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March 2012 | Vol. 4 | No. 3 | Pages 2409–2480 Date of Publication 26 March 2012 ISSN 0974-7907 (online) | 0974-7893 (print)

 Balaenoptera edeni Anderson

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JoTT Communication

4(3): 2409–2416

A new species of barb Puntius nigripinnis (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) from southern Western Ghats, India J.D. Marcus Knight 1, K. Rema Devi 2, T.J. Indra 3 & M. Arunachalam 4 Flat ‘L’, Sri Balaji Apartments, 7th Main Road, Dhandeeswaram, Velachery, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600042, India Zoological Survey of India, Southern Regional Centre, 100, Santhome High Road, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600028, India 4 Sri Paramakalyani Centre for Environmental Sciences, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Alwarkurichi, Tamil Nadu 627412, India Email: 1 jdmarcusknight@yahoo.co.in, 2 remadevi_zsi@yahoo.com (corresponding author), 3 jpandurangan@hotmail.com, 4 arunacm@gmail.com 1

2,3

Date of publication (online): 26 March 2012 Date of publication (print): 26 March 2012 ISSN 0974-7907 (online) | 0974-7893 (print) Editor: Anonimity requested Manuscript details: Ms # o3014 Received 21 November 2011 Final received 06 March 2012 Finally accepted 19 March 2012 Citation: J.D. Marcus Knight, K. Rema Devi, T.J. Indra & M. Arunachalam (2012). A new species of barb Puntius nigripinnis (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) from southern Western Ghats, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 4(3): 2409–2416. Copyright: © J.D. Marcus Knight, K. Rema Devi, T.J. Indra & M. Arunachalam 2012. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. JoTT allows unrestricted use of this article in any medium for non-profit purposes, reproduction and distribution by providing adequate credit to the authors and the source of publication. Author Details: See end of this article. Author Contribution: JDMK carried out the study of the entire P. ticto group. KRD and TJI carried out the morphometric study of the new species. MA provided specimens for study and also helped in the study of the new species. Acknowledgements We wish to thank the Director, Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata for the facilities provided. We also wish to thank Andrew Rao, for helping us obtain comparative material and Balaji Vijayakrishnan, for sharing literature. We also thank Rahul G. Kumar for the live photograph of Puntius nigripinnis.

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Abstract: Puntius ticto, a widely distributed barb, was long believed to have many variants. Recent research has shown that what was earlier known as P. ticto in different regions of India comprised of many similar looking species such as P. manipurensis, P. muvattupuzhaensis, P. pookodensis, among others. As yet another addition to this complex, we describe Puntius nigripinnis sp. nov. from the Nilgiris and Wyanad area of the southern Western Ghats. Puntius nigripinnis, sp. nov., is distinguished from all other congeners by lacking barbels and having the last unbranched dorsal ray serrated; 20–21 lateral line scales; lateral line incomplete, piercing 3–5 scales; dorsal, anal, pelvic and pectoral fins black in adult males; body pattern consisting of a humeral mark on the 3rd or 4th lateral-line scale and a second larger, band-like spot on the 18th and 19th scale, forming a ring around the caudal peduncle, and only two scales between the second spot and the root of the caudal fin. Keywords: Puntius, P. ticto, new species, Western Ghats.

Introduction Hamilton (1822) first described Puntius ticto from the “southeastern parts of Bengal”, as a small fish with a spotted dorsal fin and two black spots on the body, one on the lateral line above the pectoral fin and the other near the end of the tail. The other significant characteristics given in the original description include the second unbranched dorsal ray being serrated, the body greenish-silver, the fins pale greenish and in mature individuals slightly stained with red, the absence of barbels and the lateral line being scarcely distinguishable. Subsequently, Day (1878) gave a clearer description of P. ticto and distinguished it from P. stoliczkanus and P. punctatus, which he had described, by the presence of an incomplete lateral line (vs. a complete lateral line in the other two species). Hora (1937) and Hora et al. (1939) treated P. stoliczkanus and P. punctatus as synonyms of P. ticto while Silas (1952) considered P. stoliczkanus and P. punctatus to be subspecies of P. ticto. Jayaram (1991), in his revision of Puntius, once again brought P. stoliczkanus and P. punctatus under the synonymy of P. ticto. Talwar & Jhingran (1991) considered P. stoliczkanus and P. punctatus as synonyms of P. ticto. Though other authors recognized P. stoliczkanus and P. punctatus as valid species (Menon et al. 2000; Beevi & Ramachandran 2005; Mercy & Jacob 2007), it was the redescription of both P. ticto and P. stoliczkanus by Linthoingambi & Vishwanath (2007) that clearly distinguished the two species. Recent studies of this group of fish led to the descriptions of several new species such as P. manipurensis (Menon et al. 2000), P. muvattupuzhaensis (Beevi & Ramachandran 2005), P. pookodensis (Mercy & Jacob 2007), P. ater (Linthoingambi &

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Vishwanath 2007) and P. khugae (Linthoingambi & Vishwanath 2007). During an examination of the specimens deposited in the Southern Regional Centre, Zoological Survey of India and Sri Paramakalyani Centre for Environmental Sciences, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, the presence of one more valid species similar to P. ticto, collected from the Nilgiris and Wyanad area of the Western Ghats was discovered, which in this paper we describe as P. nigripinnis sp. nov.

Materials and methods The material for the present study are based on recent collections from Nilgiris by the scientists of the Southern Regional Centre, Zoological Survey of India and specimens from Kalindhi Stream of river Kabini, Wyanad, in the collections of Sri Paramakalyani Centre for Environmental Sciences. The specimens used in this study are registered in the collections of the Southern Regional Centre, Zoological Survey of India, Chennai (ZSI/SRC) and the private collections of J.D. Marcus Knight (PCJDMK). Measurements were made with dial calipers to the nearest 0.1mm. All quantification of characters is as per Meegaskumbura et al. (2008). Subunits of body are expressed as percentage of Standard Length (SL). Subunits of the head are expressed in proportions of both head length (HL) and standard length (SL).

Puntius nigripinnis sp. nov. (Image 1) Material examined Holotype: 21.ix.2002, 45.0mm SL, Kalindhi stream of river Kabini, Wyanad, Kerala, India, (~ 11047’N & 7604’E), coll. M. Arunachalam (ZSI/SRC F. 6628). Paratypes: 21.ix.2002, 3 exs., 33.0–38.0 mm SL, Kalindhi stream of river Kabini, Wyanad, Kerala, India, (~ 11047’N & 7604’E ), coll. M. Arunachalam (ZSI/SRC F. 6629); 15.ii.1992, 2 exs., 34.0–39.0 mm SL, F. 6578, elevation 1000m, Kakkan halla, Moyar River, Tamil Nadu, India, (~11034’N & 76049’E), Coll. G. Thirumalai. (Image 2 A). Diagnosis Puntius nigripinnis sp. nov. can be distinguished from its congeners by the absence of barbels and having the last unbranched dorsal ray serrated; 20–21 scales in lateral series; lateral line incomplete, piercing 3–5 scales; dorsal, anal, pelvic and pectoral fins black in adult males; body pattern consisting of a black humeral spot on the 3rd or 4th lateral-line scale and a second larger spot on the 18th and 19th scale, which appears as more of a band, forming a ring around the caudal peduncle; and only two scales between the second spot and the hypural notch. Description Morphometric data are presented in Table 1. General body shape and appearance as in Images 1, 2 A and 3. Body moderately deep, laterally compressed; dorsal contour ascending anteriorly, with a low indentation

Image 1. Puntius nigripinnis sp. nov., holotype, 45.0 mm SL, ZSI / SRC F. 6628. 2410

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New Puntius nigripinnis from Western Ghats

J.D.M. Knight et al.

Image 2. A - Puntius nigripinnis sp. nov. paratype (female), ZSI/SRC F. 6629; B - P. ticto, ZSI/SRC F6630; C - P. punctatus, ZSI/SRC F 8272; D- P. pookodensis, paratype, ZSI/SRC F 7636; E - P. manipurensis, ZSI/SRC F8550; F - P. muvattupuzhaensis, ZSI/SRC F8465; G - P. phutunio, PCJDMK 045; H - P. setnai, ZSI/SRC F6127

at nape, slightly convex anterior to dorsal-fin origin, tapering gradually posterior to dorsal-fin insertion; ventral profile equally convex anterior to pelvic-fin origin, curving gently up to anal-fin origin, thence sloping upward towards caudal peduncle; caudal peduncle deep, its depth a little less than its length, concave in both dorsal and ventral profiles. Head small, snout rounded. with a small hump at the end. Mouth sub-terminal, lateral fold on the snout present. Barbels absent, lips thick, U-shaped. Distance from snout tip to posterior edge of maxilla approximately 8% SL. Eye large, its centre placed in the upper half of the head, approximately 30% HL. Dorsal-fin with

 

three simple and eight branched rays, the last simple ray strongly serrated posteriorly. Dorsal-fin origin slightly behind pelvic-fin origin, inserted midway between tip of snout and base of caudal fin. Pelvic fin with one simple and 7(1) or 8(5) branched rays. Anal fin with three simple and five branched rays. Pectoral fin with 1 simple and 12(5) or 13(1) branched rays. Pectoral and pelvic fins short, not reaching pelvic and anal-fin origins respectively. Caudal fin with 19 rays, deeply forked. Scales in lateral series 20(3) or 21(3); lateral line incomplete, piercing only the anteriormost 3–5 scales. Transverse scales from dorsal-fin origin to ventral fin origin ½4+1+2(4)–2½ (2). Predorsal scales

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Table 1. Morphometric data for Puntius nigripinnis sp. nov. holotype (ZSI SRC F 6628) and paratypes (ZSI SRC F 6629, 3 exs. and ZSI SRC F 6578, 2 exs.) Characters

Holotype

Range

45.0

33.0–45.0

Head length

31.6

27.9–31.6

29.8±1.4

Head depth

25.0

21.7–25.1

23.7±1.3

Body depth

40.1

37.2–41.7

40.0±1.5

Body width

17.5

15.2–18.6

17.3±1.2

Snout length

10.2

8.2–10.9

9.3±1.1

Eye diameter

8.1

8.0–9.7

8.9±0.5

Standard length [mm]

Mean (± SD)

% SL

Inter orbital width

10.0

9.7–10.5

10.0±0.2

Pre–dorsal distance

52.8

51.0–54.4

52.2±1.2

Dorsal to hypural distance

50.1

48.2–54.1

50.7±2.2

Pre pelvic distance

49.7

46.1–52.4

49.4±2.4

Pre anal distance

72.0

67.1–76.5

72.1±3.2

Pre pectoral distance

32.4

27.4–33.2

30.1±2.2

Dorsal fin height

26.2

20.2–26.6

24.8±2.4

Pectoral fin length

25.3

23.9–28.8

25.5±1.7

Anal fin depth

19.7

15.8–19.7

18.0±1.2

Caudal peduncle length

14.0

14.0–17.3

15.9±1.4

Caudal peduncle depth

15.3

14.2–15.9

15.1±0.5

Head depth

79.2

70.4–89.9

80.1±6.9

Head width

56.3

51.1–60.5

56.0±3.9

Snout length

32.3

28.4–35.4

31.2±2.6

Eye diameter

25.6

25.6–33.3

30.1±2.9

Inter orbital distance

31.6

31.5–36.7

33.9±2.1

% HL

eight, prepelvic scales 9(4) or 10(2); 18 circumferential scales and 10(1), 11(3) or 12(2) circumpeduncular scales. Pelvic axillary scale present, its length less than half length of pelvic fin. Gill rakers 2–3 + 5–6 on first gill arch. Coloration Formalin-fixed and alcohol-preserved male specimens are dark brown with a black humeral spot on the 4th lateral-line scale, with a larger black spot on the 18th and 19th scale, that has the appearance more of a black band, forming a ring around the caudal peduncle. Dorsal, pectoral, pelvic and anal fins black in mature males. The outer edges of each scale heavily pigmented. Female specimens are not as dark as males and all fins are hyaline. Etymology Named for the black fins in males; niger (Latin) = black and pinna (Latin) = fins. The name is a noun in apposition. Distribution Puntius nigripinnis sp. nov. is at present known only from Kakkan Halla, Moyar River drainage in the Nilgiris, and the Kalindi Stream in the Wyanad area of the southern Western Ghats (Image 4).

Image 3. Adult male Puntius nigripinnis sp. nov. (unregistered live), 35.0mm SL, collected from Kalindi River, Kerala, India (~11054’N & 75059’E), coll. Rahul G. Kumar. 2412

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New Puntius nigripinnis from Western Ghats

J.D.M. Knight et al.

River drainage Political boundary

 

Image 4. Currently known distribution of Puntius nigripinnis sp. nov. A - Kalindi stream in Wyanad (~ 11047’N & 7604’E); B - Kakkan Halla, Moyar River (~11034’N & 76049’E).

Discussion Puntius ticto Hamilton (1822) (Image 2B) is a small fish with a spotted dorsal fin and two spots on the body, one on the lateral line above the pectoral fin and the other near the end of the tail, previously believed to be widespread across the Indian subcontinent. Subsequent researchers have shown that there are a few more species similar to P. ticto, having two spots on the body. The first being P. punctatus (Day, 1865) (Image 2C) followed by P. stoliczkanus (Day, 1871). More recently, species such as P. manipurensis (Menon et al., 2000) (Image 2E), P. muvattupuzhaensis (Beevi & Ramachandran, 2005), P. pookodensis (Mercy & Jacob, 2007) (Image 2D) P. ater (Linthoingambi & Vishwanath, 2007) and P. khugae (Linthoingambi & Vishwanath, 2007) were added to this species group. Puntius nigripinnis sp. nov. is evidently a distinct species as it can be clearly distinguished from all the above superficially similarlooking congeners. Puntius nigripinnis sp. nov. can be easily distinguished from P. punctatus, P.stoliczkanus and P. muvattupuzhaensis by the presence of an incomplete lateral line (vs. complete in the other species). It can be further distinguished by its lower number of scales in the lateral series ( 20–21 vs. 22–26 in P. ticto, 23–24 in P. punctatus, 21–24 in P. stoliczkanus, P. manipurensis and P. muvattupuzhaensis). Puntius nigripinnis sp. nov. can also be distinguished from P. ticto, P. pookodensis and P. manipurensis by the lower

number of lateral transverse scale rows, 2–2½ between lateral-line scale row and ventral fin (vs. 5½ in P. ticto and P. stoliczkanus and 3½ in P. manipurensis and P. pookodensis). The location of the spots on the body also distinguishes P. nigripinnis from similar-looking congeners: the humeral spot is present on the 3rd–4th scale of the lateral line, vs. 4th–5th scale below the lateral line in P. punctatus and P. muvattupuzhaensis. The larger second spot on the caudal peduncle on the 18th and 19th scale is more of a band, forming a ring around the caudal peduncle and only two scales between the spot on the caudal peduncle and the root of the caudal fin compared to a clear spot not forming a band and 4–5 scales in between the spot on the caudal peduncle and the root of the caudal fin in P. ticto, P. stoliczkanus, P. manipurensis, and P. pookodensis. Puntius nigripinnis sp. nov. possesses only eight predorsal scales compared to nine in P. stoliczkanus and P. manipurensis, and 9–10 in P. ticto. Puntius nigripinnis sp. nov. can also be distinguished from P. setnai (Image 2G) by having an incomplete lateral line vs. complete; having eight predorsal scales vs. seven. It further differs from P. setnai in body markings, by having the humeral mark spread two scales wide and one scale high, vs. 2–3 scale wide and 3–4 scale high in P. setnai. It also differs from P. setnai in the absence of the grey patch below the dorsal-fin, which is prominent in the latter. Two other barbs similar to P. nigripinnis from

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northeastern India are P. phutunio (Image 2F) and P. bizonatus. Puntius nigripinnis sp. nov. can be distinguished from these by possessing two spots, a humeral spot and a caudal-peduncle spot, vs. four spots on the body in P. phutunio, the humeral spot replaced by a bar transversely on the 3rd and 4th scale in P. bizonatus (Vishwanath & Laisram 2004). It can further be distinguished from the other two species by having 2–2 ½ scales between the lateral line scale row and ventral fin, and eight predorsal scales, vs. three scales between lateral line scale row and ventral fin and nine predorsal scales in P. phutunio. Puntius nigripinnis sp. nov. also differs from P. bizonatus in having 2–3 + 5–6 gill rakers vs. 5 + 15–18 in the latter (Vishwanath & Laisram 2004). The other barbs from northeastern India that can be compared to P. nigripinnis sp. nov. are P. shalynius, P. ater and P. khugae. However all these three species can be readily distinguished from P. nigripinnis sp. nov. by the absence of the humeral spot vs. presence in P. nigripinnis sp. nov. It can further be distinguished from P. shalynius by the presence of a single spot in the caudal peduncle vs. two and eight predorsal scales vs. 9–10 in P. shalynius. Puntius nigripinnis sp. nov. can also be distinguished from P. ater and P. khugae by the lesser number of lateral-line scales (20–21 vs. 25–29 and 28–30 in P. ater and P. khugae respectively); 2½ scales between lateral line and ventral fin origin of P. nigripinnis sp. nov. can further distinguish it from P. ater and P. khugae which have 5½ scales between lateral line and ventral-fin origin (Linthoingambi & Vishwanath 2007). The characteristic dark longitudinal band present in both P. ater and P. khugae (Linthoingambi & Vishwanath, 2007) is absent in P. nigripinnis sp. nov. Similarly, P. nigripinnis can be distinguished from the closely resembling Sri Lankan congeners, P. cumingii and P. reval by having ½ 4+1+2–2 ½ transverse scales from dorsal fin origin to mid-ventral scale row vs. ½ 3+1+3 ½ in the other two species. Moreover, P. nigripinnis sp. nov. differs from P. cumingii and P. reval by having the humeral spot covering only two scales compared to the humeral spot being more of a bar being 3 scale wide in P. cumingii and P. reval. The dorsal fin of male P. nigripinnis sp. nov. is black while the dorsal fins of P. cumingii and P. reval are either yellow or red (Meegaskumbura et al. 2008). The other species with two spots on the body from 2414

Myanmar are P. macrogramma and P. tiantian, which can be distinguished from P. nigripinnis sp. nov. by complete lateral line scales vs. incomplete in the latter (Kullander & Fang 2005; Kullander 2008). Puntius nigripinnis sp. nov. can further be distinguished from P. macrogramma, P. tiantian and P. didi by having 2–2½ scales between lateral line scale row and ventral fin vs. four scales in P. macrogramma, and 3½ scales in P. tiantian and P. didi (Kullander & Fang 2005; Kullander 2008). In addition, P. nigripinnis sp. nov. differs from P. tiantian and P. didi by having a humeral spot compared to the humeral blotch being more of a bar gradually becoming narrower at the level of pectoral fin in P. tiantian and P. didi. The dorsal fin of male P. nigripinnis sp. nov. is black while the dorsal fins of P. tiantian and P. didi are either yellow or pinkish with one or two rows of spots (Kullander & Fang 2005). Puntius nigripinnis sp. nov. can also be differentiated by its thick and strongly serrated unbranched dorsal fin ray compared to the flexible and short serrated unbranched dorsal fin ray of P. tiantian (Kullander & Fang 2005). Puntius ticto which was earlier known to be a single species is quite evidently a complex of many closely related species. The hill streams of Western Ghats have been inadequately explored. Systematic surveys are likely to add more species to this interesting group of fishes. Conservation importance As Puntius nigripinnis sp. nov. is known only from a small pocket of the southern Western Ghats, the area needs considerable protection. As Western Ghats are already known to have high levels of endemism, especially amongst lower vertebrate animals, conservation of specialized ecosystems is of high priority. Protection of fast-flowing streams, prevention of the use of pesticides and other agrochemicals in the upper catchments and regulation of tourism in critical habitats would play an important role in protecting the unexplored freshwater habitats of the Western Ghats. Comparative material Puntius ticto: ZSI/SRC F8546, 3 exs. 16.0–18.0 mm SL, Barjuri Dhan Shree River, coll. D.K. Gupta, 23.xi.1994; ZSI/SRC F6630, 5 exs. 24.0–33.0 mm SL, Kulsi River, coll. Lal Mohan, 4.xi.1994; ZSI/ SRC F6579, 3 exs. 47.0–60 mm SL, Megna River;

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New Puntius nigripinnis from Western Ghats

ZSI/SRC F8547, 5 exs. 27.0–36.0 mm SL, coll. D. K. Gupta, 14.xi.1994; ZSI/SRC F8548, 2 exs. 46.0–48.0 mm SL Dibrugarh ox bow lake, coll. D.K. Gupta, 24.xi.1994; ZSI/SRC F8549, 1 ex. 37.0mm SL, Nimati Ghat, Majuli, Brahmaputra River, coll. D.K. Gupta, 22.xi.1994. Puntius pookodensis: Paratypes, ZSI/SRC F 7636, 21 exs. 26.0–42.0 mm SL, Pookode Lake, Kerala, coll. Eapen Jacob, Nov. 2004. Puntius manipurensis: ZSI/SRC F8550, 4 exs, 54.0–62.0 mm SL, Loktak Lake, Manipur, coll. W. Vishwanath, April 1995. Puntius punctatus: ZSI/SRC F 8272, 3 exs. 38.0–40.0 mm SL, Mangai Malai, Kulasekaram, Kanyakumari WLS, coll. Aengals, 21.xii.2008; ZSI/ SRC F8545, 2 exs. 40.0–42.0 mm SL, Pookode Lake, Kerala, coll. Anna Mercy; ZSI/SRC F4339, 13 exs. 29.0–37.0 mm SL, Mathalamparai, Tirunelveli District, coll. Ravichandran, 17.iii.1995. Puntius muvattupuzhaensis: ZSI/SRC F8465, 5 exs. 39.0–45.0 mm SL, Muvattupuzha River, Kerala, coll. Zeena, 8.ix.2010. Puntius setnai: ZSI/SRC F6127, 10 exs. 18.040.0 mm SL, Kukke Subramanya, Karnataka, coll. G. Thirumalai, 15.iv.1999; ZSI/SRC F8544, 3 exs. 36.0–41.0 mm SL, Stream in Agumbe, coll. P. K. Pramod, Jan. 2008; ZSI/SRC F6113, 1 ex. 39.0mm SL, Sowparnika River, coll. G. Thirumalai, 13.iv.1999. Puntius phutunio: PCJDMK 045, 20 exs. 14.0– 19.0 mm SL, Ponds in Udayrampur Village, P.S. Bishnupur, south 24 Parganas District, West Bengal, Coll. Andrew Rao, February 2011. Puntius shalynius: ZSI/SRC F 7150, 1 ex. 40mm SL, Ri-bhoi district, Meghalaya-Asssam border, coll. S.K.Das, 2002.

References Beevi, K.S.J. & A. Ramachandran (2005). A new species of Puntius (Cyprinidae, Cyprininae) from Kerala, India. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 102(1): 83–85. Day, F. (1865). On the fishes of Cochin, on the Malabar Coast of India. Proceedings of the General Meetings for Scientific Business of the Zoological Society of London 33(1): 286– 318. Day, F. (1871). Monograph of Indian Cyprinidae. Parts 1-3. Journal and Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 40: 95–142, 277–367, 337–367.

J.D.M. Knight et al.

Day, F. (1878). The Fishes of India; Being a Natural History of the Fishes Known to Inhabit the Seas and Freshwaters of India, Burma and Ceylon. William Dawson & Sons Ltds., London, xx+778pp, 196pls. Hora, S.L. (1937). Notes on fishes in the Indian Museum. XXXI. On a small collection of fish from Sandoway, Lower Burma. Records of the Indian Museum 39(4): 323–331. Hora, S.L., K.S. Misra & G.M. Malik (1939). A study of variations on Barbus (Puntius) ticto (Ham.). Records of the Indian Museum 41(3): 263–279. Hamilton, F. (1822). An Account of the Fishes of River Ganges and its Branches. George Ramsay and Co., London, vii+405pp, 39pls. Jayaram, K.C. (1991). Revision of the genus Puntius (Hamilton) from the Indian Region (Pisces: Cypriniformes, Cyprinidae, Cyprininae). Records of the Zoological Survey of India, Occasional Paper 135: 1–178. Meegaskumbura, M., A. Silva, K. Maduwage & R. Pethiyagoda (2008). Puntius reval, a new barb from Sri Lanka (Teleostei: Cyprinidae). Ichthyological Explorations of Freshwaters 19(2):141–152. Menon, A.G.K., W. Vishwanath & K.R. Devi (2000). A new species of Puntius (Cyprinidae: Cyprininae) from Manipur, India. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 97(2): 263–268. Mercy, T.V.A. & E. Jacob (2007). A new species of Teleostei: Puntius pookodensis (Cyprinidae) from Wayanad, Kerala, India. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 104(1):76–78. Talwar, P.K. & A.G. Jhingran (1991). Inland Fishes of India and Adjacent Countries–Volume 1. Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, 541pp. Silas, E.G. (1952). Further studies regarding Hora’s Satpura hypothesis 2. Taxonomic assessment and levels of evolutionary divergences of fishes with the so-called Malayan affinities in peninsular India. Proceedings of the National Institute of Sciences of India 18(5): 423–448. Kullander, S.O. (2008). Five new species of Puntius from Myanmar (Teleostei: Cyprinidae). Ichthyological Explorations of Freshwaters 19(1):59–84. Kullander, S.O. & F. Fang (2005). Two new species of Puntius from northern Myanmar (Teleostei: Cyprinidae). Copeia(2): 290–302. Linthoingambi, I. & W. Vishwanath (2007). Two new fish species of the genus Puntius Hamilton (Cyprinidae) from Manipur, India, with notes on P. ticto (Hamilton) and P. stoliczkanus (Day). Zootaxa 1450: 45–56. Vishwanath, W. & J. Laisram (2004). Two new species of Puntius Hamilton-Buchanan (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae) from Manipur, India, with an account of Puntius species from the state. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 101(1):130–137.

