded in the north-eastern region of which 19 species are endemic. Jeypore Rainforest in Upper Assam is a bird-watcher's delight, known to harbour about 281 bird species, belonging to 174 genera and 51 families. The majority are residents (63.7%), some are winter visitors (23.1% ), and very few are summer visitors (2.5%). About 10.7% are altitudinal migrants, coming mainly from the higher reaches of the western, central and eastern Himalayas.There are 13 globally threatened species here viz. the Slender-billed Vulture, White-winged Duck, Greater Adjutant, Greater Spotted Eagle, Lesser Adjutant, Beautiful Nuthatch, Marsh Babbler, Tawny-breasted Wren Babbler, White-cheeked Hill Partridge, Great Hornbill, Brown Hornbill, Oriental Darter and Painted Stork. At least 10 of the bird species are listed in Schedule-I of Wildlife Protection Act 1972 (1994) including the White-winged Duck, Kalij Pheasant Grey Peacock Pheasant, Besra, Black Baza, Slender-billed Vulture, Osprey Great, Hornbill Wreathed Hornbill and Common Hill Myna. Jeypore is home to five endemic bird species, which is 26% of the endemics reported from the north eastern region and all belong to the family Sylviidae. These are the Yellow-vented Warbler, Broad-billed Warbler, Marsh Babbler, Tawny-breasted Wren Babbler and White-naped Yuhina. The birds of Jeypore forest thrive in the diversity of microhabitats in the predominantly evergreen forest such as dense evergreen forest, rivers & streams, evergreen forest edge, swamps, semi-open evergreen forest that includes the logged areas where openings are present, agriculture (cultivations, fallows and tea gardens) along the edge and habitations on evergreen forest edge. Most species are habitat specialists i.e. they are found only in a single microhabitat, with dense evergreen forest harbouring the maximum of 111 of the total 281 birds species recorded in Jeypore, of which insectivores are the most dominant guild with 79 species. 44 species were recorded along rivers or streams, 37 species in evergreen forest edge and 23 species in semi-open evergreen forest. The insectivorous, carnivorous and most of the omnivorous birds help control the insect and rodent pests in the forest as well as in the agricultural ecosystem adjoining the forest. Frugivores like the hornbills, barbets, pigeons and koel, along with some of the omnivores like crows, mynas and starlings that feed on fruits serve as seed dispersers. Nectarivores and some of the insectivores and omnivores that feed on nectar help in plant pollination. There are terrestrial piscivores like the Kingfishers, Brown Fish Owl and Osprey and 31 aquatic species that depend on the rivers and streams inside the forest and the agricultural fields along the forest edge