Species composition and habitat associations of birds around Jhilmila Lake at Western Chure Landscape, Nepal

Authors: Dipendra Adhikari, Jagan Nath Adhikari, Janak Raj Khatiwada, Bishnu Prasad Bhattarai, Subarna Ghimire, Deepak Rijal

Abstract: Wetlands support around 27% of birds in Nepal, however, there is a paucity of information about bird diversity and the wetland habitat of Western Chure Landscape Nepal. The “point count” method along transects was carried out to evaluate the species composition and habitat associations of birds. A total of 2,532 individuals representing 152 species (winter: N = 140 and summer: N = 91) from 19 orders and 51 families were reported from Jhilmila Lake and its surrounding area. The number of birds was reported to be significantly higher during winter than in the summer season. The species diversity was also higher in winter (Shannon’s index (H) = 4.38, Fisher’s alpha = 30.67) than in summer (H = 4.21, Fisher’s alpha = 34.69) as this area is surrounded by oldgrowth forest that provides available habitats for forest, grassland- and wetland-dwelling birds. This lake is an example of a wetland present in the Chure area that plays an important role in the conservation of biodiversity along with birds. Hence, we recommend its detailed study in terms of biodiversity and water quality.

Keywords: Chure, bird diversity, endangered, forest, wetland

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