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New Puntius nigripinnis from Western Ghats

J.D.M. Knight et al.

Key to the fishes similar to Puntius ticto with two spots on the body (humeral and peduncular) from India. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Lateral line complete……………………………………………………………….…………………………………...2 Lateral line incomplete…………………………………………………........…………………………………………5 Humeral spot one scale below lateral line…………………………………....……………………………………...3 Humeral spot on lateral line…………………………………………………………....………………………………4 Dorsal fin with rows of spots……………………………………………………………......…………….P. punctatus Dorsal fin without spots……………………………………………………………....………..P. muvattupuzhaensis Predorsal scales 7 and 20 lateral line scales…………………………………………………………….....P. setnai Predorsal scales 8-10 and 25 lateral line scales ……………………………………………………P. stoliczkanus Humeral spot large covering more than one scale transversely…………………………………...…………..….6 Humeral spot small covering one scale or less transversely …………………………………………………...…7 2 scales between lateral line scale row and ventral fin………………………………………….…..…P. bizonatus 3 scales between lateral line scale row and ventral fin……………………………………..…………...P. phutunio Lateral line with 21 scales or less…………………………………………………...……… P. nigripinnis sp. nov. Lateral line with 22 or more scales……………………………………………………………………......……….….8 5- 5 ½ scales between lateral line scale row and ventral fin……………………………………...….………P. ticto 3 ½ scales between lateral line scale row and ventral fin…………………………………………………..……….9 Humeral spot on lateral line and 22-23 lateral line scales ……....………………………………...P. pookodensis Humeral spot slightly above lateral line and 24-25 lateral line scales…………………..........….P. manipurensis Author Details: J.D. Marcus Knight is a naturalist based in Chennai. Amongst others, his interest is in exploring the freshwater habitats and is currently documenting the diversity of freshwater fish in Tamil Nadu. K. Rema Devi is a retired senior scientist from the Southern Regional Centre of the Zoological Survey of India and an ichthyologist who has published over hundred papers including descriptions of several new species. T.J. Indra is a retired senior scientist from the Southern Regional Centre of the Zoological Survey of India and an ichthyologist and also a specialist on scorpions. She has published several papers including descriptions of new species. M. Arunachalam is a Professor and Head at Sri Paramakalyani Centre for Environmental Sciences, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Alwarkurichi, Tamil Nadu. He is a leading ichthyologist working on taxonomy and ecology of hill stream fishes of Western Ghats and conservation and management of wetlands.

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JoTT Communication

4(3): 2417–2426

Odonata of Sungai Bebar, Pahang, Malaysia, with four species recorded for the first time from mainland Asia Rory A. Dow 1, Yong Foo Ng 2 & Chee Yen Choong 3 NCB Naturalis, P.O. Box 9517, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands Centre for Insect Systematics, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Selangor D.E. Malaysia Email: 1 rory.dow230@yahoo.co.uk (corresponding author), 2 ng_yf@ukm.my, 3 cychoong@ukm.my

1

2,3

Date of publication (online): 26 March 2012 Date of publication (print): 26 March 2012 ISSN 0974-7907 (online) | 0974-7893 (print) Editor: Albert Orr Manuscript details: Ms # o3041 Received 19 December 2011 Final received 06 January 2012 Finally accepted 13 February 2012 Citation: Dow, R.A., Y.F. Ng & C.Y. Choong (2012). Odonata of Sungai Bebar, Pahang, Malaysia, with four species recorded for the first time from mainland Asia. Journal of Threatened Taxa 4(3): 2417–2426. Copyright: © Rory A. Dow, Yong Foo Ng & Chee Yen Choong 2012. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0Unported License. JoTT allows unrestricted use of this article in any medium for non-profit purposes, reproduction and distribution by providing adequate credit to the authors and the source of publication.

Abstract: Records are presented of Odonata collected in September 2009 from the Sungai Bebar and the surrounding area, in Pekan Forest Reserve, southeastern Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia. A total of 50 species from nine families were collected. Two of the species listed, Amphicnemis bebar and A. hoisen, were first discovered during this survey. Another four previously known species were recorded in mainland Asia for the first time: Elattoneura coomansi, Elattoneura longispina, Brachygonia ophelia and Tyriobapta laidlawi. Keywords: Damselflies, dragonflies, Malaysia, new records, Odonata, Pahang, peat swamp forest, Pekan Forest Reserve, Sungai Bebar. Bahasa Melayu Abstract: Rekod persampelan Odonata dari Sungai Bebar dan kawasan berhampiran Hutan Simpan Pekan, selatan Pahang, Semenanjung Malaysia dalam September 2009 dilaporkan. Sejumlah 50 spesies pepatung daripada sembilan famili telah disampel. Dua spesies baru telah diperihal daripada persampelan ini: Amphicnemis bebar dan A. hoisen. Empat spesies yang direkod adalah rekod baru kepada tanah besar Asia: Elattoneura coomansi, Elattoneura longispina, Brachygonia ophelia dan Tyriobapta laidlawi.

INTRODUCTION

Author Details: See end of this article. Author Contribution: RAD identification of, and information on, the Odonata collected, collection of specimens. YFN information on the area sampled, and on peat swamp forest in Peninsular Malaysia; organization of the sampling trip. CYC identification of, and information on, the Odonata collected, collection of specimens, photography. Acknowledgements: The authors wish to thank the Pahang Forestry Department for granting permission for sampling of Odonata in the Sungai Bebar, Runchang, Pahang. This study was funded by research grants UKM-GUP-ASPL-07-04-048 and UKM-ST06-FRGS0184-2010. We also wish to thank Professor Yong Hoi Sen for his company and stimulating conversation during our fieldwork at Sungai Bebar, and Doctor Albert Orr for his continued support of our work. Thanks are also due to Mr Marcel Silvius for allowing us to report his photographic record of Tyriobapta laidlawi here.

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In September 2009 Professor Yong Hoi Sen and the authors made a short Odonata sampling trip to Sungai Bebar in Pekan Forest Reserve. Sungai Bebar is situated in southeastern Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia (Fig. 1). Sungai Bebar flows southeastern through Pekan, Kedondong and Nenasi forest reserves before entering the South China Sea at Nenasi. Dow et al. (2010) incorrectly stated that the forest reserve where sampling took place was Nenasi FR. Much of Sungai Bebar is surrounded by disturbed peat swamp forest. Malaysia originally had an estimated 1.54 million hectares of peat swamp forest, but less than 20% was in Peninsular Malaysia (UNDP 2006). We do not have figures for how much peat swamp forest remains today, but it has been reduced to scattered, fragmentary remnants, mostly in Selangor, Pahang and Johor states; the largest such area is located in southeastern Pahang and consists of Pekan, Kedondong, Nenasi and Resak forest reserves. Swamp forest in general, and peat swamp forest in particular, has been little surveyed for Odonata in Peninsular Malaysia. Norma-Rashid et al. (2001) reported on odonate surveys at Tasek Bera, a lake in Pahang with a large area of swamp forest around it, including peat swamp forest; however, most of the collecting reported in that publication appears to have been made on the lake and surrounding river channels; little sampling appears to have taken place inside the swamp forest. Hämäläinen (2000)

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Odonata of Sungai Bebar

R.A. Dow et al.

Figure 1. Sampling area in Peninsular Malaysia.

includes a number of records made in swamp forests of various types. In 2006, CYC collected odonates from swamp forests in Panti Forest Reserve, Johor (Choong 2009). Other records from swamp forest in Peninsular Malaysia are scattered amongst the odonatological literature of the last century. In the present survey, six species not previously reported from Peninsular Malaysia were found. Two were of the coenagrionoid genus Amphicnemis and new to science; these species (A. bebar and A. hoisen) were described by Dow et al. (2010). The other four species, two members of the Protoneuridae (Elattoneura coomansi Lieftinck and E. longispina Lieftinck) and two from the Libellulidae (Brachygonia ophelia Ris and Tyriobapta laidlawi Ris), had not previously been recorded from mainland Asia but were known either from Borneo, or Borneo and the Indonesian Islands of Belitung and Bangka. Here we list all the species collected in the Sungai Bebar area, with details of specimens collected and notes on species of particular interest.

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MATERIALS AND METHODS Study sites Sampling was carried out at the locations listed below (Fig. 1), from 20–24 September 2009: (1) On the Sungai Bebar (Image 1) between locations 4 and 6. (2) Margin of the Sungai Bebar with emergent vegetation, chiefly Pandanus, at the water margin and in disturbed scrub inland, 3016.845’N & 103013.894’E and 3016.604’N & 103014.446’E. (3) Tributary of the Sungai Bebar (Image 2) and surrounding highly disturbed swamp forest, 3017.134’N & 103014.878’E. (4) Highly disturbed swamp forest at 3015.650’N & 103014.687’E. (5) Less disturbed swamp forest (Image 3) with stream, 3018.696’N & 103014.120’E. (6) Highly disturbed swamp forest (Image 4) at 0 3 19.372’N & 103015.136’E. (7) Black water drains and a stream in a mosaic of highly disturbed forest and open meadow and road, 3017.078’N & 103013.559’E. (8) A pond at the edge of degraded forest at 3017.173’N & 103013.368’E. (9) Water filled wheel ruts near location 2.

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Odonata of Sungai Bebar

R.A. Dow et al. © C.Y. Choong

© C.Y. Choong

 

Image 1. The Sungai Bebar.

© C.Y. Choong

Image 2. Tributary to the Sungai Bebar (location 3).

The material collected is held in either the Centre for Insect Systematics at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), the Netherlands Centre for Biodiversity Naturalis (RMNH), collection CYC or collection RAD. Material was identified to species using a stereomicroscope, with reference to relevant literature, and direct comparison with material, including type material, held in The Natural History Museum, London (BMNH) and RMNH.  

Sampling and identification Adult specimens were collected using handheld nets. Sampling on the Sungai Bebar was conducted from a boat. Specimens were preserved either by treatment with acetone, drying or immersion in ethanol. The family level taxonomy used below follows that in Orr (2005).

RESULTS A total of 218 individual Odonata specimens were collected, comprising 50 species in nine families. Species, locations and number of specimens collected at each location on a given date are listed below, together with notes on species of particular interest. For species of Amphicnemis, details of specimens collected at Sungai Bebar are given in Dow et al. (2010) and are not repeated here. The species recorded at each location sampled are summarised in Table 1.

© C.Y. Choong

Image 3. Swamp forest in Pekan Forest Reserve (location 4).

 

Image 4. Swamp forest in Pekan Forest Reserve (location 6).

 

Zygoptera Chlorocyphidae (i) Libellago hyalina Selys, 1859 — 2, 3:4 males, 2 females, RAD, 20.ix; 2 males, 1 female, CYC, 20.ix; 4:1 male, 1 female, RAD, 21.ix. Megapodagrionidae (i) Podolestes buwaldai Lieftinck, 1940 — There are few published records of this species, originally described from Sumatra (Lieftinck 1940). Hämäläinen (2000) made the first report for Peninsular Malaysia;

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Table 1. Species recorded at each sampling site. Sampling Site Species

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

y

Agriocnemis minima y

Agriocnemis nana y

Amphicnemis bebar y

Amphicnemis gracilis

y y

y

Amphicnemis hoisen y

Archibasis incisura

y

Archibasis melanocyana

y

Brachydiplax chalybea y

Brachygonia oculata

y

y

y

Ceriagrion cerinorubellum y

Ceriagrion species y

y

y

y y

Copera ciliata y

Copera vittata Elattoneura aurantiaca

y

Elattoneura coomansi

y

y

y

y

y

y

y

Elattoneura longispina Epophthalmia vittigera

y

Gomphidia abbotti

y

Ictinogomphus acutus

y

Ictinogomphus decoratus

y y

Ischnura senegalensis y

Libellago hyalina Macrogomphus decemlineatus

y

Macromia cincta

y

y

y y y

Nannophya pygmaea y

Nesoxenia lineata

y

Neurothemis fluctuans y

Oligoaeschna species Onychothemis testacea

y

y

y

Brachygonia ophelia

Chalybeothemis fluviatilis

y y

Orchithemis pruinans

y

y

Orchithemis pulcherrima Orthetrum chrysis

y

Pantala flavescens

y

y y

Podolestes buwaldai y

Pornothemis serrata

y

y y

Potamarcha congener y

Prodasineura humeralis Pseudagrion rubriceps

y

Pseudagrion williamsoni

y

y

Rhyothemis aterrima

y

Rhyothemis obsolescens

y

Rhyothemis phyllis

y

y y y

Rhyothemis pygmaea y

Risiophlebia dohrni

y

Tyriobapta laidlawi

y

Urothemis signata insignata y

Zyxomma petiolatum Total number of species

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9

y

Agriocnemis femina

10

11

5

9

15

9

10

3

2

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Odonata of Sungai Bebar

Kalkman (2004) and Choong et al. (2008) also recorded it from Malaysia. At Sungai Bebar it was moderately common in the least disturbed swamp forest area sampled. 5:3 male, 2 female, RAD, 22.ix; 3 male, 2 female, RAD, 23.ix; 2 males, 2 females, CYC, 23.ix; 6:1 male, 1 female, RAD, 24.ix; 1 female, CYC, 24.ix. Protoneuridae (i) Elattoneura aurantiaca (Selys, 1886) — 2:5 male, 1 female, RAD, 20.ix; 1 male, 1 female (in tandem), CYC, 20.ix; 4:1 male, RAD, 21.ix; 5:3 male, RAD, 22.ix; 2 males, 1 female, RAD, 23.ix; 6:2 males, RAD, 23.ix. (ii) Elattoneura coomansi Lieftinck, 1937 — This is the first record of this species from Peninsular Malaysia; it is otherwise known from Kalimantan and Bangka and Belitung islands (Lieftinck 1954). Most of the specimens collected were taken amongst Pandanus at the edge of Sungai Bebar 2:4 male, RAD, 20.ix; 5:1 male, RAD, 23.ix; 6:1 female, RAD, 24.ix. (iii) Elattoneura longispina Lieftinck, 1937 — This species has not been recorded from mainland Asia before; it was described from west Kalimantan and is also known from Sarawak (Dow & Unggang 2010) and Belitung (Lieftinck 1954). One male was collected at Sungai Bebar. However, in 2006 CYC collected two tandem pairs of this species from Pondok Tanjung Forest Reserve, northern Perak, a small peat swamp forest; these specimens were misidentified as Elattoneura analis (Selys 1860) and the mistake was only discovered in early 2010. This species is expected to have wider distribution in Peninsular Malaysia and might also occur in southern Thailand. 5:1 male, CYC, 22.ix. (iv) Prodasineura humeralis (Selys, 1860) — 5:1 male, CYC, 23.ix. Coenagrionidae (i) Agriocnemis femina (Brauer, 1868) — 6:1 female, RAD, 24.ix. (ii) Agriocnemis minima (Selys, 1877) — 9:1 male, 2 females (1 pair in tandem), RAD, 21.ix; 1 male, CYC, 21.ix. (iii) Agriocnemis nana (Laidlaw, 1914) — 7:1 male, 2 females, CYC, 20.ix. (iv) Amphicnemis bebar Dow et al., 2010 — See Dow et al. (2010) for a discussion of this and the next

R.A. Dow et al.

two species. Locations 5 and 6 (Image 5). (v) Amphicnemis gracilis Krüger, 1898 — Locations 3 and 6. (vi) Amphicnemis hoisen Dow et al., 2010 — Location 5 (Image 6). (vii) Archibasis incisura Lieftinck, 1949 — This is a rather local species, and its preferred habitat is probably streams and rivers in low pH swamp forest, for instance see Dow & Unggang (2010). 2:2 male, RAD, 20.ix; 1 male, CYC, 23.ix. (viii) Archibasis melanocyana (Selys, 1877) — 5:1 male, CYC, 23.ix; 1 male, CYC, 24.ix. (ix) Ceriagrion cerinorubellum (Brauer, 1865) — 7:1 male, RAD, 20.ix; 1 male, CYC, 20.ix. (x) Ceriagrion species — A single female, identical in general appearance to C. cerinorubellum, collected in peat swamp forest. It differs from C. cerinorubellum, and all other species of Ceriagrion, in having the central part of the pronotal posterior lobe deeply and squarely excised; this does not appear to be the result of damage to the specimen, but the possibility that it is simply an abnormal individual of C. cerinorubellum cannot be ruled out unless further examples are collected. 5:1 female, RAD, 23.ix. (xi) Ischnura senegalensis (Rambur, 1842) — 7:1 male, CYC, 20.ix. (xii) Pseudagrion rubriceps Selys, 1876 — 1:1 male, RAD, 20.ix. (xiii) Pseudagrion williamsoni Fraser, 1922 — 1:1 male, RAD, 20.ix; 2:2 males, CYC, 20.ix; 8:1 male, RAD, 21.ix. Platycnemididae (i) Copera ciliata (Selys, 1863) — 7:1 female, CYC, 20.ix. (ii) Copera vittata (Selys, 1863) — 6:1 male, RAD, 24.ix. Anisoptera Gomphidae (i) Gomphidia abbotti Williamson, 1907 — 1:1 male, RAD, 22.ix. (ii) Ictinogomphus acutus (Laidlaw, 1914) — 1:1 male, RAD, 21.ix; 1 male, RAD, 22.ix; 2 males, CYC, 22.ix. (iii) Ictinogomphus decoratus melaenops (Selys, 1858) — 1:1 male, RAD, 22.ix. (iv) Macrogomphus decemlineatus (Selys, 1878)

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Odonata of Sungai Bebar

R.A. Dow et al. © C.Y. Choong

Image 5. Amphicnemis bebar male.

© C.Y. Choong

 

Image 6. Amphicnemis hoisen male.

© C.Y. Choong

 

Image 7. Brachygonia ophelia male.

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Odonata of Sungai Bebar

R.A. Dow et al. © C.Y. Choong

Image 8. Chalybeothemis

© C.Y. Choong

 fluviatilis male.

Image 9. Tyriobapta

 laidlawi male.

— 1:1 male, RAD, 21.ix; 1 male, CYC, 24.ix.

7:1 male, RAD, 20.ix.

Aeshnidae (i) Oligoaeschna species — It has not proved possible to identify the single female collected reliably to species. 4:1 female, RAD, 21.ix.

Libellulidae (i) Brachydiplax chalybea Brauer, 1868 — 7:1 male, CYC, 20.ix; 1 male, CYC, 22.ix; 8:1 male, RAD, 21.ix. (ii) Brachygonia oculata (Brauer, 1878) — 4:1 male, RAD, 21.ix; 5:1 female, CYC, 23.ix; 6:1 male, RAD, 24.ix; 7:1 male (in forest), RAD, 21.ix; 2 males (in forest), CYC, 21.ix. (iii) Brachygonia ophelia Ris, 1910 — This very local swamp forest species has not been recorded

Corduliidae (i) Epophthalmia vittigera (Rambur, 1842) — 1:1 male, CYC, 21.ix. (ii) Macromia cincta Rambur, 1842 — 1:1 male, RAD, 22.ix; 1 male, CYC, 21.ix; 1 male, CYC, 22.ix;

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Odonata of Sungai Bebar

R.A. Dow et al.

from Peninsular Malaysia until now; it is otherwise only known from scattered locations in Borneo (e.g. Lieftinck 1954, Orr 2001 & 2003). Image 7. 5:2 males, RAD, 22.ix; 1 male, 1 female, RAD, 23.ix; 2 males, CYC, 23.ix. (iv) Chalybeothemis fluviatilis Lieftinck, 1933 — This species is known from scattered locations across Borneo, Sumatra, Belitung, Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia and southern Thailand (Dow et al. 2007). It often appears to prefer low pH habitats, but occurs on MacRitchie Reservoir in Singapore (Tang et al. 2010). It was common on parts of Sungai Bebar during the sampling period. Image 8. 1:1 male, RAD, 21.ix; 1 male, RAD, 22.ix; 2:1 male, RAD, 20.ix; 3:2 males (on the tributary); RAD, 20.ix; 2 males (on the tributary), CYC, 20.ix; 8:1 male, RAD, 21.ix. (v) Nannophya pygmaea Rambur, 1842 — 7:1 male, RAD, 20.ix; 1 male, CYC, 21.ix. (vi) Nesoxenia lineata (Selys, 1879) — 4:2 males, CYC, 21.ix. (vii) Neurothemis fluctuans (Fabricius, 1793) — 7:1 male, RAD, 20.ix; 1 male, CYC, 20.ix. (viii) Onychothemis testacea Laidlaw, 1902 — 1:1 male, CYC, 21.ix. (ix) Orchithemis pruinans (Selys, 1878) — 4:5 males, RAD, 21.ix; 5:1 female, RAD, 22.ix; 1 male, RAD, 23.ix; 2 males, CYC, 21.ix. (x) Orchithemis pulcherrima Brauer, 1878 — 3:1 male, CYC, 20.ix. (xi) Orthetrum chrysis (Selys, 1891) — 2:1 male, RAD, 20.ix; 7:1 male, CYC, 20.ix. (xii) Pantala flavescens (Fabricius, 1798) — 2:1 female, RAD, 21.ix; 1 male, CYC, 20.ix; 1 male, CYC, 21.ix. (xiii) Pornothemis serrata Krüger, 1902 — 4:2 males, RAD, 21.ix; 2 males, 1 female, CYC, 21.ix; 5:1 male, RAD, 22.ix. (xiv) Potamarcha congener (Rambur, 1842) — 9:1 male, RAD, 20.ix; 1 male, CYC, 20.ix. (xv) Rhyothemis aterrima Selys, 1891 — 2:1 male, RAD, 20.ix; 1 male, CYC, 21.ix. (xvi) Rhyothemis obsolescens Kirby, 1889 — 2:1 male, RAD, 20.ix; 1 male, CYC, 20.ix; 4: 1 male, RAD, 21.ix. (xvii) Rhyothemis phyllis (Sulzer, 1776) — 2:1 female, RAD, 20.ix; 1 female, CYC, 20.ix. (xviii) Rhyothemis pygmaea (Brauer, 1867) — 5:1 male, RAD, 22.ix; 1 male, CYC, 23.ix; 1 male, CYC, 2424

24.ix. (xix) Risiophlebia dohrni (Krüger, 1902) — 3:1 male, RAD, 20.ix. (xx) Tyriobapta laidlawi Ris, 1919 — This species, otherwise known from Borneo, has not been recorded from Peninsular Malaysia before. It appears to be most common in low pH swamp forest. A convincing photographic record was also made in Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve in Johor by M. Silvius of Wetlands International on 26.xi.2010. Image 9. 5:2 males, RAD, 22.ix; 1 male, RAD, 23.ix; 1 male, CYC, 23.ix. (xxi) Urothemis signata insignata (Selys, 1872) — 7:1 male, RAD, 20.ix. (xxii) Zyxomma petiolatum Rambur, 1842 — 4:1 female, RAD, 21.ix.

