Chat Archives
Chat on "Why is bird census important?" dated November 18, 2006

    Susan  Welcome to IWC chat on "Why is bird census important?" 
    Susan  I will have to stay away from the chat as two of our films "Living With the Park" and "Wilderness Nepal" are being screened at IIC Delhi

    today from 6.30 Pm and I have to be present there to take questions. 
    Susan  Hope you have a great time with Arpit. 
    Arpit  hello ... friends 
    Arpit  i hope i'm not late 
    Ashita  Hi Arpit 
    Arpit  hi ashita 
    Ashita  Im guessing everyons a little delayed today
    Arpit  think so...
    Arpit  so should we start on bird census 
    Ashita  stage is all yours   
    Arpit  but questions are all yours 
    Arpit  but first are the basics,  why bird census are important? 
    Arpit  For the past 30 years there has been wide spread declines in population and range of many native birds world wide
    Arpit  so the basic of bird census is to monitor 
    Arpit  Contribute to the knowledge about the ecology of bird species and populations 
    Arpit  Documentation of the human impact on bird populations 
    Arpit  Identification of critical and important areas for conservation 
    Arpit  Contribute to developing awareness towards nature and conservation 
    Arpit  now i'll talk on the practical points of survey/census methods 
    Arpit  First one is plain old COUNTING BIRDS 
    Arpit  Which means trying to find out what species are within a site and if they are common, rare or scarce, or as part of a more detailed study for

    individual species or groups 
    Ashita  i think another critical area is to find out the difference in bird diversity between less disturbed forests and moderatley disturbed forests 
    Arpit  this method is more baseline data provider 
    Arpit  yes but this can be achieved by population monitoring which is you can say a bit higer version of bird counts 
    Arpit  ashita broadlly you can classify the methods into 3 , namely, bird counts, distribution studies and population studies... 
    Arpit  for all studies baseline data can be acquired from counts only 
    Arpit  so once we got the point count data or transect data of spot/site 
    Arpit  we can combine all the result together to get regional picture of the habitat and species 
    Arpit  and further we can analyze them with past census data or within regional sites which you have suggested.. 
    Arpit  many species are also called indicator species for analyzing anthopogenic pressures and distrubances 
    Arpit  But bird census is a very tricky when it comes to analysis 
    Arpit  many factor affects the bird population specially migrating species 
    Arpit  like in good rain year...we have more birds....or the composition of avian community changes 
    Arpit  any body there 
    deepak  helo arpit,have u found fossils of ancient birds in rann of kutch? 
    deepak  i m not getting messages,no body typing? 
    Arpit  i haven't found any fosils of prehistoric bird....But got some dinosaur bones plenty of molluska and other marine creatures 
    Ashita  is it true that the vulture population has decreased by around 90% in the last few years? 
    deepak  vulture population has been declining,but now the cause has been concluded and efforts are on to ban the use of a chemical which was

    injected in cows whose dead bodies were eated by vultures. 
    deepak  i hope their population will rise in future.........u agree arpit? 
    Arpit  yes,  yes ashita   
    Arpit  i hope to see the increase in vulture populations
    Arpit  vulture population is decreased a lot 
    Ashita  isnt sampling a more practical way when compared to census 
    Arpit  i think nobody is chatting 
    Arpit  ashita i'm not able to understand? 
    Ashita  cant we just survey representative sample areas and extrapolate the results 
    Arpit  yes 
    Arpit  for long term monitoring we fixed the spots/site 
    Ashita  we can still obtain an approximate figure for the total population, right? 
    Arpit  yes definitely 
    Arpit  for long term monitoring programmes we also fix the time of year and time of census also 
    Arpit  we are doing bird census in jamangar district place where i belong since last 4 years 
    Arpit  with the help from forest department, local birders 
    Ashita  For more common and widespread species, it may become too expensive and 
    Arpit  We have selected 98 site for census 
    Arpit  as jamnagar host most waders and water birds.. census is a bit simple and less costly 
    Arpit  but for forested area you need to have mist netting for census .. 
    Arpit  and for mist netting  birds you need to have proper permission from the concerned department(FOREST) 
    Ashita  so do you do multiple studies in these same sites repeatedly in the same season for accuracy? 
    Arpit  not exactly but
    Arpit  i normally do 3 days continous count to get an average 
    Arpit  'coz it's not possible to send people on 98 spots for 3-4 times 
    Ashita  thats true 
    Ashita  is double counting a major cause of concern? 
    Arpit  i also do 3 counts a day for my further studies in avian community structure 
    Arpit  not really in my case as all the site are normally wetlands, saltpans or mud flats...but still there are chances of double counting... 
    Ashita  Arpit, generally what wud u do abt aerial species flying over the census area? 
    Arpit  i'll give a practical scenario/situations 
    Arpit  first normally we divide the large wetland in to zones and get the team appotinetd for each zone
    Arpit  and we prefer the times when birds are normallly busy in feeding or roosting 
     Arpit  and still and flock flew then each counter note the flock and no. and also in which direction it flew..if possible where landed ..whose zone is

    Arpit  so at final time we can analyze this data to overcome this situations 
    Ashita  how big is the team in jamnagar? 
    Arpit  we have around 25-35 birderrs from jamangar 
    Arpit  but as i said earlier forest department are also organizers so their staff are also available for field work 
    Arpit  plus many birders join us from gujrat and also from other parts 
    Ashita  and what are 
    Ashita  what are the main equipments taht you use? 
    Arpit  binoculars...and scopes if available with birders 
    Arpit  and for analysis i had developed a software to analyze large amount of data 
    Ashita  ok 
    Arpit  i'm still adding more fuctionality to it like GIS, Distrubution and population maps...etc 
    Ashita  so there is no recording of songs or calls? 
    Arpit  no 
    Arpit  i had also prepared the basic analysis of my data 
    Arpit  unfortunatelly due to too many projects i was not able to add 05-06 data 
    Arpit  you can mail me on to have a look at draft report of mine 
    Arpit  sorry guys i got power cut 
    Arpit  i got power cut and my backup will not last more then 5 minutes 
    Ashita  thank you Arpit 
    Arpit  so i think i have to leave 
    Arpit  bye good night 
    Ashita  will mail you for the report 
    Arpit  yes u are most welcome 
    Arpit  bye 
    Arpit  and sorry once again 
    Ashita  thanks everyone, it was educational. I shall be signing off now...see u all later 





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