DISCUSSION Although we had modest hopes of making interesting finds at Sungai Bebar, we were not expecting to make six new records for Peninsular Malaysia and mainland Asia in just five days of fieldwork. These discoveries demonstrate how poorly surveyed Odonata have been in low pH swamp forest habitats in mainland Southeast Asia; more discoveries can be expected with further collecting effort. Many parts of the peat swamp habitat around Sungai Bebar are only accessible by small boat. The riverbanks and shallow parts of the river have an extensive growth of Pandanus, which at some points completely clogs the waterway. The Jakun (indigenous people living around Sungai Bebar) normally burn the overgrown Pandanus during the dry season to clear a passage. The clear, low pH waters and vegetation structure of the river appear to provide an ideal habitat for a number of Odonata: Ictinogomphus acutus, I. decoratus, Macromia cincta, Chalybeothemis fluviatilis, Elattoneura aurantica and Pseudagrion williamsoni were abundant along the entire section of the river sampled. Despite the new records made at Sungai Bebar, there were also some surprising absences from our sample. In Borneo, species of the coenagrionoid genera—Mortonagrion and Teinobasis—are almost invariably found in such habitats. Members of these genera, especially the small Mortonagrion, are typically inconspicuous, but the authors have considerable

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Odonata of Sungai Bebar

experience of collecting Odonata, and were looking out for these genera. However, the three species currently placed in Mortonagrion and known from Peninsular Malaysia—M. aborense (Laidlaw 1914), M. arthuri Fraser, 1942 and M. falcatum Lieftinck, 1934—are not necessarily swamp forest species (see Dow 2011 for a discussion of M. arthuri). Four species of Teinobasis are known from Peninsular Malaysia (Dow 2010): T. cryptica Dow, 2010, T. kirbyi Laidlaw, 1902, T. rajah Laidlaw, 1912, T. ruficollis (Selys, 1877); of these all except T. kirbyi would be expected in the habitats at Sungai Bebar, and are likely to be found there with further collecting. In other respects the odonate fauna of Sungai Bebar is similar to that of low pH swamp forest in Borneo: rich in coengrionoids, especially Amphicnemis, and libellulids, poorer in numbers of species from other families, but including a number of specialist species from some of these families. The protoneurid genus Elattoneura is well represented at Sungai Bebar, with three species. All the Amphicnemis and Elattoneura (except E. analis) species of Peninsular Malaysia are inhabitants of alluvial swamp or peat swamp forest. All of the Amphicnemis (except A. ecornuta Selys, 1889) and Elattoneura (again except E. analis) species that have so far been recorded for Peninsular Malaysia were found at Sungai Bebar. This suggests that the Sungai Bebar area still has enough high quality habitat to sustain a high diversity of specialist peat swamp forest species. Several gomphids were collected on the Sungai Bebar, and more can be expected there, and on smaller streams in the swamp forest. Of the Gomphidae so far recorded at Sungai Bebar, Ictinogomphus acutus appears to be a specialist of low pH habitats (see Dow & Unggang 2010). Additional members of the Corduliidae, for instance Hemicordulia tenera Lieftinck, 1930, are to be expected. Swamp forest in SE Asia is sometimes rich in members of the Aeshnidae, in particular species of Gynacantha and Heliaeschna. However, the Aeshnidae are typically difficult to collect so that their diversity in an area is normally only revealed over longer sampling periods; more than the single species recorded to-date must occur in the Sungai Bebar area.

R.A. Dow et al.

REFERENCES Choong, C.Y. (2009). A preliminary survey of Odonata fauna of Panti Forest Reserve, pp. 223–228. In. Seiri Kepelbagaian Biologi Hutan 11: Hutan Simpan Panti, Johor - Pengurusan Hutan, Persekitaran Fizikal dan Kepelbagaian Biologi. Jabatan Perhutanan Semenanjung Malaysia. Choong, C.Y., A.G. Orr & R.A. Dow (2008). Checklist of dragonflies of UKM Campus. including Bangi Forest Reserve, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia. Echo 5: 4–5. Dow, R.A. (2010). A review of the Teinobasis of Sundaland, with the description of Teinobasis cryptica sp. nov. from Malaysia (Odonata: Coenagrionidae). International Journal of Odonatology 13(2): 205–230, pl. II excl. Dow, R.A. (2011). Mortonagrion indraneil spec. nov. from Borneo, and a redescription of M. arthuri Fraser (Odonata: Zygoptera: Coenagrionidae). Zootaxa 3093: 35–46. Dow, R.A., C.Y. Choong & Y.F. Ng (2010). A review of the genus Amphicnmemis in Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore, with descriptions of two new species (Odonata: Zygoptera: Coenagrionidae). Zootaxa 2605: 45–55. Dow, R.A., C.Y. Choong & A.G. Orr (2007). Two new species of Chalybeothemis from Malaysia, with a redefinition of the genus (Odonata: Libellulidae). International Journal of Odonatology 10(2): 171–184. Dow, R.A. & J. Unggang (2010). The Odonata of Binyo Penyilam, a unique tropical wetland area in Bintulu Division, Sarawak, Malaysia. Journal of Threatened Taxa 2(13): 1349–1358. Hämäläinen, M. (2000). Ten species added to the list of Peninsular Malaysian Odonata. Notulae Odonatologicae 5(5): 53–55. Kalkman, V.J. (2004). From cool hill resorts to humid rainforest: an odonatological trip to Peninsular Malaysia (July 2002). Echo 1, in Agrion 8(2): 26–28. Lieftinck, M.A. (1940). Descriptions and records of South-east Asiatic Odonata (II). Treubia 17: 337–390. Lieftinck, M.A. (1954). Handlist of Malaysian Odonata. A catalogue of the dragonflies of the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java and Borneo, including the adjacent small islands. Treubia (Suppl.) 22: i-xiii+1–202. Norma-Rashid, Y., A. Mohd-Sofian & M. Zakaria-Ismail (2001). Diversity and distribution of Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) in the freshwater swamp lake Tasek Bera, Malaysia. Hydrobiologica 459: 135–146. Orr, A.G. (2001). An annotated checklist of the Odonata of Brunei with ecological notes and descriptions of hitherto unknown males and larvae. International Journal of Odonatology 4: 167–220. Orr, A.G. (2003). Dragonflies of Borneo. Natural History Publications (Borneo), Kota Kinabalu, x+195pp.

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Orr, A.G. (2005). Dragonflies of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Natural History Publications (Borneo), Kota Kinabalu, vi+127pp. Tang, H.B., L.K. Wang & M. Hämäläinen (2010). A photographic guide to the Dragonflies of Singapore. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, 5+223pp. UNDP (2006). Malaysia’s peat swamp forests. Conservation and sustainable use. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Malaysia, iv + 33 pp. Available from http://202.187.94.201/Malaysias-peat-swamp-forests-conservation-andsustainable-use. Accessed 13 January 2010.

Author Details: Rory A. Dow is a research associate at NCB Naturalis, Leiden, the Netherlands. His research interests are in the faunistics and taxonomy of Asian Odonata. He has extensive experience of working in southeast Asia, especially in Malaysia. Yong Foo Ng is an insect taxonomist in the School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and a member of the Centre for Insect Systematics, UKM. His research is focused on Asian Odonata and Thysanoptera. He collaborates with researchers from CSIRO, Entomology Department, Canberra, Australia and NCB Naturalis, Leiden, Netherlands Chee Yen Choong is a lecturer of School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). He is an associate member of the Centre for Insect Systematics, UKM, and has a profound interest in the dragonflies and damselflies of Peninsular Malaysia. Author Contribution: RAD identification of, and information on, the Odonata collected, collection of specimens. YFN information on the area sampled, and on peat swamp forest in Peninsular Malaysia; organization of the sampling trip. CYC identification of, and information on, the Odonata collected, collection of specimens, photography.

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JoTT Communication

4(3): 2427–2435

Evaluation of some mangrove species on the nature of their reproduction along the coastal belt of the Indian Sunderbans Arunima Ghosh 1 & Prabir Chakraborti

2

Research Fellow, 2 Associate Professor, Department of Seed Science & Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Mohanpur, Nadia, West Bengal 741252, India Email: 1 ghosharunima@gmail.com, 2 prabcbckv@gmail.com (corresponding author)

1

Date of publication (online): 26 March 2012 Date of publication (print): 26 March 2012 ISSN 0974-7907 (online) | 0974-7893 (print) Editor: Sanit Aksornkoae Manuscript details: Ms # o2416 Received 09 August 2010 Final received 14 October 2011 Finally accepted 15 March 2012 Citation: Ghosh, A., & P. Chakraborti (2011). Evaluation of some mangrove species on the nature of their reproduction along the coastal belt of the Indian Sunderbans. Journal of Threatened Taxa 4(3): 2427–2435. Copyr ight: © A r unima Ghosh & Prabir Chak r ab o r t i 2 011. Creat i ve C o mm o ns Attribution 3.0 Unported License. JoTT allows unrestricted use of this article in any medium for non-profit purposes, reproduction and distribution by providing adequate credit to the authors and the source of publication. Author Details: A runima Ghosh has completed her MSc (Botany) from Calcutta University in the year 2005. She is working in a MoEF sponsored project on Indian Mangroves from 2006. She has registered for PhD under the guidance of Dr. Prabir Chakraborti. She has published several research papers on Indian Mangroves and contributed articles on sunderbans. Dr. Prabir Chakraborti was awarded MSc and PhD in 1989 and 1995 respectively under the discipline of genetics & plant breeding. He allied with plant tissue culture as well plant breeding. He worked as a wheat breeder in All India Co-ordinated wheat improvement programme. For Author Contribution and Acknowledgement see end of this article.

Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya

 

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Abstract: Reproductive biology of three dominating mangrove species Rhizophora mucronata, Ceriops decandra and Avicennia marina from the Indian Sunderbans were studied. A comparative account on all floral parts revealed that as the bud progresses to completely open, the length of androecium surpassed the length of gynoecium and the anther matured first thus showing protandrous nature and favouring cross-fertilization. A study of pollen grain viability revealed that all of them produces fairly good amounts of viable pollen grains in their natural condition. The pollens showed their maximum viability late in the morning till early noon. The stigma showed peak receptivity after three days of flower opening in C. decandra and four days of flower opening in R. mucronata and A. marina. All the species showed out-breeding mechanism of pollination. The fruit setting percentage obtained by xenogamy was the highest and autogamy failed to show any result in all the three genera. Although Ceriops decandra and Avicennia marina showed very limited fruit set with geitonogamy, these two species can be called facultative out-crossers, while Rhizophora was obligate outcrosser in nature. The study on floral structure, pollen viability along with stigma receptivity of the investigated taxa guided to maximum exploitation of reproductive behavior for rising artificial and natural plant population in addition to build up a future research strategy in ecosystem conservation. Keywords: Reproductive biology, stigma receptivity, pollen viability, mangrove, Indian Sunderbans

Introduction The Indian Sunderbans maintain an exceptional ecosystem as well as big forests dominated by mangrove plants with a wide range of species diversity in the Indo-Gangetic plain, which exhibit various adaptations to cope with the environment (Datta et al. 2007). The vegetation extends between 21031’– 21031’ N and 88010’–89051’ E within India, covering approximately 2195km2 (Sanyal 1996) excluding the network of creeks and backwaters. The successful vegetation largely depends on the reproductive nature, fruit and seed setting behaviour of the species. Information of floral biology of mangroves is meager particularly in the Indian Sunderbans. However, it is important to study this in respect to its reproductive nature. In general, flowering in mangroves begins in spring and continues throughout the summer in India, whereas in Malaysia most species flower and fruit continuously throughout the year. Mangroves have both self pollinating and cross pollinating mechanisms that vary with species. For example, Aegiceras corniculatum and Lumnitzera racemosa are self pollinated. Avicennia officinalis is self fertile, but can also cross fertilize (Aluri 1990). In Avicennia marina, protandry makes self pollination unlikely. Mangroves are pollinated by a diverse group of animals including bats,

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birds and insects. Pollen is deposited on the animals as they deeply probe the flowers looking for nectar; they subsequently transfer the pollen grains to the stigma of another flower. The mangroves show a wide variety of reproduction, i.e., viviparity, cryptoviviparity, normal germination and vegetative reproduction (Bhoasale & Mulik 1991). In this paper, we report the reproductive nature of some of the important mangrove species including their floral biology, pollen morphology and breeding behaviour under the Indian Sunderban conditions, and factors that are favourable to sustain them in this ecosystem, as existing information on these aspects is limited (Tomlinson 1986).

Materials and Methods Study area The Patharpratima and Naamkhana blocks (Fig. 1) were selected as the study area out of 19 community blocks in the Indian Sunderbans. Both the islands were surrounded by creeks, channels and rivers which favour luxuriant growth of mangrove flora. The study area was included under the buffer zone of the Sunderbans Tiger Reserve Forest (Image 1). A rough taxonomic survey of both areas revealed that Avicennia marina covers approximately 95% of the forest, followed by Ceriops decandra and Rhizophora mucronata. Other species occur in patches.

happened to be the most dominant flora and had a high tolerance to salinity (Ghosh & Mandal 1989), it was selected for the present study. Ceriops decandra from the Rhizophoraceae family was selected as it was the second dominant taxon in the Indian Sunderbans, its tolerance was lower than A. marina and R. mucronata, and this species showed localised abundance.

Selection of species Two dominant mangrove families, Rhizophoraceae and Avicenniaceae were selected to find their reproductive nature. Among the flora, Rhizophoraceae was considered a typical mangrove species because it showed viviparous reproduction in addition to special adaptations in saline conditions (Status Report on Mangroves 1987). These species occur in polyhaline zones with salinity ranging from 18–30 % and excluded more than 90% of salt from sea water. Avicenniaceae was known to be the second largest group dominating in the mangrove swamps of the Indian Sunderbans and it showed cryptovivipary. For the above study, one species from the Avicenniaceae family, Avicennia marina and two from the Rhizophoraceae family, Ceriops decandra, and Rhizophora mucronata, were selected as the study material. Since A. marina

Description of floral parts and experimental studies The study of Rhizophora mucronata, Ceriops decandra and Avicennia marina was conducted for a one-year period (2008–09). The observations on floral structure (Dafni 1992) and the comparative length of different floral parts at different stages were recorded. Pollen morphological study, its germinability (%), peak hour of viable pollen on the day of anthesis was studied. The breeding system along with fruit setting percentage was also recorded for the investigated taxa. A pollen morphological study was carried out with air dried pollen grains using acetolysis method (Faegri & Iversen 1975) so that pollen grains were made clearer to give excellent topographic information. For this, the pollen grains were first heated in a mixture of

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Image 1. Study area (shaded) in the Indian Sunderbans.

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Evaluation of some mangrove species

sulphuric acid and anhydrous acetic acid in order to remove all non sporopollen substances. Six sucrose concentrations (0.2, 0.6, 1.0, 1.2, 1.6 & 2.0 %) were used in a hanging drop test to determine pollen tube elongation (Youmbi et al. 2004). Pollens from 10 different trees of each species were collected on the day of anthesis. For studying the peak period for viable pollen on the day of anthesis, fresh pollen were collected in two hour intervals starting from 0500 to 1700 hr. The collected pollens were tested through the acetoorcein test (Muccifora et al. 2003). Anthers were then stained with 3% aceto-orcein solution. Slides were made permanent using Euparol and examined under a microscope. The viable pollen grains appeared bright red in comparison to pale appearance of non visible pollen. The breeding system was evaluated by hand pollination technique, according to Dafni (1992) in three ways viz. autogamy, geitonogamy and xenogamy. The stigma receptive time was also studied in the same experiment. The flower buds in each inflorescence of three genera were trimmed to retain only 5–6 uniform buds and emasculated a day before flower opening excepting autogamy. Twenty-five mature buds from each genera were used for each set every day from flowers that were completely open (T1 or 1st day) to withered petal (T7 or 7th day). They were pollinated manually and bagging was done for recording the number of fruit set in each day of pollination.

Results In Rhizophora mucronata, each branch carried 5–8 axillary cyme inflorescences of 5.0cm long approximately, with 2–4 dichotomously branched, containing four flowers in each peduncle (Image 2a). Flowers were white, perfect, with four sepals and petals in each. Sepals were typically pale yellow at maturity with four lobes. Out of eight free stamens, four were alternating with sepals and four were with petals (Image 2a). Anthers were bilobed, basifixed and introrse. Ovary showed globose and inferior in position (Fig. 1 a-f). Open flowers were located within or below leaf axils at leaf nodes below the apical shoot. Pollen grains were tricolporate, isopolar, radially symmetric, amb circular, peritreme, prolate,

A. Ghosh & P. Chakraborti

PA x ED 27.5 ± 0.13 x 23.7 ± 0.07 μm (Images 3 c,d). The nature of progression of the flower changed the length of the androecium and gynoecium, in the initial stage (bud) the length was the same but later the androecium (1.1cm) surpassed the length of the gynoecium (0.9cm) thus favouring cross pollination (Table. 1). The flower took 8–10 days to complete its flowering life and it opened in the morning. The pollen tube length was maximum in 1% sucrose solution showing a tube length of 280.9±4.2 µm (Table. 2). As the flower opens, the anthers get exposed and matured fast showing a protandrous nature. Anthesis started in the evening at 1800hr (approx.) and it was completed the next day by 1200hr (approx.) where the calyx lobes were separated to expose the petals. The anthesis started with a slit at the apex and at the end, the epidermal layer of the anther wall droped on the stigma and also to prevent self pollination (Image 2b). The viability of pollen was maximum between 1100 and 1300 hr of the day, showing a viability percentage of 71.13. By hand pollination technique it was found that the Rhizophora mucronata was an obligate out-crosser and the stigma attained its receptivity a day after the flower opens and it continued for another four or five days. The maximum receptivity showed on the 4th day (T4) of the flower life with a fruit setting of 93.3%. The stigma was wet and papillate with a distinct groove in the middle that appeared after anthesis. The fruit setting percentage through autogamy and geitonogamy showed nil thus confirming its complete self incompatibility. Rhizophora was usually wind pollinated (Tomlinson 1986) but insects like bees, beetles (Image 2c) had been observed visiting flowers. For Ceriops decandra the flowers were borne in condensed cymes inflorescence from dichotomous panicles, which occured in the leaf axils (Image 2e). Flowers were small, white, cup-shaped, bisexual (Image 2f) and took 6–10 days to complete flowering life. Sepals and petals were five, small, with an alternate arrangement. Petals form a short corolla tube crowned by a series of clavate filamentous appendages (Fig. 1 g–i). Out of 10, five antesepalous and five antepetalous stamens were inserted on the rim of the calyx cup. Anthers mature earlier than gynoecium thus confirming its protandry; anthers were longer than filaments. Disc within the stamen ring was well developed and anther lobes enclosed the base of the

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a

b

c

d

e

f

g

j

i

h

k

l

Image 2. (a–d) Rhizophora mucronata: a - 2–4 dichotomously branched axilary cyme inflorescence; b - L.S of flower showing dehisced anther; c - Beetle pollinating the flower; d - Fruit set with calyx attached to it (e–h) Ceriops decandra: e - Bud arising from the leaf axil; f - Flower with mature anther showing protandry; g - After fruit set-parts of corolla still attached to the fruit; h - Honey Bee pollinating the flower. (i–l) Avicennia marina: i - Bud cluster; j - Complete open flower with mature anther showing protandry; k - Apis dorsata pollinating the flower; l - After fruit sets in 2430

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A. Ghosh & P. Chakraborti

Table 1. Comparative account of the floral parts in different maturity stage

Length of different Floral parts

Rhizophora mucronata

Ceriops decandra

Avicennia marina

Bud (cm)

Flower about to open (cm)

Completely open flower (cm)

Bud (cm)

Flower about to open (cm)

Completely open flower (cm)

Bud (cm)

Flower about to open (cm)

Completely open flower (cm)

Flower

1.4

1.8

1.7

0.7

0.95

0.9

0.3

0.5

0.45

Sepal

1.2

1.5

1.6

0.35

0.5

0.6

0.15

0.25

0.3

Petal

0.9

1.2

1.4

0.3

0.4

0.4

0.3

0.4

0.45

Androecium

0.7

0.9

1.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.3

0.4

0.45

Gynoecium

0.7

0.8

0.9

0.04

0.05

0.05

0.1

0.15

0.15

Style

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.16

0.25

0.35

0.2

0.25

0.3

Stigma

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.2

0.35

0.4

0.15

0.2

0.3

Ovary

0.4

0.4

0.4

0.05

0.05

0.05

0.05

0.09

0.1

Table 2. Growth of pollen tube under different concentrations of sucrose Name of the genus

Pollen-tube length (µm) under different concentration of sucrose (%) 0.2

0.6

1.0

1.2

1.6

2.0

Rhizophora mucronata

-

-

280.9± 4.2

16± 2.3

38.6±2.6

-

Ceriops decandra

-

-

96.2± 2.6

185.5± 4.1

196±1.4

-

Avicennia marina

36±1.83

100±2.8

130.1± 5.2

39.3± 1.06

78±6.3

226±2.15

thick filaments. Ovary was semi-inferior with a total of six ovules. Style is slender and minute separate stigmatic lobes were present. The pollen grains were tricolporate, isopolar, radially symmetric, amb circular, peritreme, subprolate, PA x ED 16.2 ±0.13 x 14.0 ±0.17 μm (Images 3 c,d). As the bud progresses the androecium length (0.4cm) increased to more than the length of the gynoecium (0.05cm) (Table. 1). The pollen tube length was noted maximum in 1.6% sucrose solution showing a tube length of 196±1.4 µm (Table. 2). The anther dehiscence nature and other activities were the same as in Rhizophora. The maximum pollen viability was during 0900–1100 hr showing a percentage of 68.3 (Table. 3). With hand pollination technique, Ceriops decandra did not produce fruit/seed through autogamy. The stigma attained its receptivity two days after the flower opens and continued for another four or five days, showing peak receptivity on the 3rd day (T3) of the flower life with a fruit setting percentage of 83.3 through xenogamy (Table. 4). The fruit setting percentage through autogamy showed nil and geitonogamy on

the day of peak receptivity (T3) showed a very limited fruit set of 13.3% (Table. 4). Bees (Image 2j), wasps, moths, flies etc. are capable of causing successful pollination in Ceriops decandra. The second dominating family of the mangroves, Avicennia marina, was a common species in the Indian Sunderbans. The tree showed flowering in the months of April–August. The hypocotyls did not come out from the fruit due to its cryptoviviparous nature. Tomlinson (1986) described the inflorescence of Avicennia as a panicle that ended in a basic unit called flower cluster. Sometimes it was referred to as ’cymose inflorescence’ but it was better to call it a flower cluster because the terminal flower did not open first. A. marina contained usually three terminal or axillary flower clusters, although it was vary from 1–6 (Image 2i). Each cluster consisted of 1–10 decussately arranged flower buds in a capitate unit (Image 2j). It took 10–30 days for a cluster to complete its flowering, whereas an individual flower retained an open corolla for 2–6 days. In Avicennia marina the flowers were small, short filament, minute hairs present on the style.

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Table 3. Peak period of viable pollen percentage (0500–1700 hr) Percentage of viable pollen in hour of the day (%)

Name of the genus

5–7 hrs

7–9 hrs

9–11 hrs

11–13 hrs

13–15 hrs

15–17 hrs

Rhizophora mucronata

19.1

20.5

50.9

71.13

9.46

-

Ceriops decandra

3.5

39.6

68.3

29.4

8.04

0.02

Avicennia marina

0.96

25.2

70.1

80.03

17.55

0.67

Table 4. Stigma receptivity by different modes of hand pollination in a flower life (bud - petal dehiscence) Seed set percentage (%) through different modes of pollination Day of flower life (pollinated)

Rhizophora mucronata

Ceriops decandra

Auto gamy

Geiton ogamy

Xenogamy

T1 (flower just open)

-

-

-

T2

-

-

50

T3

-

-

66.6

T4

-

-

93.3

T5

-

-

33.3

T6

-

-

26.6

T7 (petal withered away)

-

-

-

Auto gamy -

Flowers were four-lobed, actinomorphic, condensed in terminal or axillary cyme, sessile, 0.5–0.9 cm long and complete; sepal five, polysepalous; petals four, gamopetalous; stamens four, epipetalous; filament 0.2cm long (Image 2j); ovary superior, 0.3cm long (Fig. 1 m–r). The calyx lobes were separated at anthesis and diverged to expose the petals. In a complete flower the length of androecium (0.45cm) surpassed the length of gynoecium (0.15cm), showing a protandrous nature. In acetolysis technique, it was found that pollen grains were tricolporate, isopolar, radially symmetric, ambcircular, peritreme, prolate with PA × ED- 23.7±0.13 × 18.7±0.08 µm (Table. 2) (Images 3 c,d). The viability of pollen was maximum from 1100– 1300 hr showing a percentage of 80.03 (Table 3). The hand pollination technique showed that the stigma attained its receptivity two days after the flower opens and continued for another four or five days, showing peak receptivity on the 4th day (T4) of the flower life with a 90% fruit setting through xenogamy (Table 4). The fruit setting percentage through autogamy and geitonogamy showed nil and 20% respectively on the day of peak receptivity (Table 4). Numerous pollinators like the honey bee (Apis dorsata) (Image 2432

Avicennia marina

Geitonogamy

Xenogamy

-

-

-

-

13.3

83.3

-

50

-

23.3

-

16.6

-

-

Auto gamy -

Geitonogamy

Xeno Gamy

-

-

-

-

-

73.3

20

90

-

50

-

16.6

-

-

2k) were actually attracted to the nectar-like secretion founded at the base of the corolla tube helpful for xenogamy.

Discussion In the Indian Sunderbans, Rhizophora mucronata and Ceriops decandra are two prominent species. The peak flowering season for Rhizophora mucronata is June–July during the monsoons, again in Nov –Dec (early winter). Table 1 represents the floral characteristics of some dominating taxa, where the flowers are actinomorphic. R. mucronata and C. decandra of the Rhizophoraceae family are uniformly protected within a comparatively thick and fleshy calyx lobe, its persistent nature seems to be a protective element for successful fruit setting. A number of filiform appendages present at the apex of the petals and the stamens are usually twice as many as the number of petals, but in Kandelia candel (a member of the family Rhizophoraceae) the stamens are numerous (Das 1994). According to Tomlinson (1979), the mechanical and biological natures of inflorescence

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A. Ghosh & P. Chakraborti a

a

c

e

d

f

Image 3. (a–f) Photomicrographs of the investigated pollen grains. (a–b) - Avicennia marina: a - equatorial view (x 750); b - polar view (x 750); (c–d) - Ceriops decandra: c - equatorial view (x 1000); d - polar view (x1175); (e–f) - Rhizophora mucronata: e - Equatorial view (x 870); f - polar view (x 1230).

provide continuous protection to the youngest units by a successive series of bracts, bracteoles and sepal as observed in our three species. In Avicennia marina the flowers are small, short filament, minute hairs on the style, same as earlier workers (Ghosh et al. 2008). Tomlinson et al. (1979) observed that a wide range of pollination mechanisms exist in the Rhizophoraceae family. The present work is in conformity with that. The floral characters revealed that cross pollination mechanisms prevail but geitonogamous pollination is reported minimally in the case of A. marina & C. decandra. Based on the bagging techniques, the fruit setting percentage through autogamy is nil as a result

of different anthesis time in a single plant. The fruit setting percentage obtained through xenogamy showed positive which contradicted the results obtained by Sun et al. (1998), where geitonogamous selfing was seen to be high. Setoguchi et al. (1996) worked on Crossostylis sp., a species of Rhizophoraceae and found marked differences in floral morphology from that of other mangrove species of the same family. Morphological examinations of pollen grains revealed that all the taxa investigated had tricolporate, prolate or subprolate pollens with surface ornamentation that are reticulate or scabrate. A. marina and R. mucronata pollens were larger than that of C. decandra. Pollen grains viability test at peak hour shows that all the investigated taxa produced more than 50% viable pollens that ultimately lead to successful participation in pollination mechanisms and seed production. Farkas & Orosz (2004) obtained above 50% viable pollens in their experiment on pear (Pyrus betulifolia) and it is sufficient for successful pollination as well as enough to attract bees. Any results in mangrove pollen viability has not been reported so far. Bernal et al. (2005) said that in vitro pollen germination is a suitable method for studying male fertility, and probably a reliable process of estimation for seed production. The rate of pollen germination and pollen tube elongation varies with sucrose concentrations as well as species specific. So, a selection pressure must be involved to determine the accurate germination procedure and it may be extended to the atmospheric interaction.

Conclusion From the above study, it is clear that these plants adapted to stresses like salinity by an out-crossing method of pollination, strongly supported by a protandrous nature, to combat stressful substrata. The out-breeding mechanism modifies the gene pool with wider adaptability especially in stress. Generally, for establishment of a wider genetic background, a selection pressure must be involved in the process. The plant adapted continuum of life without having any dormancy by exhibiting its reproductive nature. Therefore, we can conclude that the reproductive nature is considered an adaptive strategy for seedling development to overcome the harsh conditions and a

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a

A. Ghosh & P. Chakraborti

b

g

m

c

h

d

j

i

n

o

e

p

f

l

k

q

r

Figure 1. Floral parts and floral diagram of (a–f) R. mucronata, (g–l) C. decandra and (m-r) A. marina

meaningful conservation strategy can be adopted for preservation of these endangered species.

References Aluri, R.J. (1990). Observations on the floral biology of certain mangroves. Proceedings of the Indian National Science Academy, Part B, Biological Sciences 56(4): 367–374. Banerjee, A. (1998). Environment, Population and Human Settlements of Sunderban Delta—1st Edition. Concept Publishing Company, New Delhi, 60–77pp. Bernal, C., G. Palomares & I. Susin (2005). Establishment of a germination medium for artichoke pollen and its relationship with seed production. Acta-Horticulture 681: 291–99. Bhattacharya, A.K. (1989). Coastal geomorphology, processes and hazards: a note on management measures. Proceedings of the Coast Zone Management of West Bengal, Sea Explorers’ Institute, Calcutta, 49–61pp. Bhosale, L.J. & N.G. Mulik (1991). Strategies of seed germination in mangroves, pp. 201–205. In: Sen, D.N. & S. Mohammed (eds.) Proceedings of International Seed Symposium, Fodhpur. Bhosale, L.J. (1994). Propagation techniques for regeneration of mangrove forests - a new asset. Journal of Non-timber 2434

Forest Products 1(3–4): 119–122. Dafni, A. (1992). Pollination Ecology: A Practical Approach. Oxford University Press, New York, 110–125pp. Das, S. (1994). Certain aspects of morphology, anatomy and palynology of some mangroves and their associates from Sunderbans, West Bengal. PhD Thesis, University of Calcutta. India. Datta, P.N., S. Das, M. Ghose & R. Spooner-Hart (2007). Effects of salinity on photosynthesis, leaf anatomy, ion accumulation and photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency in five Indian mangroves. Wetland Ecology Management 15: 347–357. Farkas, A. & Z. Orosz-Kovacs (2004). Primary and secondary attractants of flowers in pear (Pyrus betulifolia). Acta –Horticulture 636: 317–324. Faegri, K. & J. Iversen (1975). Journal of Text Book of Pollen Analysis—3rd Edition. Copenhagen, Munksgaard, 295pp. Ghosh, A., S. Gupta, S. Maity & S. Das ( 2008). Study of floral morphology of some Indian mangroves in relation to pollination. Research Journal of Botany 3(1): 9–16. Ghosh, R.K. & A.K. Mandal (1989). Sunderban - A Socio BioEcological Study—1st Edition. Bookland Pvt. Ltd. Calcutta, 34–67pp. Muccifora, S., L.M. Bellani & P. Gori (2003). Ultrastructure, viability in virto germination of the tricellular Sumbuscus nigra L. pollen. International Journal of Plant Sciences 164(6): 855–860.

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Salvam, V. & V.M. Karunagaran (2004). Coastal Wetlands: Ecology and Biology of Mangroves. M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai, 81–94pp. Sanyal, P. (1996). Sundarbans: the largest mangrove diversity on globe, pp. 11–16. In: Willium Roxburgh Memorial Seminar on Sundarban Mangals. Calcutta, India. Setoguchi, H., O. Hideaki & T. Hiroshi (1996). Floral morphology and phylogenetic analysis in Crossostylis (Rhizophoraceae). Journal of Plant Research 109: 7–19. Sun, M., K.C. Wong & S.Y. Lee (1998). Reproductive biology and population genetic structure of Kandelia candel (Rhizophoraceae), a viviparous mangrove species. American Journal of Botany 85: 1631–1637. Status Report on Mangroves (1987). Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, New Delhi, 13–19pp. Tomlinson, P.B. (1986). The Botany of Mangroves. Cambridge University Press, New York, 65–78pp. Youmbi, E., M.T. Cerceau-Larrival, A.M. Verhille & M.C. Carbonnier-Jarreau (1998). Morphology and in vitro pollen germination of Dacryodes edulis (Burseraceae). Parameters for optimal germination. Grana 37: 87–92.

Author Contribution: AG carried out the field work, examined the materials, collected and has tabulated and prepared the manuscript. PC guided the field study, analysis, raised funds for the work and helped in the writing of the manuscript.

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Acknowledgement: The financial support received through a research project titled “Seed Biology of Indian Mangroves in relation to its sustained conservation and Management” from the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt. of India, New Delhi, is gratefully acknowledged.


JoTT Communication

4(3): 2436–2443

DNA barcoding of the Bryde’s Whale Balaenoptera edeni Anderson (Cetacea: Balaenopteridae) washed ashore along Kerala coast, India A. Bijukumar 1, S.S. Jijith 2, U. Suresh Kumar 3 & S. George 4 Department of Aquatic Biology and Fisheries, University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695581, India Regional Facility for DNA Fingerprinting, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695014, India 4 Chemical Biology Group, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology,Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695014, India Email: 1 abiju@rediffmail.com (corresponding author), 2 jijithss@gmail.com, 3 sureshkumar@rgcb.res.in, 4 sgeorge@rgcb.res.in 1

2,3

Date of publication (online): 26 March 2012 Date of publication (print): 26 March 2012 ISSN 0974-7907 (online) | 0974-7893 (print) Editor: E. Vivekanandan Manuscript details: Ms # o2859 Received 01 July 2011 Final received 16 November 2011 Finally accepted 02 March 2012 Citation: Bijukumar, A., S.S. Jijith, U.S. Kumar & S. George (2012). DNA barcoding of the Bryde’s Whale Balaenoptera edeni Anderson (Cetacea: Balaenopteridae) washed ashore along Kerala coast, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 4(3): 2436–2443. Copyright: © A. Bijukumar, S.S. Jijith, U. Suresh Kumar & S. George 2012. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. JoTT allows unrestricted use of this article in any medium for non-profit purposes, reproduction and distribution by providing adequate credit to the authors and the source of publication. For Author Details, Author Contribution see end of this article. Acknowledgements: AB thank Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment for financial support of the work and friends in the print media who frequently inform us stranding of whales. We thank Dr. Radhakrishna Pillai, Director, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Thiruvananthapuram for the support. We appreciate the field support extended by the students Sirajudheen, Ravinesh, Rajesh, Smirthi Raj, Varun Raj and Soosan.

OPEN ACCESS | FREE DOWNLOAD

2436

Abstract: Three whales washed ashore along Kerala coast of southwest India were identified as Bryde’s Whale Balaenoptera edeni Anderson based on sequencing of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 and cytochrome b genes. The results of mtDNA sequencing in the present study confirm the presence of B. edeni species of ‘Bryde’s Whale complex’ in the coastal waters of India. Keywords: Balaenoptera, Bryde’s Whale complex, cytochrome b, cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1, morphometry, mitochondrial DNA. Malayalam Abstract: §LcÏáæ¿ æÄAá É¿ßEÞùX ÍÞ·æJ çμø{ÄàøJ¿ßEá μÏùßÏ ÎâKí ÄßÎߢ·ÜBZ èdÌÁØí ÄßÎߢ·Ü ÕßÍÞ·JßWæMG ÌÜàçÈÞÉíxàù ®çÁÈß ¦XçÁÝíØX ¼ÞÄßÏÞæÃKí èÎçxÞçμÞXdÁßÏÏßæÜ èØçxÞçdμÞ¢ Øß ³μíØßçÁØí ØÌí ÏâÃßxí 1, èØçxÞçdμÞ¢ Ìß ®Kà ¼àÈáμ{áæ¿ Ö㢶ÜÞÉÀÈ¢ ÕÝß æÕ{ßÕÞÏß. ¨ ÉÀÈ¢, §LcX μ¿ÜßæÜ èdÌÁØí ÄßÎߢ·ÜB{áæ¿ ØÞKßÇcæJ ¥¿ßÕøÏßGáùMßAáKá.

Introduction Though an integral component of marine ecosystems, marine mammals, particularly whales, are given little attention by conservation biologists and taxonomists in India. Baleen whales are included in the suborder Mysticeti (Ceteacea: Balaenopteriidae) and are characterised by the presence of a filtering structure in the mouth called Baleen or Whalebone, flippers representing the forelimbs, a tail with horizontal flukes and nasal openings (blowholes) on top of the head (Jefferson et al. 1993). In Indian coastal waters this suborder includes the  Blue Whale Balaenoptera musculus, Fin Whale B. physalus, Sei Whale B. borealis, Bryde’s Whale B. edeni, Mink Whale B. acutorostrata and the  Humpback Whale Megaptera novaeangliae (Kumaran 2002; Sathasivam 2004; Jayasankar & Anoop 2010). Stranding of marine mammals occurs frequently in India, yet precise identification is not done in many cases due to lack of local taxonomic expertise and poor condition of specimens (George et al. 2011). Since all cetaceans are important from the conservation point of view, precise documenting of their presence would provide valuable information regarding the distribution and migratory nature of different species in the seas around India. Of late, DNA barcoding or sequencing of mitochondrial genes, particularly cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) (Amaral et al. 2007; George et al. 2011) and cytochrome b (cyt b) (Ross et al. 2003; Dalebout et al. 2004; Herath 2007; Sholl et al. 2008; Jayasankar et al. Journal of Threatened Taxa | www.threatenedtaxa.org | March | 4(3): 2436–2443


DNA barcoding of Bryde’s Whale in India

 

Image 1. Balaenoptera edeni Anderson washed ashore Thanni Beach at Kollam, Kerala

 

Image 2. Balaenoptera edeni Anderson washed ashore Muthalapozhi Beach at Anchuthengu, Kerala

A. Bijukumar et al.

2011; Image 1), Anchuthengu (Muthalapozhi Beach; 08040’23”N & 76045’23”E; 04 June 2011; Image 2) and Poonthura (Cheriyathura Beach; 08026’36.21”N & 76056’32.70”E; 10 June 2011; Image 3) along southern Kerala. The precise identity of the specimens at Anchuthengu and Poonthura could not be made since the specimens were putrefied. The whale stranded at Kollam measured 960cm (total length) and was identified as Bryde’s Whale Balaenoptera edeni, Anderson, based on morphological features and morphometry (Table 1). The Bryde’s Whale can be distinguished from other baleen whales by the presence of three conspicuous ridges on the snout, 40–70 throat pleats extending to the navel and a tall and falcate dorsal fin that generally rises abruptly out of the back (Jefferson et al. 1993). Tissue samples were collected from all the whales to confirm identification by the sequencing of two mitochondrial genes, cox1 and cyt b. The samples in absolute ethanol were processed for the extraction of DNA using QIAGEN DNeasy Blood and Tissue Kit (cat No.69506) and cox1 and cyt-b genes were amplified using universal primers [cox 1: Forward primer- 5’-GGTCA ACAAATCATAAAGATATTGG-3’, Reverse primer5’-TAAACTTCAGGGTGACCAAAAAATCA-3’, Tm value : 45–51 0C (Folmer et al. 1994); cyt b: Forward primer5’-TACCATGAGGAC AAATATCATTCTG-3’, Reverse primer-5’CCTCCTAGTTTGTTAGGGATTGATCG-3’, Tm 0 value: 46 C (Verma & Singh 2003)] in a 25µl reaction Table 1. Morphometry of Bryde’s Whale Balaenoptera edeni Anderson washed ashore at Thanni Beach, Kerala

 

Image 3. Balaenoptera edeni Anderson washed ashore Cheriyathura Beach at Poonthura, Kerala

2007, 2008; Viricel & Rosel 2011), has been used to successfully identify cetaceans. Three whales were stranded at Kollam (Thanni Beach; 08049’44.4”N & 76033.3’14.3”E; 24 May

Measurement

cm

1

Length, total (tip of the upper jaw to the deepest part of notch between flukes)

960

2

Length, tip of the upper jaw to centre of eye

270

3

Length of gape (tip of the upper jaw to angle of gape)

378

4

Length, tip of upper jaw to blowhole along midline

330

5

Length, tip of upper jaw to anterior insertion of flipper

424

6

Length, tip of upper jaw to tip of dorsal fin

670

7

Length of flipper (anterior insertion of tip)

122

8

Width, flipper (maximum)

32

9

Height of dorsal fin (fin tip to base)

96

10

Fluke span

282

11

Width of flukes (distance from nearest point on anterior border of fluke notch)

88

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volume with QIAGEN Taq PCR master mix kit in GenAmp PCR System 9700 (Applied Biosystems). The following thermal cycling conditions were used for amplifications: 950C for 5 min, followed by 10 cycles of 950C for 30s, 450C for 40s, 720C for 90s, followed by 30 cycles of 950C for 30s, 510C for 40s, 720C for 90s, and a final extension step at 720C for 5 min (for cox 1) and 950C for 5 min, followed by 40 cycles of 950C for 30s, 460C for 30 s, 720C for 30s, and a final extension step at 720C for 7 min (for cytb). All the PCR products were visualized on 1% agarose gels and the most intense products were selected for sequencing. Sequencing was performed directly using the corresponding PCR primers and products were labelled using the BigDye Terminator

V.3.1 Cycle sequencing Kit (Applied Biosystems, Inc.) and sequenced using an ABI 3730 capillary sequencer following manufacturer’s instructions. Sequence similarity search was done to identify the species of the tissue, with all entries in the DNA sequence database GenBank using Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST, Altschul et al. 1990). Twentysix cytb sequences and 28 cox1 sequences were used for the phylogenetic analysis and after final alignment the lengths were 400bp for cytb and 513bp for cox1. Phylogenetic position of the query sequences was determined using the maximum likelihood and maximum parsimony methods using MEGA Ver. 5 (Tamura et al. 2007; Kumar et al. 2008) and the branch support was evaluated using 1000 bootstrap replicates

Figure 1. Maximum Parsimony phylogram using cytb partial sequences of the samples compared with other reference sequences of Balaenoptera spp. in GenBank. The numbers on the tree branches indicate bootstrap values 2438

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DNA barcoding of Bryde’s Whale in India

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Figure 2. Maximum Parsimony phylogram using cox1 partial sequences of the samples compared with other reference sequences of Balaenoptera spp. in GenBank. The numbers on the tree branches indicate bootstrap values

(Felsenstein 1985) (Figs. 1–4). The best fit nuclear substitution model was selected as HKV+I for cytb and HKY+G for cox1 using model test, implemented in MEGA Ver. 5. The BLAST search of cox1 and cytb showed 99.8% sequence identity with Bryde’s Whale Balaenoptera edeni. The phylogenetic trees obtained with maximum likelihood and maximum parsimony were very similar by clustering all the three stranded whales with other B. edeni sequences except Acc. No.X75583 (cytb) of the GenBank, which was confirmed as B. brydei after BLAST search. The GenBank accession numbers of the cox1 and cytb sequence data generated in the study is given in Table 2.

Table 2. GenBank accession numbers of the cox1 and cytb sequences of Bryde’s whale Balaenoptera edeni Anderson samples collected from Kerala Whale code number with locality

GenBank accession number cox1

cytb

Whale-159-Poonthura

JN190945

JN190949

Whale-99-Kollam

JN190946

JN190947

Whale-158-Anchuthengu

JN190944

JN190948

Bryde’s Whales are the least known of the large baleen whales and are reported from warm temperate, subtropical, and tropical oceans between 400N and 400S (Kato 2002). In India presence of this species has been reported only through occasional stranding

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Figure 3. Maximum Likelihood phylogram using cytb partial sequences of the samples compared with other reference sequences of Balaenoptera spp. in GenBank. The numbers on the tree branches indicate bootstrap values

data (Table 3) and behaviour, seasonal occurrence and abundance in our coastal waters remains to be documented. Balaenoptera edeni was first described by Anderson (1879) from a stranded specimen in Burma and was named Eden’s Whale, after Sir Ashley Eden, the British High Commissioner to Burma at the time.

In 1912, Olsen described a new species of mysticete whale from South Africa, and named this new species Balaenoptera brydei after Johan Bryde, the Norwegian consul to South Africa, who set up the first whaling station in Durban (Olsen 1913). Balaenoptera edeni and B. brydei were subsequently synonymised based on skeletal comparisons (Junge 1950) and B. edeni

Table 3. Stranding records of Bryde’s Whale Balaenoptera edeni Anderson along the Indian coast Date

Total length (m)

Place

1

02.vii.1979

Beypore, Calicut, Kerala

2

20.ii.1983

Dhanushkodi Island in Gulf of Mannar, Tamil Nadu

Reference

13

Lal Mohan (1992)

13.52

Lal Mohan (1992)

Remarks

3

14.xi.2000

Point Calimere, Tamil Nadu

12

Sathasivam (2002)

4

08.viii.2006

Kundugal near Mandapam, Tamil Nadu

12

Jayasankar et al. (2007)

DNA barcoding using Cytb

5

27.vi.2009

Edayar, Thiruvananthapuram District, Kerala

3.9

George et al. (2011)

DNA barcoding using CO1 and 16S mtDNA

2440

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Figure 4. Maximum Likelihood phylogram using cox 1 partial sequences of the samples compared with other reference sequences of Balaenoptera spp. in GenBank. The numbers on the tree branches indicate bootstrap values

was used as the scientific name and Bryde’s Whale as the common name. This synonymisation was not accepted by many taxonomists and molecular analysis of mtDNA from all nominal species of ‘Bryde’s whale complex’ has separated brydei from edeni and resulted in a third species called B. omurai described from specimens collected mostly in tropical waters of the western Pacific and eastern Indian oceans (Wada et al. 2003). The studies by Wada et al. (2003) demonstrated that B. edeni forms a sister taxon to B. brydei (Sasaki et al. 2006). Although the recent findings outlined above support that B .edeni and B. brydei may be separate species, and that genetic differentiation is high among

different oceanic regions, further molecular studies are required to identify which populations of Bryde’s Whales belong to each species, and consensus on a type specimen for brydei is required. Eden’s Whale and Bryde’s Whale may be used as the common name of B. edeni and B. brydei respectively as suggested by Wada et al. (2003) and George et al. (2011). The results of mt DNA sequencing in the present study confirms the presence of B. edeni species of ‘Bryde’s Whale complex’ in the coastal waters of India. According to the recent International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) assessment, Bryde’s whale taxonomy is unresolved and they are classified as ‘Data Deficient’ (Reilly et al. 2008). They are

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DNA barcoding of Bryde’s Whale in India

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currently listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and in Appendix II of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), under the United Nations. Marine mammal strandings may be attributed to natural or anthropogenic factors and the stranding data can provide insight on spatial distribution, seasonal movements, and mortality factors pertaining to marine mammal populations (Woodhouse 1991). A deep injury was noticed on the back of the whale washed ashore Thanni beach which could be due to a ship collision. Vessel collisions are considered an important source of mortality for Bryde’s Whale in New Zealand waters (Stockin et al. 2008). In many cases the causes of death in stranded marine mammals are not properly investigated, and detailed necropsy studies and postmortem examination would help in evaluating the impact of anthropogenic interactions.

References Altschul, S.F., W. Gish, W. Miller, E.W. Myers & D.J. Lipman (1990). Basic local alignment search tool. Journal of Molecular Biology 215(3): 403–410 Amaral, A.R., M. Sequeira & M.M. Coelho (2007). A first approach to the usefulness of cytochrome c oxidase barcodes in the identification of closely related delphinid cetacean species. Marine and Freshwater Research 58: 505–510. Anderson, J. (1879). Anatomical and zoological researches comprising an account of the zoological results of the two expeditions to Western Yunnan in 1868 and 1875; and a monograph of the two cetacean genera, Platanista and Orcaella. London, B. Quaritch 551–564. Dalebout, M.L., C.S. Baker, J.G. Mead, V.G. Cockcroft & T.K. Yamada (2004). A comprehensive and validated molecular taxonomy of beaked whales, family Ziphiidae. Journal of Heredity 95: 459–473. Felsenstein, J. (1985). Confidence limits on phylogenies, an approach using bootstrap. Evolution 39: 783–791. Folmer, O., M. Black, W. Hoeh, R. Lutz & R. Vrijenhoek (1994). DNA primers for amplification of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I from diverse metazoan invertebrates. Molecular Marine Biology and Biotechnology 3: 294–299. George, S., K. Meenakshi & A. Bijukumar (2011). Molecular taxonomy of marine mammals stranded along Kerala coast, India. Current Science 100: 117–120. Herath, D.R. (2007). Identification of a stranded whale by mitochondrial DNA analysis -  www.DNA-surveillance 2442

program in action. Asian Fisheries Science 20: 319–324. Jayasankar, P. & B. Anoop (2010). Identification of Marine Mammals of India. Narendra Publishing House, Delhi, 124pp+10pl. Jayasankar, P., B. Anoop, R. Peter, V.V. Afsal & M. Rajagopalan (2007). Species of a whale and an unknown fish sample identified using molecular taxonomy. Indian Journal of Fisheries 54: 339–343. Jayasankar, P., B. Anoop, E. Vivekanandan, M. Rajagopalan, K.M.M. Yousuf, P. Reynold, P.K. Krishnakumar, P.L. Kumaran, V.V. Afsal & A.K. Anoop (2008). Molecular identification of delphinids and finless porpoise (Cetacea) from the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal. Zootaxa 1853: 57–67. Jefferson, T.A., S. Leatherwood & M.A. Webber (1993). FAO Species Identification Guide. Marine Mammals of the World. FAO, Rome, 320pp. Junge, G.C.A. (1950). On a specimen of the rare fin whale, Balaenoptera edeni Anderson, stranded on Pulu Sugi near Singapore. Zoologische Verhandelingen 9: 1–26. Kumaran, P.L. (2002). Marine mammal research in India - a review and critique of the methods. Current Science 83: 1210–1220. Kumar, S., J. Dudley, M. Nei & K. Tamura (2008). MEGA: A biologist-centric software for evolutionary analysis of DNA and protein sequences. Brief Bioinformatics 9: 299–306. Mohan, R.S.L. (1992). Observations on the whales Balaenoptera edeni, B. musculus and Megaptera novaeangliae washed ashore along the Indian coast with a note on their osteology. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India 34: 253–255. Olsen, O. (1913). On the external characteristics and biology of Bryde’s Whale (Balaenoptera brydei) a new rorqual from the coast of South Africa. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 1073–1090pp. Reilly, S.B., J.L. Bannister, P.B. Best, M. Brown, R.L. Brownell Jr., D.S. Butterworth, P.J. Clapham, J. Cooke, G.P. Donovan, J. Urbán & A.N. Zerbini (2008). Balaenoptera edeni. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. <www.iucnredlist. org>. Downloaded on 31 May 2011. Ross, H.A., G.M. Lento, M.L. Dalebout, M. Goode, G. Ewing, P. Mclaren, A.G. Rodrigo, S. Lavery & C.S. Baker (2003). DNA Surveillance: Web-based molecular identification of whales, dolphins and porpoises. Journal of Heredity 94: 111–114. Sasaki, T., M. Nikaido, S. Wada, T.K. Yamada, Y. Cao, M. Hasegawa & N. Okada (2006). Balaenoptera omurai is a newly discovered baleen whale that represents an ancient evolutionary lineage. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 41: 40–52. Sathasivam, K. (2002). Two whale records from Tamil Nadu, Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 99: 289– 290. Sathasivam, K. (2004). Marine Mammals of India. WWFIndia and Universities Press (India) Pvt. Ltd., Hyderabad,

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180pp. Sholl, T.G.C., F.F. Nascimento, O. Leoncini, C.R. Bonvicino & S. Siciliano (2008). Taxonomic identification of dolphin love charms commercialized in the Amazonian region through the analysis of cytochrome b DNA. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 88: 1207–1210. Stockin, K.A., N. Wiseman, A. Hartman, N. Moffat & W.D. Roe (2008). Use of radiography to determine age class and assist with the post-mortem diagnostics of a Bryde’s Whale (Balaenoptera brydei). New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 42: 307–313. Verma, S. K. & L. Singh (2003). Novel universal primers establish identity of enormous number of animal species for forensic application. Molecular Ecology Notes 3: 28–31. Viricel A. & P.E. Rosel (2012). Evaluating the utility of cox1 for cetacean species identification. Marine Mammal Science 28(1): 37–62. Wada, S., M. Oishi & T.K. Yamada (2003). A newly discovered species of living baleen whale. Nature 426: 278–181. Woodhouse, C.D. (1991). Marine mammal beachings as indicators of population events, pp. 111–116. In: Reynolds, J. E. & D. K. Odell (eds.). Marine mammal strandings in the United States: Proceedings of The Second Marine Mammal Stranding Workshop; 3–5 Dec. 1987, Miami. FL,U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA Technical Report NMFS 98, 157pp.

Author Details and Contribution: Dr. A. Bijukumar is currently working as Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Aquatic Biology and Fisheries, University of Kerala. His fields of research include taxonomy and biodiversity informatics. Earlier he worked as Scientific Officer of State Committee on Science, Technology and Environment and Member Secretary-in-Charge and Principal Scientific Officer of Kerala State Biodiversity Board. Initiated major works on marine biodiversity informatics for Kerala and DNA barcoding of marine mammals and molluscs. In this paper, sampling, photography, morphological taxonomy and the paper preparation was done by him. U. Suresh Kumar, holds MPhil degree in bioinformatics and is currently working as the DNA examiner of the Regional Facility for DNA Fingerprinting at Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB), Trivandrum. His major research interests are DNA barcoding and DNA fingerprinting. Currently conducting training programmes on molecular markers, human DNA fingerprinting and DNA barcoding. Sequence analysis of the work was done by him in the work. S.S. Jijith possesses Masters in Biotechnology and is currently working as a project fellow in Regional facility for DNA fingerprinting at RGCB. His current project addresses the development of a reference DNA barcoding database of selected mammals of Kerala Forest. For this work DNA isolation and amplification was done by him. Dr. S. George is currently working as a Scientist in the chemical biology laboratory of Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Trivandrum. His main area of research is centered around amphibians of Western Ghats with particular interest in DNA barcoding and bioprospecting. At present he is the Principal Investigator of DNA barcoding projects on amphibians, mammals and molluscs of India. In this paper he has contributed towards the writing of molecular taxonomy and interpretation of data.

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JoTT Communication

4(3): 2444–2453

An avifaunal case study of a plateau from Goa, India: an eye opener for conservation of plateau ecosystems Minal Desai 1 & A.B. Shanbhag 2 Department of Zoology, Goa University, Taleigao Plateau, Goa 403206, India Email: 1 abshanbhag@ yahoo.com, 2 desaim2003@yahoo.co.in (corresponding author)

1,2

Date of publication (online): 26 March 2012 Date of publication (print): 26 March 2012 ISSN 0974-7907 (online) | 0974-7893 (print) Editor: R. Jayapal Manuscript details: Ms # o2480 Received 10 June 2010 Final received 29 December 2011 Finally accepted 29 February 2012 Citation: Desai, M. & A.B. Shanbhag (2012). An avifaunal case study of a plateau from Goa, India: an eye opener for conservation of plateau ecosystems. Journal of Threatened Taxa 4(3): 2444–2453. Copyright: © Minal Desai & A.B. Shanbhag 2012. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. JoTT allows unrestricted use of this article in any medium for non-profit purposes, reproduction and distribution by providing adequate credit to the authors and the source of publication. Author Details: Dr. Minal Desai, as a CSIR senior research fellow worked on avian ecology in varied forest ecosystems in the Western Ghat locales adjoining Goa region. Her PhD thesis centered around bird diversity in selected unmanaged monoculture plantations vis-à-vis primary forest in the Western Ghat stretch in northern Goa. Prof. A.B. Shanbhag, a professor of zoology at Goa University is involved in teaching and research over three decades. As a practicing field biologist he has been actively engaged in bird ecology and research on wetlands, forests and agroforests. Author Contribution: The work embodied in the current paper was planned and designed under guidance of ABS and the actual field work and logistics were carried out by MD. Acknowledgment: We thank the authorities of Goa University for facilitating the work.

Goa University

OPEN ACCESS | FREE DOWNLOAD

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Abstract: The lateritic plateaux typical of the midlands between the Western Ghats and the coastal plains of the Arabian Sea are known to be a unique ecosystem with a sizeable endemic flora. However, there is a total lack of studies on the faunal diversity of these plateaux, which are currently experiencing enormous anthropogenic pressures. We conducted a year-long study on the avifauna of the Taleigao Plateau, Goa. The Taleigao Plateau harbours 114 species of birds, accounting for 37% of the avifaunal diversity of the state. The resident bird population did not vary significantly through the seasons. Among the migrant birds, Rosy Starling Sturnus roseus was particularly partial to the plateau. Besides, five species of larks, grassland specialists were also recorded on the plateau. However, the absence of forest birds like the Malabar Pied Hornbill and the Indian Grey Hornbill (recorded earlier) and the predominance of habitat generalists like the House Crow and the Jungle Myna seemed to be the offshoot of heavy anthropogenic pressures on the plateau. It is recommended that at least some plateaux in the belt deserve to be protected from the impact of unsustainable developmental processes. Keywords: Avifuana, feeding guilds, Goa, plateau, Sturnus roseus, Western Ghats.

Introduction Plateaux are the relatively flat open country sections of highlands. In Goa, they occupy a major portion of the land area (Joshi & Janarthanam 2004) in the form of extensions of the Western Ghats, a biodiversity hotspot, before they roll down to the coastal plains. The lateritic plateaux of the region have very shallow soil cover varying from a few mm to 30cm, hence they support limited vegetation in the form of herbs, shrubs and a few trees. Due to their dry barren appearance, more so during the drier months, they are some of the more highly neglected habitats, and are often considered as wastelands. Thus, they are the natural choice in the region for developmental projects in the form of industrial estates and conglomerates of government organizations. Taleigao Plateau, the seat of Goa University at a distance of 8km from the capital city of the state is not an exception. It comprises a series of central and state institutions, hotels, residential areas and recently a part of it was declared an information technology habitat. Time and again the university enters into afforestation drives on the plateau with the purpose of greening the campus. Earlier floristic surveys revealed that the plateaux in Goa harbour the largest number of endemic plant species of the Western Ghats, especially herbs (Joshi & Janarthanam 2004). However, no work has been done on the fauna of this region (Watve 2003).  All the same, most of the plateaux in the region are already ecologically dabbled, without any prior serious environmental impact assessment. Birds are good biological indicators, hence holistic studies on the Journal of Threatened Taxa | www.threatenedtaxa.org | March 2012 | 4(3): 2444–2453


Avifaunal of a plateau in Goa

ornithological potential of the varied habitats are of paramount significance in drawing guidelines in planning and management of these nature reserves and in turn their conservation (Williamson 1970). Habitat based analysis of bird life in Goa with respect to wetlands (Walia & Shanbhag 1999; Walia 2000; Shanbhag et al. 2001; Borges 2002) and monoculture forest plantations (Desai 2005) have been in progress for quite some time. An attempt was also made some time ago to analyze the birdlife on Taleigao Plateau (Shanbhag & Gramopadhye 1993). The study could not be taken to its logical conclusion though the occurrence of 64 species of birds in the area was reported. Subsequent work by Shyama and Gowthaman (1995) recorded only 43 species of birds in the same area that included 13 species not registered earlier. Both the reports were apparently based on a few opportunistic surveys, probably during different seasons of the year. Although tropical/subtropical environments are sometimes assumed to be uniform throughout the year, seasonal changes in precipitation are common (Karr 1976) and environmental changes are of major importance in determining bird diversity and also breeding cycles (Snow & Snow 1964). Therefore, the present work was planned to assess the bird population in the central zone of the Taleigao Plateau through all the seasons of a year in the background of prevailing weather conditions and available food resources,

M. Desai & A.B. Shanbhag

before it is too late. The study was also intended to generate baseline reference data to evolve a suitable management plan for the plateaux of the region in general.     Methods Study area Taleigao Plateau (15027’15”N & 17050’00”E) is located at a distance of 8km from Panjim, the capital city of Goa (Image 1). It is an east west trending lateritic table land spread over approximately 296ha overlooking the sloping valleys and alluvial plains of the two major rivers, Mandovi and Zuari on its north and south respectively. Most of it is occupied by many semi Government / Government establishments and residential tenements. Its central zone houses the Goa University campus spanning an area of 173ha with its ever-increasing infrastructural facilities. Climate: The climate is warm and humid, with atmospheric temperatures ranging from 21 to 36 0C. The humidity ranges from 71 to 94 %. The monsoon extends from June to September experiencing an average of 2600mm rainfall. During the postmonsoons (October and November) stray showers are expected. The region experiences the lowest temperatures in winter extending from December to

Image 1. Central zone of Taleigao Plateau, the seat of Goa University Campus Journal of Threatened Taxa | www.threatenedtaxa.org | March 2012 | 4(3): 2444–2453

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Avifaunal of a plateau in Goa

M. Desai & A.B. Shanbhag

February. Summer (March–May) is the hottest season of the region. Vegetation: Vegetation on the campus is moist deciduous type mixed with evergreen species. Extensive patches of grasslands on the lateritic rocky outcrops are interspersed by trees and also large thickets of shrubs.   Bombax ceiba, Ficus benghalensis, Alstonia scholaris, Ziziphus mauritiana, Peltophorum pterocarpum, Lannea coromandelica are the common tree varieties while Calycopteris floribunda, Holarrhena pubescens, Memecylon umbellatum, Ziziphus rugosa, Microcos paniculata, Lantana camara dominate the scrubs. Plantations are formed of cashew, Anacardium occidentale and the introduced xerophyte, Acacia auriculiformis. The hedge plant, Pithecellobium dulce and shore tree, Casuarina littorea are recent introductions to the zone. Along with other species, Themeda triandra is the most common grass on the campus. The grass is often burnt during the fag end of winter or early summer. With the onset of the monsoon, rocky outcrops as well as intervening soft soil patches get transformed into lush green cover of herbaceous annuals such as Smithia, Eriocaulon, Murdannia, Drosera, and Neanotis.  The present study is based on intensive observations carried out over a complete year from October 2000 to September 2001. Five equidistant transects of 0.6km each, covering 3km on the whole were laid across the study area. Census was conducted on foot at monthly intervals from 0700–1000 hr using encounter rate method (Bibby et al. 2000). Common (English) names and scientific nomenclature of birds has been adopted from Manakadan & Pittie (2001). The detailed records as to the nesting/breeding activities of birds, common associations of birds with plant species and phenology of major plant species in terms of flowering and fruiting were meticulously maintained. The statistical significance of changes in populations of residents, migrants, passerines, non-passerines and those of various feeding guilds through the seasons were ascertained using Kruskal-Wallis and one way ANOVA tests. Statistical tests were carried out using SPSS version 6.0 for Windows. Species evenness index of Pielou (1975) and Sorensen’s similarity index (Southwood 1978) were calculated. 2446

Observations AND Results Across the year, 114 species of birds belonging to 30 families and 12 orders were sighted on the campus (Table 1).  Of the 19 migratory species encountered, six were distant migrants. Clamator jacobinus was the only monsoonal migrant on the site. All other migrants were winter visitors, some of which started arriving during the post-monsoons and stayed until summer. Sturnus roseus was the prominent migrant found associated with the deciduous tree Bombax ceiba. On the whole, Corvus splendens, Acridotheres fuscus and Sturnus roseus occupied the top ranks of dominance in that order. In terms of diversity, insectivores and phytophages were significantly higher than carnivores and omnivores (F = 33.73, df = 3, p ≤ 0.001) and on the basis of population, carnivores were significantly less in number compared to other feeding guilds (F = 17.84, df = 3, p ≤ 0.001). The bird population, in terms of abundance, species composition, and the strengths of feeding guilds, prevailing weather conditions, and phenological states of the vegetation in the area, through seasons were as shown below.  Post-monsoon (October–November): The rainfall during the period due to the receding monsoon was 66mm. Atmospheric temperatures ranged from 22.7 to 33.2 0C. Mean wind speed was 7km/ph and average relative humidity was 85%. The herbaceous vegetation principally consisting of grasses such as T. triandra and Apluda mutica was in fruition and had begun to dry and die. The shrubs such as Z. rugosa and Z. mauritiana, were flowering. Of the trees, A. auriculiformis and A. occidentale were in bloom and F. benghalensis was fruiting. The bird population was constituted by 55 species that included six migrants. Phytophages with 39% of the population dominated the avian community. Among them only granivores such as larks, doves, and pigeons accounted for 26%. Jungle Myna, House Crow, Black Drongo, White-browed Bulbul and Common Iora were found associated with A. auriculiformis. Birds like orioles, White-cheeked Barbet, Plum-headed Parakeet, House Crow, Indian Treepie and Asian Koel were observed feeding on the fruits of F. benghalensis. White-browed Bulbul was sighted ferrying food to a thicket of vines on a B.  ceiba tree that was followed by calls of the nestlings. Two young ones of Red-

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Avifaunal of a plateau in Goa

M. Desai & A.B. Shanbhag

Table 1.  Checklist of birds of Taleigao Plateau with their residential status, feeding-habits and rank of dominance. Order/Family/species

Common name

Status

Feeding habit

Rank of Dominance (1-38)

Ciconiformes: Ardeidae 1

Ardeola grayii

Indian Pond Heron

R

C

25

2

Bubulcus ibis

Cattle Egret

R

I

24

Falconiformes: Accipitridae 3

Elanus caeruleus*

Black-shouldered Kite

R

C

37

4

Milvus migrans

Black Kite

R

C

25

5

Haliastur indus

Brahminy Kite

R

C

17

6

Haliaeetus leucogaster

White-bellied Sea Eagle

R

C

38

7

Circus aeruginosus*

Western Marsh Harrier

DM

C

30

8

Accipiter badius *

Shikra

R

C

35

9

Accipiter nisus *

Eurasian Sparrowhawk

LM

C

36

Galliformes: Megapodiidae 10

Perdicula asiatica

Jungle Bush-Quail

R

P

30

11

Galloperdix spadicea

Red Spurfowl

R

O

35

12

Pavo cristatus

Indian Peafowl

R

O

26

Charadriiformes: Charadriidae 13

Vanellus malarbaricus

Yellow-wattled Lapwing

R

I

25

14

Vanellus indicus

Red-wattled Lapwing

R

I

10

15

Xenus cinereus*

Terek Sandpiper

DM

I

38

16

Actitis hypoleucos*

Common Sandpiper

R

I

38

Columbiformes: Columbidae 17

Columba livia

Blue Rock Pigeon

R

P

8

18

Streptopelia orientalis*

Oriental Turtle Dove

R

P

37

19

Streptopelia senegalensis*

Little Brown Dove

R

P

37

20

Streptopelia chinensis

Spotted Dove

R

P

35

21

Streptopelia decaocto

Eurasian Collared Dove

R

P

38

22

Treron pompadora

Pompadour Green Pigeon

R

P

23

Psittacula krameri

Rose-ringed Parakeet

R

P

27

24

Psittacula cyanocephala

Blossom-headed Parakeet

R

P

25

Psittaciformes: Psittacidae

Cuculiformes: Cuculidae 25

Clamator jacobinus

Pied Crested Cuckoo

DM

I

36

26

Hierococcyx varius

Brainfever Bird

R

I

38

27

Eudynamys scolopacea

Asian Koel

R

P

16

28

Phaenicophaeus viridirostris

Small Green-billed Malkoha

R

C

32

29

Centropus sinensis

Greater Coucal

R

O

29

Spotted Owlet

R

C

37

Strigiformes: Strigidae 30

Athene brama Apodiformes/ Apodidae

31

Collocalia unicolor*

Indian Edible-nest Swiftlet

R

I

16

32

Cypsiurus balasiensis

Asian Palm Swift

R

I

14

33

Apus affinis

House Swift

R

I

9

Coraciformes: lcedinidae 34

Pelargopsis capensis*

Stork-billed Kingfisher

R

C

38

35

Halcyon smyrnensis

White-breasted Kingfisher

R

C

23

Ceryle rudis*

Lesser Pied Kingfisher

R

C

38

36

Meropidae 37

Merops orientalis

Small Bee-eater

LM

I

19

38

Merops philippinus

Blue-tailed Bee-eater

LM

I

24

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Avifaunal of a plateau in Goa

Order/Family/species

M. Desai & A.B. Shanbhag

Status

Feeding habit

Rank of Dominance (1-38)

Indian Roller

LM

C

38

Hoopoe

LM

I

30

Common name

Coraciidae 39

Coracias benghalensis*

40

Upupa epops*

Upupidae Piciformes: Capitonidae 41

Megalaima viridis

White-cheeked Barbet

R

P

36

42

Megalaima rubricapilla*

Crimson-throated Barbet

R

P

37

Picidae 43

Celeus brachyurus

Rufous Woodpecker

R

I

37

44

Dinopium javanense*

Common Golden-backed Woodpecker

R

I

38

45

Dinopium benghalense

Lesser Golden-backed Woodpecker

R

I

38

Passeriformes: Alaudidae 46

Mirafra cantillans *

Singing Bush-Lark

R

P

37

47

Mirafra erythroptera*

Red-winged Bush-Lark

R

P

22

48

Eremopterix grisea*

Ashy-crowned Sparrow-Lark

R

P

26

49

Galerida malabarica*

Malabar Crested Lark

R

P

21

50

Alauda gulgula*

Eastern Skylark

R

P

29

Hirundinidae 51

Hirundo rustica

Common Swallow

LM

I

28

52

Hirundo smithii

Wire-tailed Swallow

R

I

23

53

Hirundo daurica

Red-rumped Swallow

R

I

20

LM

I

37 29

Motacillidae 54

Motacila alba*

White Wagtail

55

Motacila maderaspatensis*

Large Pied Wagtail

R

I

56

Anthus rufulus*

Paddyfield Pipit

R

I

14

57

Anthus hodgsoni

Oriental Tree Pipit

R

I

37

58

Coracina macei

Large Cuckoo-Shrike

R

I

35

59

Pericrocotus flammeus*

Scarlet Minivet

R

I

38

60

Pericrocotus ethologus*

Long-tailed Minivet

LM

I

35

61

Pericrocotus cinnamomeus*

Small Minivet

R

I

37

Campehagidae

Pycnonotidae 62

Pycnonotus jocosus

Red-whiskered Bulbul

R

O

5

63

Pycnonotus cafer

Red-vented Bulbul

R

O

16

64

Pycnonotus xantholaemus*

Yellow-throated Bulbul

I

33

65

Pycnonotus luteolus

White-browed Bulbul

R

P

7

66

Lole indica *

Yellow-browed Bulbul

R

P

37

67

Aegithina tiphia*

Common Iora

R

I

35

68

Chloropsis aurifrons*

Gold-fronted Chloropsis

R

I

39

69

Chloropsis cochinchinensis*

Jerdonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chloropsis

R

I

28

Irenidae

Laniidae 70

Lanius vittatus

Bay-backed Shrike

LM

C

38

71

Lanius schach

Rufous-backed Shrike

LM

C

12

72

Zoothera citrina

Orange-headed Thrush

R

I

20

73

Copsychus saularis

Oriental Magpie-Robin

R

I

18

74

Saxicoloides fulicata

Indian Robin

R

I

4

75

Saxicola torquata*

Common Stonechat

R

I

36

76

Saxicola caprata*

Pied Bushchat

R

I

25

Muscicapidae

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Avifaunal of a plateau in Goa

M. Desai & A.B. Shanbhag

Order/Family/species

Common name

Status

Feeding habit

Rank of Dominance (1-38)

77

Prinia hodgsonii

Franklin’s Prinia

R

I

17

78

Prinia socialis*

Ashy Prinia

R

I

31

79

Prinia inornata

Plain Prinia

R

I

31

80

Acrocephalus dumetorum*

Blyth’s Reed-Warbler

LM

I

31

81

Hippolais caligata*

Booted Warbler

DM

I

31

82

Orthothomus sutorius

Common Tailorbird

R

I

32

83

Phylloscopus trochiloides*

Greenish Leaf-Warbler

DM

I

37

84

Sylvia curruca*

Common Lesser White throat

DM

I

37

85

Sylvia hortensis

Orphean Warbler

DM

I

32

86

Chrysomma sinense*

Yellow-eyed Babbler

R

I

33

87

Turdoides caudatus

Common Babbler

R

P

25

88

Turdoides subrufus*

Indian Rufous Babbler

R

P

35

89

Turdoides striatus

Jungle Babbler

R

P

11

90

Dumetia hyperythra

Rufous-bellied Babbler

R

I

37

91

Ficedula superciliaris*

Ultramarine Flycatcher

R

I

35

92

Terpsiphone paradisi

Asian Paradise-Flycatcher

R

I

37

Dicaeidae 93

Dicaeum erythrorhynchos

Tickell’s Flowerpecker

R

P

37

94

Dicaeum concolor*

Plain Flowerpecker

R

P

36

Nectariniidae 95

Nectarinia zeylonica

Purple-rumped Sunbird

R

P

25

96

Nectarinia minima*

Small Sunbird

R

P

34

97

Nectarinia asiatica

Purple Sunbird

R

P

6

98

Nectarinia lotenia*

Loten’s Sunbird

R

P

37

White-rumped Munia

R

P

30

Estrildidae 99

Lonchura striata Passeridae

100

Passer domesticus

House Sparrow

R

O

21

101

Petronia xanthocollis

Yellow-throated Sparrow

R

O

37

102

Ploceus philippinus

Baya Weaver

R

P

29

Sturnidae 103

Sturnus pagodarum*

Brahminy Starling

R

O

38

104

Sturnus roseus*

Rosy Starling

DM

I

3

105

Acridotheres fuscus

Jungle Myna

R

O

2

Oriolidae 106

Oriolus oriolus

Eurasian Golden Oriole

LM

P

26

107

Oriolus xanthornus

Black-headed Oriole

R

P

26

Dicruridae 108

Dicrurus macrocercus

Black Drongo

R

C

15

109

Dicrurus leucophaeus*

Ashy Drongo

LM

C

33

110

Dicrurus caerulescens

White-bellied Drongo

LM

I

32

111

Dicrurus paradiseus

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo

R

I

38 35

Corvidae 112

Dendrocitta vagabunda

Indian Treepie

R

O

113

Corvus splendens

House Crow

R

O

1

114

Corvus macrorhynchos

Jungle Crow

R

O

25

Status: R - resident; LM - local migrant; DM - distant migrant.                                                Feeding habit: I - insectivore; C - carnivore; O - omnivore; P - phytophages * - Additional sightings These birds were newly sighted during the current study and were not reported on the plateau by earlier reports/ papers cited in the communication. Rank of dominance (1-38): The ranks are given based on the cumulative total of individuals of the respective species sighted during entire study period. The species with highest cumulative total is given rank 1 and so on.

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M. Desai & A.B. Shanbhag

wattled Lapwing were sighted in November. A nest of House Swifts was noticed at the corner of a ceiling. Two birds were seen ferrying food to the nest, and a pure white, oval-shaped egg 2cm in length was also found fallen on the ground at the site.  Winter (December–February): The atmospheric temperature ranged between 19.8 and 32.3 0C. The humidity was about 80%. The ground level herbaceous greenery was nonexistent. All the shrub species that flowered in the post-monsoons were in fruition during the season. The tree species in bloom were P. pterocarpum, Butea monosperma, B. ceiba, P. dulce and A. occidentale. Bird abundance was highest during winter, compared to that of other seasons, of the 59 avian species 11 were migrants. The migrant species formed 25% of the population during the season. Besides the residents, two prominent winter visitors to the region were the Eurasian migrant, Rosy Starling and a local migrant, Common Swallow. The Rosy Starlings arrived in January in large flocks. They were found generally on the Red Silk Cotton Tree, B. ceiba, noisily and restlessly feeding on the insects associated with the red flowers of the deciduous tree in bloom. The other birds found in association with Rosy Starlings on B. ceiba were Black Drongo, House Crow, Jungle Myna and Asian Koel. The Asian Koels were found feeding on the dehiscent fruits of P. dulce. Other birds that shared the fruits of the tree were White-browed Bulbul, Black-headed Oriole, Jungle Myna and House Crow. The sunbirds were found feeding on the blooms of A. occidentale and also on the flowers of Calotropis gigantea. Insectivorous guild was predominant during winter accounting for 47% of the total population. Breeding activities of the House Crow were observed during the season with sightings of eight nests on B. ceiba and C. litorea. An active nest (18x6 cm) with an entrance of 5cm diameter of the White-rumped Munia was sighted anchored on Bougainvillea sp. besides an abandoned old nest. The parent ferrying the feed was seen and soliciting calls of the nestlings were heard. Summer (March–May): The atmospheric temperature during summer ranged from 22.3 to 33.2 0 C. Relative humidity on an average was 80%. Mimusops elengi and Ixora coccinia were flowering. The plant species in bloom during the preceding season were laden with fruits. Bird diversity was higher but abundance was lower compared to winter. 2450

Bird fauna was constituted by 69 species. Almost 1/6th of the population was formed by 10 migratory species, prominent ones being distant migrant Rosy Starling till the early part of summer and the large flocks of the local migrant, Common Swallow till mid summer. But by May all the migrants had left the area, and also the few residents such as Wire-tailed Swallow, House Swift, Indian Treepie and Plum-headed Parakeet were not to be sighted. During summer, compared to winter, the insectivores though reduced in strength maintained their supremacy marginally, with 42% share. Z. rugosa, a fairly common shrub in the area with large panicles of fleshy berries hosted all the local species of bulbuls, Asian Koel, Plum-headed Parakeet and Rosy Starlings. L. camara and M.  paniculata were the other two shrubs with fruits in the season that catered to the needs of the bulbuls. During the season, two nests of Indian Robin were sighted; one of them was on the ground and the other in the hollow of an angular pipe 1.5m above the ground. Two eggs each were found in them.  Two cup-shaped nests of Red-whiskered Bulbul and one of Red-vented Bulbul were found in the thickets at a height of 5m from the ground. A nest each of Redwattled and Yellow-wattled Lapwing with three eggs in each were found on open barren land encircled by pebbles. A purse shaped deserted nest of a sunbird was also found. Monsoon (June–September): Rainfall during the season was 1948mm. Showers were heavy in July (832mm). Wind speed varied from 9 to 33 km/hr. Atmospheric temperature ranged from 22.3 to 33.2 0C. Average humidity was 91%. Grasses T. triandra and A. mutica; and trees P. ferrugineum and A. auriculiformis were in bloom. I. coccinea was laden with fruits. L. camara bore flowers and fruits throughout the year.

Table 2. Seasonal variation in the number of species and population of resident and migrant birds using KruskalWallis test.          Birds

Df

c2

p

Migratory species

3

8.00

0.05*

Migratory population

3

6.19

0.10

Resident species

3

2.35

0.50

Resident population

3

4.36

0.22

* statistically significant

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M. Desai & A.B. Shanbhag

Table 3. Seasonal variations in the population of birds belonging to different feeding-guilds using Kruskal-Wallis test. Feeding guilds

df

   c2

p

Insectivores

3

9.15

0.03*

Carnivores

3

2.06

0.56

Omnivores

3

0.32

1.0

Phytophagous

3

5.47

0.14

* statistically significant

The bird population was the least, but was constituted by 72 species, that included six migratory ones. The species composition was highest compared with those of other seasons. The only monsoon migrant to the campus was Pied Crested Cuckoo. The other five species were early arrivals of winter migrants sighted in September, such as the Small Beeeater, Rufous-backed Shrike, White-bellied Drongo, Blyth’s Reed Warbler and Orphean Warbler. During the season common resident birds such as Jungle Myna, Red-wattled Lapwing, Indian Robin and House Crows were found in large numbers. A good number of Common Peafowl were sighted. The three major feeding guilds, insectivores, phytophages and also omnivores were nearly equal in proportion, ranging from 29 to 36 percent. The Rufous-backed Shrike, a local migrant which spent the maximum time in the area was prominent by its absence during the season. Pond Heron, Cattle Egret, Common Sandpiper and Terek Sandpiper were the only wetland birds on the campus. Seasonality: The resident birds on the whole did not show any statistically significant variations through the seasons in terms of species or population (Table 2). The migrant species were significantly less during the monsoon (c2=8, df=3, p=0.05). The species similarity/dissimilarity indices led to a close clustering of winter and summer with a relatively high similarity coefficient of 0.78. Monsoon and post-monsoon seasons grouped with the cluster at the level of 0.75 and 0.69 respectively. None of the clustering was statistically significant. The populations of omnivores, carnivores and phytophages did not vary significantly through the seasons (Table 3). The population of insectivores, however, increased significantly during winter and summer (c2=9.15, df=3, p=0.03) as compared to those

of the monsoon and post monsoon periods. However, there was no significant seasonal difference in bird diversity belonging to different feeding guilds. 

Discussion Composition and Diversity of Avifauna One-hundred-and-fourteen species of birds sighted in the area forming 37% of the bird species on record for the state (Lainer 2005), is an appreciable diversity emphasizing the richness of the plateau on the outskirts of a bustling capital city, already under substantial anthropogenic pressure. Only four wetland bird species were sighted in the study area. Two of them, the Pond Heron and Cattle Egret are ‘not completely dependent’ wetland species (Vijayan 1986). The other two, the Common Sandpiper and Terek Sandpiper might be vagrants from the floodplains of rivers in the vicinity. Nearly half of the species currently recorded for the plateau, numbering 53, are new additions to the checklist of the area over the earlier reports (Shanbhag & Gramopadhye 1993; Shyama & Gowthaman 1995). Forty-five of them were relatively scarce with dominance ranks below 30, with only less than 15 sightings across the year. Some other species like those of larks and pipits with good camouflage were likely to be missed in less intensive surveys. The Rosy Starling, the only prominent distant migrant visiting the area in good numbers must have escaped the previous surveys, as one of them (Shanbhag & Gramopadhye 1993) was a preliminary report and the other (Shyama & Gowthaman 1995) was presumably a short duration opportunistic survey. Therefore, to have a complete picture of avifauna of any site, an intensive study needs to be carried out for at least a year. At the same time, despite the intensive survey conducted during the present study, the failure to site species like Malabar Pied Hornbill and Indian Grey Hornbill reported earlier (Shanbhag & Gramopadhye 1993) could be due to increased anthropogenic indulgence and habitat deterioration, as the species in question are natural denizens of undisturbed woods.  Dominance and seasonality The House crow and Jungle Myna, the omnivores dominated the plateau in terms of their population. In view of the continuous anthropogenic pressure on the

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M. Desai & A.B. Shanbhag

plateau, the phenomenon is in full consonance with the principle that the habitat generalists thrive well in disturbed areas (Kwok & Corlett 1999). Rosy Starling, a Eurasian migrant was one of the dominant bird species on the plateau. The species was neither sighted in the natural forest nor the forest plantations during one of our extensive studies in the region (Desai 2005). Therefore, it is obvious that this migrant prefers scrublands/plateaux rather than forests. Their arrival coincided with the flowering of B. ceiba, one of the dominant tree species of the plateau with which they were always found associated. Five species of larks, the grassland specialists were recorded on the plateau.  The peak fruiting season of grasses attracted the maximum number of granivores to the region. As the grasslands cater to the needs of habitat specialist birds, decrease in its extent on the plateaux either due to increased masonry or afforestation may turn out to be a threat to these species. Neither the number of species nor the cumulative population of residents in the area varied through the seasons. Structurally complex vegetation types are known to buffer the effects of seasonality (Janzen 1967). This amelioration of physical environment is supposed to result in greater stability in resource availability (Janzen 1967; Smythe 1974) thereby allowing more species to occur (MacArthur 1972) as residents throughout the year. On the plateau under study the vegetation was of a wide spectrum consisting of ephemeral herbs, and a variety of shrubs and trees. They were in bloom during various seasons bearing fleshy and dehiscent edible fruits. Thus, the habitat can be considered to be bestowed with complex vegetation, hence capable of nurturing a stable bird population. During the monsoon, migratory bird population dropped significantly as the Pied Crested Cuckoo was the only principal migrant of the season to the plateau. Other migrants were winter migrants that started arriving in the post-monsoons and stayed back till the beginning or mid summer. The prominence of insectivores during winter and summer could primarily be due to the inflow of migrants like Rosy Starlings, bee-eaters and Common Swallow, besides the insectivorous resident species. During the seasons the plants like F. benghalensis, A. occidentale, Z. mauritiana, Z. rugosa, and Securinega 2452

virosa were in extensive bloom and bore fleshy fruits. On the other hand, trees like B. ceiba, Peltophorum pterocarpum and A. auriculiformis, though with dry non-edible fruits, were with flowers of bright colours and good quantity of nectar. These factors on the whole might be responsible for augmenting insect prey resource during these seasons and the resultant rise in the insectivorous bird population. The campus supported breeding activities of at least 10 bird species belonging to diverse feeding guilds. Among these the House Crow was the most successful breeding species. The presence of an old nest of White-rumped Munia, besides the active nest on the same tree indicates that the bird used the site for nesting year after year. Earlier reports (Sadh 1999) from our laboratory corroborating with the present findings indicate that the plateau with open sun-baked areas must be a traditional breeding ground of Red-wattled Lapwings as well as Yellow-wattled Lapwings. 

Conclusions The current trend in the region to encroach on plateau after plateau for mega projects doesn’t augur well for the conservation of biodiversity. Before it is too late, there is a need for identifying a reasonable number of plateaux in the region as protected sites and systematic studies on their flora and fauna carried out, such that the original lateritic mosaic with grassland patches and indigenous trees are left intact. Open areas with herbaceous vegetation and grasses, many of them being endemic are characteristic features of the lateritic plateaux. These open areas are of utmost importance for the bird population as they provide better visibility for vigilance from their predators and free movement towards food procurement. Therefore, the extensive afforestation programmes in these open grassland areas are to be discouraged as they might do away with native and endemic herbaceous vegetation because of their canopy cover. Even if afforestation with tree species is felt necessary it should be done in isolated patches/islands without interfering with the open areas on a large scale. The use of exotic tree species such as Australian acacia in such afforestation programmes is anathema, as they may not serve as good hosts to indigenous

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Avifaunal of a plateau in Goa

insect species and in turn not meet the requirements of insectivorous and frugivorous birds changing the microclimates of specialized flora and fauna as reported earlier (Watve 2003). 

References Bibby, C.J., N.D. Burgess & A. Hill (1992). Bird Census Techniques. Academic Press, UK, 302pp. Borges, S.D. (2002). Studies on the ecology of wader birds in the Mandovi Estuary of Goa, India. PhD Thesis, Goa University, Goa, India. Desai, M. (2005). Studies on the ecology of birds in monoculture plantations in Goa, India. PhD Thesis, Goa University, Goa, India. Janzen, D.H. (1967). Synchronization of sexual reproduction of trees within the dry season in Central America. Evolution 21: 620–637. Joshi, V. & M. Janarthanam (2004). The diversity of lifeform type, habitat preference & phenology of endemics in Goa region of the Western  Ghats, India. Journal of Biogeography 31: 1227–1237. Karr, J.R. (1976). Seasonality, resource availability and community diversity in tropical bird communities. American Naturalist 110: 973–994. Kwok, H.K. & R.T. Corlett (1999). Seasonality of a forest  bird community in Hong Kong, South China. British Ornithologists  141: 70–79. Lainer, H. (2005). Birds of Goa. The Goa Foundation, Pune, 244pp. MacArthur, R.H. (1972). Geographical Ecology. Harper & Row, New York, 288pp. Manakadan, R. & A. Pittie (2001). Standarised common and scientific names of the birds of the Indian subcontinent. Buceros, Envis newsletter: Avian Ecology & Inland Wetlands 6(1): 1–37.

M. Desai & A.B. Shanbhag

Pielou, E.C. (1975). Ecological Diversity. Wiley Interscience Publication, London, 165pp. Sadh, R. (1999). Studies on the bird population and the behaviour of Lapwings in the Goa University Campus. MSc Dissertation, Goa University, Goa, India. Shanbhag, A.B. & A. Gramopadhye (1993). Changing ecology of Taleigao Plateau and the bird life in its central zone, the Goa university campus. Journal of Karnatak University - Science 37: 212–222. Shanbhag,  A.B., R. Walia & S.D. Borges (2001). Impact of Konkan Railway  project  on the avifauna of Carambolim lake in Goa. Zoos’ Print Journal 16(6): 503–508. Shyama, S.K. & V. Gowthaman (1995). Birds of Goa University campus. Newsletter for Bird Watchers 35(1): 1–2. Smythe, N. (1974). Environmental monitoring and baseline data - insects, pp. 70–115. In: Rubinoff, R.W. (ed.). Smitsonian Institute’s Environmental Sciences Program. Snow, D.W. & B.K. Snow (1964). Breeding seasons and annual cycles of Trinidad land-birds. Zoologica 49: 1–39. Southwood, T.R.E. (1978). Ecological Methods with Particular Reference to The Study of Insect Population. Chapman and Hall London, 524pp. Vijayan, V.S. (1986). On conserving the fauna of Indian wetlands. Proceedings of Indian Academy of Sciences (Animal Sciences/Plant Sciences) Supple 91–101. Walia, R. (2000). Limnological studies on some freshwater bodies of southern Tiswadi (Goa) with special reference to life of wetland birds. PhD Thesis, Goa University, Goa, India. Walia, R. & A.B. Shanbhag (1999). Status of the avifauna of Carambolim lake in Goa  (India) prior to the implementation of the Konkan railway project. Pavo 37(142): 27–32.  Watve, A. (2003) Vegetation on rock outcrops in Northern Western Ghats & konkan region, Maharastra, Geobios 30: 41–46. Williamson, K. (1970). Birds and modern forestry. Bird study 17: 167–176.

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JoTT Communication

4(3): 2454–2463

Avian diversity in the Naliya Grassland, Abdasa Taluka, Kachchh, India Sandeep B. Munjpara 1 & Indra R. Gadhvi 2 Department of Marine Sciences, Bhavnagar University, Bhavnagar, Gujarat 364001 India Email: 1 sandeepmunjpara@gmail.com (corresponding author), 2 indragadhvi@gmail.com

1,2

Date of publication (online): 26 March 2012 Date of publication (print): 26 March 2012 ISSN 0974-7907 (online) | 0974-7893 (print) Editor: Nishith A. Dharaiya Manuscript details: Ms # o2679 Received 24 January 2011 Final received 12 January 2012 Finally accepted 18 March 2012 Citation: Munjpara, S.B. & I.R. Gadhvi (2012). Avian diversity in the Naliya Grassland, Abdasa Taluka, Kachchh, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 3(4): 2454–2463. Copyright: © Sandeep B. Munjpara & Indra R. Gadhvi 2012. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0Unported License. JoTT allows unrestricted use of this article in any medium for non-profit purposes, reproduction and distribution by providing adequate credit to the authors and the source of publication. Author Details: Sandeep B. Munjpara is a research scholar with Bhavnagar University and senior research fellow at Gujarat Ecological Education and Research (GEER) Foundation, Gandhinagar. Indra R. Gadhvi is an Associate Professor at department of Marine Sciences, Bhavnagar University, Bhavnagar. Author Contribution: SBM has carried out the field data collection, data analysis and draft the manuscript. IRG has guided the overall research and analysis. He has also critically assessed the manuscript and finalized the draft. Acknowledgements: The authors are grateful to the Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Ex Director GEER Foundation, Shri C.N. Pandey IFS, and Ex Dy. Director GEER Foundation, Shri. B.R. Rawal, GFS, for their kind help and constant encouragement and support. We are very thankful to Dr. Bharat Jethva, Coordinator, Wetlands International for his valuable support during fieldwork.

OPEN ACCESS | FREE DOWNLOAD

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Abstract: Naliya Grassland is one of the significant grasslands of Gujarat. In this study the importance of the Naliya Grassland has been explored with special reference to avian diversity. Field work for the study was carried out throughout the year of 2007 on a monthly basis covering three distinct seasons to explore avian diversity. A total of 177 species belonging to 54 families were recorded wherein most species belonged to the family Accipitridae (20 species) followed by Alaudidae (11 species). Of the total families, five were represented by more than seven species, 18 families by 3–7 species and 31 families by one or two species respectively. Among the species observed, 16 species ware globally threatened (three Critically Endangered, four Endangered and nine Near Threatened). Most of the species were chiefly terrestrial (68.2%), about 23.9% species were freshwater dependant and 7.9% utilized mixed habitats. Maximum species richness was recorded in the monsoons and minimum in summer. Constant turnover and fluctuation in species richness occurred because of seasonal immigration and emigration. Maximum emigration took place during February and March and maximum immigration occurred during June and July. Many water dependant birds attracted to the flooded grassland during the monsoons explained the high species richness during this season. In winter, the area was inhabited by resident species as well as many migratory species. Keywords: Habitat, Naliya grassland, species richness, threatened species.

Introduction Some of the most threatened species of wildlife of India like Blackbuck, Indian Gazelle, Wolf, Indian Bustard and Lesser Florican occur in grasslands and deserts (Geevan et al. 2003; Anonymous 2006). Grasslands are very fragile ecosystems; nowadays this ecosystem is facing major threats of decline due to industrialization, urbanization and agricultural development. Most of the grasslands are being converted into agricultural lands (Rahmani 2001, 2006; Anonymous 2006). The grassland that exists in Abdasa Taluka of Kachchh District in the state of Gujarat is one of the most important grasslands of the state because of its high biodiversity value (Geevan et al. 2003). Being a significant area for avifauna, BirdLife International (2009) has identified this area as an Important Bird Area (IBA). The area is well represented by resident and migratory species of terrestrial and wetland birds. Many of them are categorized as critically endangered as well as being globally threatened. It is also one of the rare breeding areas for the three globally endangered species of bustards i.e. Great Indian Bustard, Lesser Florican and the MacQueen (Geevan et al. 2003). The last surviving population of Indian Bustard of Gujarat is found in this grassland (Rahmani 2006; Pandey et al. 2009). Moreover, threatened wild animals like the Chinkara (Indian Gazelle) and Wolf extensively use this grassland (Geevan et al. 2003). In spite of its global significance, detailed studies have not been Journal of Threatened Taxa | www.threatenedtaxa.org | March 2012 | 4(3): 2454–2463


Avian diversity of Naliya Grassland

S.B. Munjpara & I.R. Gadhvi

Image 1. Google Earth image of the study area

undertaken. A detailed checklist is not available for this area. We documented avian diversity and seasonal variation in bird species richness of the Naliya Grassland. Study area The study has been conducted in the Naliya grassland of Abdasa Taluka and it is situated in the south western province of Kachchh District (between 22050’–23015’N and 68032’–69091’E) in Gujarat (Image 1). This grassland is spread over more than 100km2. The climate is very harsh; in summer the temperature reaches 40–45 0C and in winter it sometimes goes below 50C. The area falls under the ecological zone 5A/DS 4-dry grassland with a few scattered patches of 5A/DS 2-dry savannah (Champion & Seth 1968). The major habitat types in the area are grassland, scrubland, open land, permanent and temporary water bodies. However, some patches of dense Prosopis and planted shrub-cover also exist. Cymbopogon, Aristida and Dichanthium are some of the major grass genera and Acacia, Zizyphus, Prosopis etc. are major shrub/trees (Anonymous 1999). Many water bodies also exist in the study area. These water bodies include flooded areas, waterlogged areas and small village ponds of Berachiya, Kunathia, Naliya,

 

Lala, Bhanada, Tera and Bara. This area supports a variety of vertebrate and invertebrate species. Important bird species include the Indian Bustard Ardeotis nigriceps, Lesser Florican Sypheotides indica, MacQueen’s Bustard, Chlamydotis macqueeni, Stoliczka’s Bushchat Saxicola macrorhynchus, Indian Courser Cursorius coromandelicus, Black Francolin Francolinus francolinus. The mammalian species occurring in the area include Chinkara Gazella gazella, Wolf Canis lupus, Caracal Caracal caracal, Honey Badger Mellivora capensis, Hyena Hyaena hyaena, Jackal Canis aureus, Jungle Cat Felis chaus and Indian Fox Vulpus bengalensis. Apart from the above mentioned birds and mammals, the area is also home to a variety of reptiles.

Methods Observations were made by conducting field visits at regular intervals. Fieldwork was conducted from January 2007 to December 2007. Field visits were made every month during the study period, to monitor three distinct seasons (i.e. winter, summer and monsoon). Observations were taken mainly from 0600hr (or sunrise) to 1200hr and 0300hr to 0630hr

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Threatened Species (as per IUCN 2010) Of the total recorded species, 16 species of birds (about 9%) were globally threatened as per Red Data

(sunset). In addition, many time observations were also taken between the 1200hr and 0300hr time block. The area was explored travelling on vehicles as well as on foot. The observations were carried out with a pair of binoculars (Nikon 10x50) and the species were identified using recognized field guides like those of Ali & Ripley (1983), Grimmett et al. (1998), Rasmussen & Anderton (2005), etc. Data analysis for species richness, diversity and models were carried out in Microsoft Excel 2007.

Table 1. Each of other 14 families was represented by two species SNo 1

Family

SNo

Caprimulgidae

Family

8

Passeridae

2

Ciconiidae

9

Pelecanidae

3

Coraciidae

10

Phalacrocoracidae

4

Emberizidae

11

Podicipedidae

Results

5

Glareolidae

12

Pycnonotidae

6

Gruidae

13

Recurvirostridae

A total of 177 species were recorded in the Naliya Grasslands belonging to 17 Orders, 54 families, and 117 genera (Appendix 1).

7

Meropidae

14

Tytonidae

Table 2. Each of 17 other families were represented by one species

Family-wise species richness Maximum species were recorded of family Accipitridae (20 spp.); which is composed of birds of prey (kites, eagles, vultures, buzzards, falcons), followed by Alaudidae [larks, (11 spp.)], Anatidae [ducks, teal, shoveler (10 spp.)], Muscicapidae [wheatear, chats, (9 spp.)] and Scolopacidae [sandpipers, godwit, shank (9 spp.)]. Of the remaining 49 families, 18 were represented by 3–7 species (Fig. 1) and 31 families were represented by one or two species (Table 1 & 2).

SNo

Family

SNo

Family

1

Aegithinidae

10

Phoenicopteridae

2

Anhingidae

11

Ploceidae

3

Apodidae

12

Psittacidae

4

Burhinidae

13

Pteroclididae

5

Corvidae

14

Strigidae

6

Dicruridae

15

Timaliidae

7

Estrildidae

16

Turnicidae

8

Jacanidae

17

Upupidae

9

Nectariniidae

25

No. of species

20

15

10

Rallidae

Otididae

Laniidae

Falconidae

Cuculidae

Charadriidae

Alcedinidae

Sturnidae

Campephagidae

Families

Threskiornithidae

Stenidae

Hirundinidae

Columbidae

Sylviidae

Phasianidae

Cisticolidae

Ardeidae

Motacilidae

Scolopacidae

Muscicapidae

Anatidae

Accipitridae

0

Alaudidae

5

Figure 1. Family wise species richness 2456

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S.B. Munjpara & I.R. Gadhvi

Table 3. List of threatened species recorded in the Naliya grasslands Scientific Name

Status (IUCN 2010)

1

Black-tailed Godwit

Limosa limosa

NT

2

Black-headed Ibis

Threskiornis melanocephalus

NT

3

Painted Stork

Mycteria leucocephala

NT

4

Black-necked Stork

Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus

NT

5

Cinereous Vulture

Aegypius monachus

NT

6

Laggar Falcon

Falco jugger

NT

7

Darter

Anhinga melanogaster

NT

8

Pallid Harrier

Circus macrourus

NT

9

Lesser Flamingo

Phoenicopterus minor

NT

10

Egyptian Vulture

Neophron percnopterus

En

11

MacQueen Bustard

Chlamydotis macqueeni

En

12

Indian Bustard

Ardeotis nigriceps

En

13

Lesser Florican

Sypheotides indica

En

14

Long-billed Vulture

Gyps indicus

Cr

15

Red-headed Vulture

Sarcogyps calvus

Cr

16

White-rumped Vulture

Gyps bengalensis

Cr

NT - Near threatened; En - Endangered; Cr - Critically Endangered

Book (Bird Life International 2010; IUCN 2010). Of these 16 species of birds, three species were Critically Endangered, four species were Endangered and nine species were Near Threatened (Table 3). The details of the status of those species are given in Table 3. Proportion of terrestrial and water-bird species: Of the total, the maximum species were terrestrial (68.2%) and about 23.9% species were observed to be freshwater dependent. The rest of the 7.9% species were found to be utilizing both types of habitats (Fig. 2). Seasonal variation in species richness: Species richness was observed to fluctuate seasonally (Fig. 3). The maximum richness of birds was recorded in the mid-monsoon period, followed by winter. The minimum numbers of species were recorded in summer. Immigration and emigration (local as well as seasonal) of species was observed to be a continuous phenomenon in the area. The Naliya Grasslands bear many local migratory as well seasonal migratory bird species. Although the total number of species did not vary monthly, there was a turnover in bird species richness (Fig. 4). The maximum emigration of the species was observed from February to March and

Figure 2. Proportion of bird species with their habitat preference

 

140 120 100 Numbers

SNo Common Name

80 60 40 20 0

J

F

M

A

M

J J A Months

S

O

N

D

Figure 3. Seasonal variation in bird species diversity of Naliya

maximum immigration was seen from June to July. Immigration and emigration were seen in other months of the year also (Fig. 4).

Discussion The Naliya Grasslands is very rich in avifauna and holds almost 33% bird species of Gujarat (526 sp.) (Parasharya et al. 2004). Varieties of habitat (viz. scrubland, plantations, sparse grassland, dense grassland, open lands, flooded grasslands, temporary water bodies and permanent water bodies) attract many birds to the area. Moreover, some reptilian species like Spiny-tailed Lizard Uromastryx hardwickii are abundant in the area (Pandey et al. 2009) which attract

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Avian diversity of Naliya Grassland

Emigration

40

Immigration

35

35

30

30

25

25

20

20

15

15

10

10

5

5

0

0

J–F

F–M

M–A

A–M

M–J

J–J J–A Months

A–S

a number of raptor species. The maximum species has been recorded in the mid-monsoon period, probably because of the flooded grasslands which attracts water dependant birds as well. In winter, the area has been observed to be inhabited by resident species as well as migratory species; hence, species richness was reported higher in winter. In summer most parts of area become dry, thus, fewer numbers of species were encountered. The species which were found throughout the year in the Naliya Grasslands are few, most are either passage migrants or migratory. The migration is inducted based on their breeding cycle, food abundance, temperature and day-length. It is evident that the maximum emigration of species is during February–March, which accounts for the end of winter and the start of summer with long and dry days. Immigration peak was observed during the period June–July, probably due to the abundance of food during this period as well as the arrival of some early monsoon showers for breeding birds (eg. Lesser Florican). Most of the birds immigrate to the area for feeding and breeding in the late monsoon period. The number of immigrating birds falls by August and is re-established in late September–October, the onset of winter. Thus, the migratory pattern of the birds in this particular habitat is mainly dependent on the breeding ecology and food abundance as well as due to the dynamic nature of habitats in the area. Another interesting fact that can be determined is most local migratory birds arriving at the grasslands during the 2458

S–O

O–N

N–D

Number of immigrated species

Number of emigrated species

40

S.B. Munjpara & I.R. Gadhvi

Figure 4. Local and seasonal annual immigration and emigration of birds.

dry season of the year are diurnal, thus the longer days during this season provide them with long duration for feeding and dry land for roosting. Of the total, 16 species are threatened (Table 3), making Naliya Grasslands a   very important area for bird conservation. Conclusion The grasslands of Naliya support many resident and migratory bird species, of which, some are threatened. Moreover, it is important especially for the birds of prey and larks. In addition, diversity of habitats such as temporary and permanent wetlands (viz., village ponds, flooded area and waterlogged), grassland, scrubland and human habitat supports divers groups of birds. Being an important area for a variety of avifauna it should receive immediate attention for conservation.

References Anonymous (1999). Report of an ecological study of Kachchh and its associated fauna with reference to its management and conservation. Gujarat Institute of Desert Ecology, Bhuj, India. Anonymous (2006). Task Force on Grasslands and Deserts for the Environment and Forests Sector for the Eleventh FiveYear Plan (2007–2012), 34pp. BirdLife International (2009). Important Bird Area factsheet:

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Avian diversity of Naliya Grassland

S.B. Munjpara & I.R. Gadhvi © Sandeep Munjpara

© Sandeep Munjpara

Image 2. Northern Shoveler Anas Clypeata

Image 3. Yellow-wattled Lapwing Vanellus malabaricus

 

  © Irshad Theba

© Sandeep Munjpara

  Image 5. Cream-colored Courser Cursorius cursor

Image 4. Indian Silverbill Lonchura malabarica

© Irshad Theba

© Sandeep Munjpara

 

 

Image 7. Common Stonechat Saxicola torquata Image 6. Indian Courser Cursorius coromandelicus

 

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Avian diversity of Naliya Grassland

S.B. Munjpara & I.R. Gadhvi © Sandeep Munjpara

© Sandeep Munjpara

Image 9. Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles exustus Image 8. Black Francolin Francolinus francolinus

Naliya Grassland (Lala Bustard Wildlife Sanctuary), India. Downloaded from the Data Zone at http://www.birdlife.org on 18/10/2010. BirdLife International (2010). Threatened Birds of Asia. CD-ROM, The BirdLife International Red Data Book. Cambridge, UK. Champion, H.G. & S.K. Seth (1968). A Revised Survey of Forest Types of India. Government of India Publication, New Delhi, 404pp. Geevan, C.P., A.M. Dixit & C.S. Silori (2003). EcologicalEconomic Analysis of Grassland Systems: Resource Dynamics and Management Challenges, Kachchh District (Gujarat). Gujarat Institute of Desert Ecology Bhuj (Kachchh) 8pp. Grimmett, R., C. Inskipp & T. Inskipp (1998). Birds of Indian Subcontinent. Oxford University press, New Delhi, 384pp.

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IUCN (2010). IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 01 January 2011. Pandey, C.N., B. Jethva & S. Munjpara (2009). Report of Status, Distribution and Habitat survey of Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps) in Gujarat. Gujarat Ecological Education and Research Foundation, Gandhinagar. Parasharya, B.M., C.K. Borad & D.N. Rank (2004). A Checklist of the Birds of Gujarat. Bird Conservation Society, Gujarat, 26pp. Rahmani, A.R. (2001). The Godawan Saga: Great Indian Bustards in decline. Sanctuary (Asia) 21(1): 24–28. Rahmani, A.R. (2006). Need to Start Project Bustards. Bombay Natural History, Mumbai, 20pp. Rasmussen, P.C. & J.C. Anderton (2005). Birds of South Asia. The Ripley Guide. Vols. 1 and 2. Smithsonian Institution and Lynx Editions, Washington, D.C. and Barcelona, 683pp.

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Avian diversity of Naliya Grassland

S.B. Munjpara & I.R. Gadhvi

Annexure 1. Checklist of birds recorded in Naliya grassland, Kachchh SNo

Common Name

Scientific Name

Accipitridae (Raptors)

SNo

Common Name

Scientific Name

41

Ruddy Shelduck

Tadorna ferruginea

1

Black-shouldered Kite

Elanus caeruleus

42

Gadwall

Anas strepera

2

Brahminy Kite

Haliastur indus

43

Garganey

Anas querquedula

44

Eurasian Wigeon

Anas penelope

3

Egyptian Vulture

Neophron percnopterus

4

Cinereous Vulture

Aegypius monachus

5

White-rumped Vulture

Gyps bengalensis

Apodidae (Swifts) 45

House Swift

Apus affinis

Ardeidae (Egrets & Herons)

6

Indian Vulture Long

Gyps indicus

7

Red-headed Vulture

Sarcogyps calvus

46

Cattle Egret

Bubulcus ibis

Great Egret

Casmerodius albus

8

Eurasian Griffon Vulture

Gyps fulvus

47

9

Long-legged Buzzard

Buteo rufinus

48

Intermediate Egret

Mesophoyx intermedia

Little Egret

Egretta garzetta

10

Oriental Honey-buzzard

Pernis ptilorhyncus

49

11

White-eyed Buzzard

Butastur teesa

50

Indian Pond Heron

Ardeola grayii

12

Shikra

Accipiter badius

51

Grey Heron

Ardea cinerea

13

Bonelli’s Eagle

Hieraaetus fasciatus

14

Booted Eagle

Hieraaetus pennatus

15

Short-toed Snake Eagle

Circaetus gallicus

16

Steppe Eagle

Aquila nipalensis

53

Small Minivet

Pericrocotus cinnamomeus

54

White-bellied Minivet

Pericrocotus erythropygius

17

Tawny Eagle

Aquila rapax

18

Eurasian Marsh Harrier

Circus aeruginosus

19

Montagu’s Harrier

Circus pygargus

20

Pallid Harrier

Circus macrourus

Burhinidae (Thick-knee) 52

Eurasian Thick-knee

Burhinus oedicnemus

Campephagidae (Minivets)

Caprimulgidae (Nightjar) 55

Indian Nightjar

Caprimulgus asiaticus

56

Savanna Nightjar

Caprimulgus affinis

Scolopacidae (Sandpiper)

Alaudidae (Larks) Alcedinidae

57

Marsh Sandpiper

Tringa stagnatilis

58

Common Sandpiper

Actitis hypoleucos

59

Green Sandpiper

Tringa ochropus

60

Wood Sandpiper

Tringa glareola

21

Black-crown sparrow Lark

Eremopterix nigriceps

22

Ashy-crowned Sparrow Lark

Eremopterix grisea

23

Bimaculated Lark

Melanocorypha bimaculata

24

Crested Lark

Galerida cristata

25

Greater Short-toed Lark

Calandrella brachydactyla

26

Indian Bushlark

Mirafra erythroptera

27

Rufous-tailed Lark

Ammomanes phoenicurus

28

Sand Lark

Calandrella raytal

29

Singing Bushlark

Mirafra cantillans

30

Sykes's Lark

Galerida deva

64

Painted Stork

Mycteria leucocephala

31

Oriental Skylark

Alauda gulgula

65

Black-necked Stork

Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus

Charadriidae (Lapwing) 61

Red-wattled Lapwing

Vanellus indicus

62

Yellow-wattled Lapwing (Image 3)

Vanellus malabaricus

63

Little Ringed Plover

Charadrius dubius

Ciconiidae (Storks)

Cisticolidae (Prinias)

Alcedinidae (Kingfishers) 32

Common Kingfisher

Alcedo atthis

66

Grey-breasted Prinia

Prinia hodgsonii

33

White-throated Kingfisher

Halcyon smyrnensis

67

Jungle Prinia

Prinia sylvatica

34

Pied Kingfisher

Ceryle rudis

68

Plain Prinia

Prinia inornata

69

Rufous Fronted Prinia

Prinia buchanani

70

Tailorbird

Orthotomus sutorius

71

Zitting Cisticola

Cisticola juncidis

Anatidae (Ducks, Teal, Wigeon) 35

Spot-billed Duck

Anas poecilorhyncha

36

Comb Duck

Sarkidiornis melanotos

Columbidae (Doves)

37

Common Pochard

Aythya ferina

38

Common Teal

Anas crecca

72

Laughing Dove

Streptopelia senegalensis

Red Collared Dove

Streptopelia tranquebarica

Eurasian Collared Dove

Streptopelia decaocto

39

Northern Shoveler (Image 2)

Anas clypeata

73

40

Lesser Whistling-duck

Dendrocygna javanica

74

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Avian diversity of Naliya Grassland SNo 75

Common Name Rock pigeon

S.B. Munjpara & I.R. Gadhvi Scientific Name Columba livia

Coraciidae (Rollers) 76

European Roller

Coracias garrulus

77

Indian Roller

Coracias benghalensis

Corvidae (Crow) 78

House Crow

Corvus splendens

Cuculidae (Koels)

SNo

Common Name

Scientific Name

Meropidae (Bee-eater) 106

Green Bee-eater

Merops orientalis

107

Blue Chicked Bee-eater

Merops persicus

Motacillidae (Pipits, Wagtails) 108

Citrine Wagtail

Motacilla citreola

109

Grey Wagtail

Motacilla cinerea

110

Yellow Wagtail

Motacilla flava

79

Asian Koel

Eudynamys scolopacea

111

Tree Pipit

Anthus trivialis

80

Common Cuckoo

Cuculus canorus

112

Tawny Pipit

Anthus campetris

81

Greater Coucal

Centropus sinensis

113

Long-billed Pipit

Anthus similis

114

Paddyfield Pipit

Anthus rufulus

Dicruridae (Drongos) 82

Black Drongo

Dicrurus macrocercus

Emberizidae (Buntings) 83

Grey-necked Bunting

Emberiza buchanani

84

House Bunting

Emberiza striolata

Estrildidae (Silverbills) 85

Indian Silverbill (Image 4)

Lonchura malabarica

Falconidae (Falcons) 86

Laggar Falcon

Falco jugger

87

Red-necked Falcon

Falco chicquera

88

Common Kestrel

Falco tinnunculus

Glareolidae (Coursers) Cream-coloured Courser (Image 5)

Cursorius cursor

90

Indian Courser (Image 6)

Cursorius coromandelicus

92

Demoiselle Crane

Black Redstart

Phoenicurus ochruros

116

Common Stonechat (Image 7)

Saxicola torquata

117

Isabelline Wheatear

Oenanthe isabellina

118

Variable Wheatear

Oenanthe picata

119

Desert Wheatear

Oenanthe deserti

120

Indian Robin

Saxicoloides fulicata

121

Pied Bushchat

Saxicola caprata

122

Stoliczkaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bushchat

Saxicola macrorhyncha

123

Spotted Flycatcher

Muscicapa striata

124

Purple Sunbird

Nectarinia asiatica

Otididae (Bustards) 125

MacQueen Bustard

Chlamydotis macqueeni

Grus grus

126

Indian Bustard

Ardeotis nigriceps

Grus virgo

127

Lesser Florican

Sypheotides indica

Gruidae (Crane) Common Crane

115

Nectariniidae (Sunbirds)

89

91

Muscicapidae (Chats, Wheatears)

Passeridae (Sparrow)

Hirundinidae (Swallow, Martin) 93

Barn Swallow

Hirundo rustica

128

House Sparrow

Passer domesticus

94

Red-rumped Swallow

Hirundo daurica

129

Yellow-throated Sparrow

Petronia xanthocollis

95

Wire-tailed Swallow

Hirundo smithii

96

Dusky Crag Martin

Hirundo concolor

Aegithinidae (Iora) 97

Marshall's Iora

Pheasant-tailed Jacana

130

Dalmatian Pelican

Pelecanus crispus

131

Great White Pelican

Pelecanus onocrotalus

Aegithina nigrolutea

Anhingidae (Darters)

Hydrophasianus chirurgus

Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants)

132

Jacanidae (Jacanas) 98

Pelecanidae (Pelicans)

Laniidae (Shrike) 99

Bay-backed Shrike

Lanius vittatus

100

Rufous-tailed Shrike

Lanius isabellinus

101

Southern Grey Shrike

Lanius meridionalis

Sternidae (Tern)

Darter

Anhinga melanogaster

133

Great Cormorant

Phalacrocorax carbo

134

Little Cormorant

Phalacrocorax niger

Phasianidae (Francolins) 135

Black Francolin (Image 8)

Francolinus francolinus

136

Grey Francolin

Francolinus pondicerianus

102

Caspian Tern

Sterna caspia

137

Common Quail

Coturnix coturnix

103

Gull-billed Tern

Gelochelidon nilotica

138

Rain Quail

Coturnix coromandelica

104

River Tern

Sterna aurantia

139

Indian Peafowl

Pavo cristatus

105

Whiskered Tern

Chidonias hybridus

2462

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Avian diversity of Naliya Grassland SNo

Common Name

S.B. Munjpara & I.R. Gadhvi Scientific Name

Phoenicopteridae (Flamingos) 140

Greater Flamingo

SNo 158

Phoenicopterus ruber

Sylviidae (Chiffchaff)

Common Name Pied Avocet

Scientific Name Recurvirostra avosetta

Scolopacidae (Godwit, Shanks) 159

Black-tailed Godwit

Limosa limosa

141

Common Chiffchaff

Phylloscopus collybita

160

Common Greenshank

Tringa nebularia

142

Lesser Whitethroat

Sylvia curruca

161

Common Redshank

Tringa totanus

143

Common Whitethroat

Sylvia communis

162

Eurasian Curlew

Numenius arquata

144

Desert Warbler

Sylvia nana

163

Ruff

Philomachus pugnax

145

Orphean Warbler

Sylvia hortensis

Ploceidae (Weaver) 146

Baya Weaver

Strigidae (Owlets) 164

Ploceus philippinus

Podicipedidae (Grebes)

Spotted Owlet

Athene brama

Sturnidae (Starling) 165

Bank Myna

Acridotheres ginginianus

147

Little Grebe

Tachybaptus ruficollis

166

Common Myna

Acridotheres tristis

148

Great Crested Grebe

Podiceps cristatus

167

Brahminy Starling

Sturnus pagodarum

168

Rosy Starling

Sturnus roseus

Campephagidae (Woodshrike) 149

Common Woodshrike

Tephrodornis pondicerianus

Psittacidae (Parakeet) 150

Rose-ringed Parakeet

Psittacula krameri

Pteroclididae (Sandgrouse) 151

Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse (Image 9)

Pterocles exustus

Pycnonotidae (Bulbul)

Threskiornithidae (Ibis, Spoonbills) 169

Black Ibis

Pseudibis papillosa

170

Glossy Ibis

Plegadis falcinellus

171

Black-headed Ibis

Threskiornis melanocephalus

172

Eurasian Spoonbill

Platalea leucorodia

Timaliidae (Babblers)

152

Red-vented Bulbul

Pycnonotus cafer

153

White-eared Bulbul

Pycnonotus leucotis

Turnicidae (Buttonquail)

Tytonidae (Owls)

Rallidae (Coots)

173

174

Common Babbler

Small Buttonquail

Turdoides caudatus

Turnix sylvatica

154

Common Coot

Fulica atra

155

Purple Swamphen

Porphyrio porphyrio

175

Eurasian Eagle Owl

Bubo bubo

156

Common Moorhen

Galliinula chloropus

176

Short-eared Owl

Asio flammeus

Recurvirostridae (Stilts) 157

Black-winged Stilt

Upupidae (Hoopoe) Himantopus himantopus

177

Hoopoe

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Upupa epops

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JoTT Short Communication

4(3): 2464–2469

Conservation status of Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis bengalensis (Gmelin, 1789) (Gruiformes: Otididae) in Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve and adjoining areas, eastern Nepal Hem Sagar Baral 1, Ashok Kumar Ram 2, Badri Chaudhary 3, Suchit Basnet 4, Hathan Chaudhary 5, Tika Ram Giri 6 & Dheeraj Chaudhary 7 Charles Sturt University, School of Environmental Sciences, New South Wales, Australia Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, PO Box 860, Babarmahal, Kathmandu, Nepal 3 Himalayan Nature, PO Box 10918, Lazimpat, Kathmandu, Nepal 4,5,6 Nepalese Ornithological Union, PO Box 21016, Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal 7 Koshi Camp Pvt Ltd, PO Box 21016, Kathmandu, Nepal Email: 1 hem.baral@gmail.com (corresponding author), 2 rashok05@gmail.com, 4 suchitbas@googlemail.com, 5 nepalbird@gmail.com, 6 giri_tika@yahoo.com 7 birdlife@mos.com.np 1 2

Abstract: Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis is one of the most critically threatened birds of the world. The species has restricted distribution within the Indian subcontinent extending southeast to parts of Cambodia and Vietnam. The population of the species is being monitored in Nepal since 1982. The most recent study on the species shows a precipitous decline in its population, even for a species mainly confined to protected areas. Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve and adjoining areas had been omitted in previous surveys mainly because the area was considered not to hold any significant number of the species. Opportunistic surveys in April and May 2011 indicated that there is a comeback of this species in Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve and the adjoining riverine grasslands. As many as 12 pairs were estimated. Further systematic surveys are recommended to find out the total population of the species.

Date of publication (online): 26 March 2012 Date of publication (print): 26 March 2012 ISSN 0974-7907 (online) | 0974-7893 (print) Editor: Rajiv S. Kalsi Manuscript details: Ms # o2948 Received 19 September 2011 Final received 28 December 2011 Finally accepted 16 February 2012 Citation: Baral, H.S., A.K. Ram, B. Chaudhary, S. Basnet, H. Chaudhary, T.R. Giri & D. Chaudhary (2012). Conservation Status of Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis bengalensis (Gmelin, 1789) (Gruiformes: Otididae) in Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve and adjoining areas, eastern Nepal. Journal of Threatened Taxa 4(3): 2464–2469.

Keywords: Bengal Florican, Koshi Tappu, Nepal, , riverine grasslands, population estimates, systematic survey.

Copyright: © Hem Sagar Baral, Ashok Kumar Ram, Badri Chaudhary, Suchit Basnet, Hathan Chaudhary, Tika Ram Giri and Dheeraj Chaudhary 2012. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. JoTT allows unrestricted use of this article in any medium for non-profit purposes, reproduction and distribution by providing adequate credit to the authors and the source of publication.

Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis is considered to be one of the rarest florican species of the world (del Hoyo et al. 1996) and was at one time described as the most threatened bird species in the Indian subcontinent (Inskipp & Collar 1984). It is a globally threatened species (IUCN status Critically Endangered; BirdLife International 2011), inhabiting alluvial grasslands in India, (from the Kumaon terai of Uttar Pradesh (now Uttarakhand) through Bihar and West Bengal to the foothills and plains of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya), Nepal (in the Terai), Cambodia and southern Vietnam (Ripley 1982; Ali & Ripley 1987; del Hoyo et al. 1996). Two subspecies of Bengal Florican have been recognised: H. b. bengalensis from the Indian subcontinent and H. b. blandini from Cambodia and Vietnam (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Populations have declined chiefly as a result of

Acknowledgements: We acknowledge the firm support and guidance of Krishna Prasad Acharya, Director General of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation towards the conservation of birds and for the entire Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve. We would like to thankfully acknowledge the support to our conservation activities inside and outside the reserve from the staff of Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve. We would also like to thank the support given by the Van Tienhoven Foundation, Charles Sturt University - Australia, The Peregrine Fund USA, Manfred-HermsenStiftung for Nature Conservation and Environmental Protection (MHS), Parahawking: Share the Sky and The Wetland Trust UK who have provided support for Himalayan Nature’s conservation activities based at Kosi Bird Observatory. This paper is the result of the generous support provided by these organisations. We thank Kosi Bird Observatory, Koshi Camp Pvt Ltd, Nature Safari Tours Pvt Ltd and Naturetrek Ltd for help on logistics. Mr Biswa Nath Uprety, former Director General, Krishna Bidari and Anish Timsina of Koshi Camp, Sanjib Acharya and Suman Acharya of Himalayan Nature kindly shared information on Bengal Florican sightings. Thanks to Carol Inskipp and David Buckingham who kindly commented on the paper. Last but not least we would like to thank Carol Inskipp for her guidance on this paper, continued interest and support to Nepal bird studies. OPEN ACCESS | FREE DOWNLOAD

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Bengal Florican in Koshi Tappu

habitat loss and hunting and in the Indian subcontinent, the species no longer occurs outside protected areas (BirdLife International 2000, 2001). However, it is not known where the species goes during the non-breeding season. The most up-to-date estimate from Cambodia is 666–1004 mature birds (David Buckingham pers. comm. 2011). Nepal populations for subspecies bengalensis is estimated between 28–36, but there are no recent estimates from India (BirdLife International 2011). A pioneering study on this species including the protected areas in the southern belt of Nepal and the northern part of India was conducted in 1982 with estimates of 56–82 as the total Bengal Florican population in Nepal (Inskipp & Inskipp 1983; Inskipp & Inskipp 1991). The study concluded that all important populations of the species lie within protected areas of lowland Nepal. Since 1982 there has been no systematic study carried out on this species at Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve. In Nepal, a number of studies have been carried out since then, notably in Suklaphanta and Bardia (Weaver 1991), Bardia (Pokharel & Dhakal 1998), and Suklaphanta, Bardia and Chitwan (Baral et al. 2000, 2001, 2002a, 2003). Baral (1995a) and Rai (1996) have highlighted the urgency of surveys and some of the threats to the Bengal Florican. Repeat surveys of the Bengal Florican have found a decline in the population from three protected areas of central and western Nepal (Baral et al. 2003; Poudyal et al. 2008 a,b,c). A revisit to Nepal’s lowland protected areas by the researchers who first surveyed floricans in 1982 further confirmed the degraded quality of grasslands (Inskipp & Inskipp 2001). Baral (2001) and Baral et al. (2002b) have concluded that the biggest threat to the Bengal Florican in the protected area is inadequate management of grasslands. Baral et al. (2002b) have further suggested that there may not be a viable population in Nepal. Poudyal et al. (2008 a,b,c) gave the most up-to-date survey data on this species from Chitwan, Bardia and Suklaphanta, the major Nepal strongholds of the species. As one of the major recommendations by Poudyal et al. (2008a) and BirdLife International (2011), we gathered information on this species whilst working on Himalayan Nature’s biodiversity related project activities and the Reserve’s regular monitoring activities in the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve and

H.S. Baral et al.

adjoining areas of the Koshi River, eastern Nepal. It is normally assumed that if a species is found within a protected area then it is safe and doing well (Krebs 2009). However, the above mentioned studies suggest that grassland management supportive to critically threatened species like the Bengal Florican is also needed inside protected areas. The largest number of Bengal Floricans recorded for Koshi was 10 in April 1982 (cited in Inskipp & Inskipp 1983). This may be an underestimation because during that time, only partial coverage of the area was possible during the survey; for example the reserve could only be covered on elephant-back at that time (Carol Inskipp in litt. to H.S. Baral 25 June 2011). More recently, following the loss of grassland south of the barrage, this species has become a very rare bird at Koshi (Baral 1995b). Single birds have been seen in the western part of Koshi Tappu, within the reserve (Baral 1995a) and north of Koshi Tappu outside the reserve since 2004 (Badri Chaudhary pers. obs. 2011; Som G.C. pers. comm. 2010; Inskipp et al. 2011). A multitude of problems has been discussed as threats to this species in Koshi Tappu (Baral 1995a). Systematic surveys have mostly focused in other protected areas and Koshi has been left out during organized surveys mainly because the area was considered unsuitable for Bengal Floricans. Koshi Tappu is a small reserve compared to others but is difficult to survey due to logistic problems. Koshi Tappu and its adjoining areas were surveyed in April and May 2011 for the Bengal Florican. Current study in Koshi area reveals an unknown population of Bengal Florican in the country and draws the attention of wider conservation community for more effective planning for its protection. Study area Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve (= Koshi Tappu henceforth, 26035’N & 87005’E) occupies 175km2 of the Sapta Koshi River floodplain at the most northeasterly extension of the Gangetic Plain (Image 1). It ranges in altitude from 75–81 m (Sah 1997). The reserve is located between two flood control embankments and is subject to annual flooding. An estimated 70% of the reserve’s land area is covered in grasslands “phantas” followed by water and riverine forests. Typha and Saccharum are the main components of the grassland communities found here, although patches

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Village/Town River Reserve boundary International boundary Forest Grassland

Image 1. Study area

of Imperata and Phragmites are often seen (Peet et al. 1999). Medium size phantas (patches of short grasslands) interspersed with young Dalbergia sissoo / Acacia catechu trees are found on sandy islands. Riverine vegetation with Acacia catechu / Dalbergia sissoo forest dominates on the islands and edges of the reserve. Mostly young trees grow inside and on the edges of the reserve within embankments, most old mature trees being swept away by annual monsoonal floods. The wetlands in the reserve have been identified as Nepal’s first Ramsar Site (Sah 1997). North of Koshi Tappu (26047’N & 87007’E), for about 20km, lies grassy islands, small settlements and farm areas with an estimated area of 70km2. Part of this area is subject to annual inundation from the Koshi floodwaters whereas the rest of the area remains above 2466

the floods. Areas subjected to annual inundation have grasslands and large shingle banks. Towards the northern end, on a private property, lies the recently established Kosi Bird Observatory (KBO) from where some of these observations have been possible (Image 1). South of Koshi Tappu lies the Koshi Barrage area (26036’N & 87003’E). This area is 7km from north to south and nearly 5km from east to west, totaling nearly 35km2. More than 50% of the wetland area at the barrage is covered by water, and the remaining area is subject to intensive agriculture at certain times of the year. During dry periods, several islands are vegetated with Saccharum spp., Imperata cylindrica and Typha elephantine dominated grasses. There is human disturbance in the form of grass collection for

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Bengal Florican in Koshi Tappu

fodder and livestock grazing. Koshi Barrage and Koshi Tappu have been identified as one of the 27 Important Bird Areas of Nepal by BirdLife International (Baral & Inskipp 2005).

Methods Koshi Tappu and its adjoining areas to north and south were visited in April and May 2011 during a programme of vulture counts, regular bird watching, and during routine monitoring of the Reserve for about 45 days. Field visits were undertaken using inflatable rubber boats, trained elephants, all-terrain vehicles or on foot, depending upon the purpose of the activity. All Bengal Florican sightings were logged, along with information on habitat use, numbers and activity. Bengal Florican numbers were estimated based on these records and discussion with the Reserve staff. Results Bengal Floricans were recorded from nine different sites along a 39-km north-south stretch of the Koshi River. Eliminating double counts of the same individuals from the same area, in total, 17 birds were recorded from these sites, of which seven were males and 10 were females. Only five individuals were recorded outside the reserve, two pairs from Jabdi (north of Koshi Tappu, near KBO) and one female seen twice near the Koshi Barrage area. From the sightings this year, we estimated at least eight to 12-pairs of Bengal Florican for Koshi Tappu for the Spring/Summer of 2011. Five to nine pairs were located inside the reserve. As this information resulted from opportunistic sightings and surveys, a systematic and well planned survey may produce clearer results and better estimate of the status of floricans from Koshi Tappu and adjoining areas. The size of the grasslands where floricans were found varied from 0.05km2 to nearly 1km2. The larger patches were within the reserve and some of these were islands with a mosaic of various grass species. All sightings with dates, number and localities are presented in Table 1. Discussion We have seen more floricans at Koshi this year compared to previous years during the same period of time. Probably habitat within the reserve improved

H.S. Baral et al.

as compared to the past years. Ashok Kumar Ram, Warden of Koshi Tappu, claimed that the number of privately owned cattle inside the reserve had been drastically reduced because the Reserve Authority was actively controlling cattle grazing. Several hundreds of privately owned cattle have been driven out of the reserve (Ashok Kumar Ram pers. comm. 2011). Removal of grazing probably resulted in regeneration of grass communities preferred by the floricans. Using a 4-wheel drive vehicle, the western side of the reserve was visited for the first time in many years. This has increased the frequency of visits by the Reserve staff to the interior of the Reserve and probably increased sightings of the floricans. Increased monitoring and patrolling activities by Reserve staff may have also reduced illegal entries of locals into the Reserve, making the area safer for the floricans. However, this alone cannot be the main cause of increased numbers of floricans as the eastern part of Koshi Tappu is now frequently visited by bird watchers. As for the sighting of two pairs north of Koshi Tappu, nearly 15km outside the boundary, it may not have had much to do with the Reserveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s better protected status. The pre-monsoonal rains had been more frequent this year compared to the previous years. Early rains this year might have helped to make the grasslands more habitable for the floricans by speeding up the growth of grasses. Additionally, areas north of Koshi Tappu may have been covered more frequently this year compared to last year resulting in more sightings of the species. The recently established Kosi Bird Observatory is acting as a major research station for birds in this region. Recommendations The present paper is based on compilation of various observersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; records. It is likely that there are more sites which hold Bengal Florican populations. Therefore, a scientifically planned survey of Bengal Florican should be carried out in Koshi Tappu, north and south of the Reserve in the Spring of 2012. The southern side should include parts up to the Nepal/ India border south of the Koshi Barrage. The northern side should include all the islands, and grasslands up to the Kosi Bird Observatory (Jabdi). The survey should be well coordinated. It will be best to position experienced observers in several

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Bengal Florican in Koshi Tappu

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Table 1. Records of Bengal Florican during April and May 2011 from Koshi Tappu and adjoining areas Date

Site

Time

28.iv.11

Jabdi, north of Koshi *

07:00

28.iv.11

Jabdi, north of Koshi *

07:10

28.iv.11

Jabdi, north of Koshi *

07:20

28.iv.11

Jabdi, north of Koshi *

08:15

17.iv.11

Prakashpur, Koshi east *

06:36

04.v.11

Prakashpur, Koshi east *

06:30

16.iv.11

Madhuban, Koshi east *

17:10

27.iv.11

Madhuban, Koshi east *

04.v.11

Madhuban, Koshi east **

M

F

Activity

Habitat

Habitat Size

1

Standing in grassland

Cut over Saccharum/Imperata grasslands less than half m high

Island nearly 0.3km2 in size

1

Displaying

Cut over Saccharum/Imperata grasslands less than half m high

Island nearly 0.3km2 in size

1

Walking in grassland approximately one km away from the first male

Cut over Saccharum/Imperata grasslands less than half m high

Island nearly 0.3km2 in size

1

Standing in grassland whilst the first female still being watched by the group

Cut over Saccharum/Imperata grasslands less than half m high

Island nearly 0.3km2 in size

2

One female flying, male and female standing in grasslands

Dominated by Saccharum spontaneum

0.15km2

1

Standing in a new grassland

New, uncut grassland less than quarter of a metre, adjacent to older grassland nearly 2 m high

Island nearly 0.2km2 in size

1

Male flying and female walking along the edge of grassland

Dominated by Saccharum spontaneum and with <5% Typha elephantine coverage

0.06km2

1

Male flying and female walking on high ground, Saccharum spontaneum dominated by grasslands, 1.5m

Saccharum/Imperata with other woody species running longer north south parallel to the river --width nearly 500 metre

Island nearly 1km2 in size

1

Flying west, crossing one of the river channels

Flying --grassland to grassland, 1.5 high

1

1

1

09:40

12.ii.11

North Simalghari, west Koshi **

11:30

1

1

Walking along the edge of the grassland

Dominated by Imperata cylindrica with an average sward height of 50 cm with other 0.05km2 species Saccharum spontaneum and small (1.5 m) Acacia catetchu

26.iv.11

Koshi Barrage *

16:32

 

1

Walking along the edge of the grassland

Cut over Saccharum/Imperata grasslands less than 1m high

Dominated by Imperata cylindrica with an average sward height of 50 cm with Saccharum 0.1km2 spontaneum as a codominant species

Island nearly 0.05km2 in size

21.iii.11

Koshi Barrage **

15:00

 

1

Flying above S. spontaneum grassland

29.iii.11

Near Mariya, south Simalghari, west Koshi **

15:20

 

1

Standing amongst Acacia catetchu bushes

Dominated by Saccharum spontaneum and Imperata cylindrica with few Acacia catetchu trees (1.5m)

0.07km2

25.iv.11

Mariya, west Koshi **

16:00

1

 

Walking in grassland

Imperata dominated grasslands (60 cm ht) with thinly dotted Acacia trees soon after burnig

0.1km2

27.iv.11

Pilot channel head, west Koshi **

12:00

1

1

Flying above grassland

Imperata cylindrica 40 cm and Saccharum spontaneum grasslands 70 cm soon after burning

0.05km2

01.v.11

Pilot channel head, west Koshi **

13:25

1

 

Walking along the edge of the grassland

Mainly Saccharum spontaneum 60 cm dotted with Acacia trees 150 cm

0.1km2

* - Watched by a group of birders including one of the authors; ** - Reserve Staff

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Bengal Florican in Koshi Tappu

lekking areas and areas that are likely to be used by the floricans. The survey should be done in April-May for about two months. Reserve staff should be involved wherever possible to build their research capacity. Habitat information and other details should be recorded systematically so that the results of such a study can contribute to better grassland management aiming to increase the florican’s population. REFERENCES Ali, S. & S.D. Ripley (1987). Compact Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan. Oxford University Press, New Delhi, xlii+737pp+104 colour plates. Baral, H.S. (1995a). Some notes on Bengal Florican. Bird Conservation Nepal Newsletter 4(2): 5. Baral, H.S. (1995b). Birds of Koshi—Second Edition. Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Participatory Conservation Programme and Bird Conservation Nepal, Kathmandu, 24pp. Baral, H.S. (2001). Community Structure and Habitat Associations of Lowland Grassland Birds in Nepal. PhD Thesis. University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, x+235pp. Baral, H.S. & C. Inskipp (2005). Important Bird Areas in Nepal: Key Sites for Conservation. Bird Conservation Nepal, Kathmandu and BirdLife International, Cambridge, 242pp. Baral, N., B. Tamang & N. Timilsina (2000). The floricans in Royal Bardia National Park. Danphe 9(3): 4. Baral, N., B. Tamang & N. Timilsina (2002a). Status of Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis in Royal Bardia National Park, Nepal. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 99(3): 413–417. Baral, N., N. Timilsina & B. Tamang (2001). Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis in Royal Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve, Nepal. Oriental Bird Club Bulletin 34: 30–33. Baral, N., N. Timilsina & B. Tamang (2002b). Conservationists peep into floricans. Danphe: 11(1): 18–19. Baral, N., N. Timilsina & B. Tamang (2003). Status of Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis in Nepal. Forktail 19: 51–55. BirdLife International (2000). Threatened Birds of The World. BirdLife International. Cambridge, xii+852pp. BirdLife International (2001). Threatened birds of Asia - Part A. BirdLife International, Cambridge, xxx+1516pp. BirdLife International (2011). Species factsheet: Houbaropsis  bengalensis. Downloaded from  http://www. birdlife.org on 05/06/2011.

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del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott & J. Sargatal (1996). Birds of the World—Vol. 3. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, 821pp. Inskipp, C. & N.J. Collar (1984). The Bengal Florican: its conservation in Nepal. Oryx 18(1): 30–35. Inskipp, C. & T.P. Inskipp (1983). Report on a survey of Bengal Floricans Houbaropsis bengalensis in Nepal and India, 1982. Study Report No. 2. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K, 54pp. Inskipp, C. & T. Inskipp (1991). A Guide to the Birds of Nepal. Second edition. Christopher Helm, London, 400pp. Inskipp, C. & T. Inskipp (2001). A re-visit to Nepal’s lowland protected areas. Danphe 10(1/2): 4–7. Inskipp, C., H.S. Baral & T. Inskipp (2011). The State of Nepal’s Birds 2010. Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation and Bird Conservation Nepal, Kathmandu, x+96pp. Krebs, C.J. (2009). Ecology - The experimental Analysis of Distribution and Abundance—Sixth Edition. Pearson Education Inc., San Francisco, USA, xvi+655pp. Peet, N., A.J. Watkinson, D.J. Bell & B.J. Kattel (1999). Plant diversity in the threatened subtropical grasslands of Nepal. Biological Conservation 88: 193–206. Pokharel, C.P. & N.P. Dhakal (1998). Status of Bengal Florican Eupodotis bengalensis in Royal Bardia National Park, Western Lowland, Nepal. Unpublished report to the Oriental Bird Club, UK, iii+12pp. Poudyal, L.P., P.B. Singh & S. Maharajan (2008a). Status and distribution of Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis in Nepal. Final report to Oriental Bird Club and The Club 300 Foundation for Bird Protection Sweden, 40pp. Poudyal, L.P., P.B. Singh & S. Maharajan (2008b). The decline of Bengal Florican Hourbaropsis bengalensis in Nepal. Danphe 17(1): 4–6. Poudyal, L. P., P. B. Singh & S. Maharajan (2008c). Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis in Nepal: an update. BirdingAsia 10: 43–47. Rai, H. (1996). A serious threat to Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis in Bardia. Bird Conservation Nepal Newsletter 5(3): 1. Ripley, S.D. (1982). A Synopsis of The Birds of India and Pakistan—Second Edition. Bombay Natural History Society, Bombay, xxvi+652pp. Sah, J.P. (1997). Koshi Tappu Wetlands: Nepal’s Ramsar Site. IUCN Bangkok, Thailand. xviii+254pp. Weaver, D. (1991). A survey of Bengal Floricans Houbaropsis bengalensis at Royal Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve and Royal Bardia National Park, western Nepal. Report to Oriental Bird Club. Unpublished, 14pp+viii.

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JoTT Short Communication

4(3): 2470–2475

Notes on the nesting behaviour of Yellow-footed Green Pigeon Treron phoenicoptera (Columbidae) at Jeypore Reserve Forest, Assam, India O.S. Devi 1 & P.K. Saikia 2 1 Research Scholar, 2 Associate Professor, Animal Ecology and Wildlife Biology Lab., Department of Zoology, Gauhati University, Guwahati 781014, Assam, India Email: 1 sunan_o@rediffmail.com, 2 saikiapk@rediffmail.com (corresponding author)

Abstract: We surveyed five nesting colonies of Yellow-footed Green Pigeon at Jeypore Reserve forest to study their nesting behaviour during two breeding seasons in 2008 and 2009. We observed the birds in five closely-watched nests and studied their behaviour starting from pair formation till hatching of squabs. Pair formation generally starts from the month of April followed by nest building and incubation, with ultimately, hatching of squabs during May, which continues up to the month of June. Both sexes share the duty of nest building and incubation. Breeding pairs took four shifting intervals during incubation period at a time interval of about 2–5 hrs in each shift. Incubation period ranges between 20–23 days. Keywords: Behaviour, Columbidae, incubation, Jeypore Reserve Forest, squabs, Yellow-footed Green Pigeon.

The Yellow-footed Green Pegion Treron phoenicoptera (Columbidae) has been given the status of Least Concern (Birdlife International 2010). They belong to the important frugivorous group of tropical forests and perform the valuable service of seed dispersal and forest regeneration (Stiles 1985; Corlett 1998; McConkey et al. 2004) and in some cases are Date of publication (online): 26 March 2012 Date of publication (print): 26 March 2012 ISSN 0974-7907 (online) | 0974-7893 (print) Editor: Aziz Aslan Manuscript details: Ms # o2715 Received 21 February 2011 Final received 04 November 2011 Finally accepted 08 February 2012 Citation: Devi, O.S. & P.K. Saikia (2012). Notes on the nesting behaviour of Yellow footed Green Pigeon Treron phoenicoptera at Jeypore Reserve Forest, Assam, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 4(3): 2470–2475. Copyright: © O.S. Devi & P.K. Saikia 2012. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0Unported License. JoTT allows unrestricted use of this article in any medium for non-profit purposes, reproduction and distribution by providing adequate credit to the authors and the source of publication. Acknowledgements: The authors thank the State Forest Department, Assam for providing necessary permissions to conduct the research work Jeypore Reserve Forest. The authors are also thank the Department of Science and Technology for providing necessary funds to conduct the research work under a major research project. OPEN ACCESS | FREE DOWNLOAD

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the sole vector for seed dispersal of certain tree species (Meehan et al. 2005). Data on their ecological and biological aspects is deficient as very few studies have been conducted on the Columbidae group as a whole (Wiley & Wiley 1979; Burger et al. 1989; Steadman 1997; Bancroft et al. 2000; Strong & Johnson 2001; Walker 2007). The Yellow-footed Green Pigeon is widely distributed throughout the Indian subcontinent and is a commonly sighted frugivorous bird in the tropical forests of eastern Himalaya (Ali & Ripley 1987). Very few studies are conducted on columbids in India (Ali & Ripley 1987) and some studies are mostly based on morphological adaptations (Bhattacharya 1994). Birdlife International (2010) placed this species under Least Concern category owing to its wide distribution and abundance but there is little information on its eco-biological aspects. Therefore, the present study was conducted to present preliminary data on biology of Yellow-footed Green Pigeon with special reference to its nesting behaviour. Study area The Jeypore Reserve Forest is located at Dibrugarh District of Upper Assam which falls between 27006’– 27016’N & 95021’–95029’E (Image 1). The total area of the reserve is 108km2. The terrain of the reserve is slightly undulating and is continuous with the forests of Arunachal Pradesh. Burhi-Dihing and the Dilli rivers form a part of the reserve boundary. Many small perennial streams and nullahs also flow within the Forest. Swamps and grassland patches also occur inside the forest (Kakati 2004). This forest is a part of an important IBA - the Upper Dihing West Complex, IBA Site No. IN-AS-45 and is notified as a reserve forest way back in 1888 (Kakati 2004). The habitat is tropical rainforest. Champion & Seth (1968) described it as “Assam Valley Tropical Wet Evergreen Forest” (category 1B/ C1) also called the

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Nesting behaviour of Yellow-footed Green Pigeon

O.S. Devi & P.K. Saikia 95024’0”E

95028’0”E

Jeypore Reserve Forest

27016’0”N

Auguri

Dibrugarh

Jaipur

27012’0”N

Taratoli

Sarukheremia

2708’0”N

Arunachal Pradesh

Parbatpur

Nagamati

Agricultural land (Kharif)

Locations

Agricultural Plantations (Tea Garden)

Streams

Built-up Area (Rural)

Major Road

Forest (Evergreen/Sem Evergreen - Dense) Forest (Evergreen/Sem Evergreen - Open)

Other Road Railway

Forest Blank

R.F. Boundary

River/Stream

Image 1. Location of Jeypore Reserve Forest, Dibrugarh District, Assam.

Upper Assam Dipterocarpus-Mesua Forest. The forest is characterised by a top canopy dominated by Dipterocarpus macrocarpus reaching heights of 50m, a middle canopy dominated by Mesua ferrea and Vatica lanceaefolia and undergrowth consisting of woody shrubs such as Saprosma ternatum, Livistonia jenkinsiana and canes Calamus erectus etc. (Kakati 2004). Methods We studied the Yellow-footed Green Pigeon at Jeypore Reserve Forest between January 2008 and December 2009 for two years and made observations on its nesting behaviour. Visits were made on the five nesting colonies encountered during the breeding seasons starting from early April to late July each year. Pigeon activities were observed using binoculars

(8×40 and 7×35). Telephoto lenses (135–500 mm) on 35mm still cameras were used to record behavioural activities. Digital camcorders were also used to film the behavioural activities which were later analyzed. Behavioural sequences were timed with a wristwatch. Observations at five closely watched nests were made from an elevated platform about 5–10 m from the nests. At the nests, at least two hours each was spent recording pigeon activities at morning (0600–0800 hr), noon (1100–1300 hr) and evening (1600–1800 hr) but these timings changed according to weather conditions. Bad weather hampers bird activities as observed personally in case of the pigeons. All nests located were assigned numbers and were plotted on maps of the study area. In general, activity at the closely watched individual nests was checked every two days throughout the breeding period starting from nest building to hatching of squabs.

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Results Pair formation: Pair formation usually started in the month of April at Jeypore Reserve Forest in 2008 and 2009. At this time, birds were seen flying together, feeding together, roosting and preening together in pairs on feeding trees (Image 2a). It was observed that formation of pairs usually began when the male pigeon starts calling from a perch simultaneously performing a “tail–wagging’ dance display. Whenever a pigeon landed near its territory, the resident male flew to the newly arrived pigeon and started displaying with the dance and “woohwoo-whoo-woo” whistle. If the arriving pigeon was a female then she stayed near the displaying male in a submissive posture. Chasing of females by displaying males was frequently observed until the arriving female gave in and joined the male in the dance. During the first days of pair formation, the pairs allo-preened, fed and rested together in suitable tree branches. Courtship and Copulation: Courtship display

among the Yellow-footed Green Pigeon was usually started by the male calling from a prominent perch. Whenever a female arrived at the perch, the male started to perform the display by turning 1800 on the perch, then he expanded his throat subsequently bowing deeply and making the ‘wooh-woo’ sound. Afterwards he spread his tail and turned another 1800 and repeated the display. Initially, the female remained still watching the male perform but later on she joined the male and eventually moved close to the male in a submissive posture. After about five seconds, the male stepped onto the female’s back and twisted his tail under the female’s tail to make cloacal contact. During the act, the male gave a quick wing flutter and then stepped off the female’s back. The copulation lasted for about three seconds and the pair stayed on the branch for about 10–15 minutes before they set off to the nearby fruiting trees. Courtship and copulation were mostly seen during early morning 0600–0800 hr and evening 1600–1800 hr respectively during our

a

b

c

d

Image 2. Nesting behaviours of Treron phoenicoptera in the study area. a - Breeding pair; b - Nest building activity; c - Incubation activity; d - Nest exchange behaviour of breeding pair 2472

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Nesting behaviour of Yellow-footed Green Pigeon

study period. Nest building: Building of nests by the Yellowfooted Green Pigeon was watched closely at five nests for more than 50 hours. It was observed that both the sexes share the duty of nest building, although the male did majority of the work ranging from gathering of nest materials to delivering while the female sat on the nest mending it (Image 2b). Most of the nest building activity occured between 0700–0930 hr and 1500– 1800 hr. Nest materials such as twigs were collected from dried branches of trees about 20–40 m from the nest sites. The twig gathering areas were defended against intruding pigeons. The male pigeon broke suitable twigs from the branches and carried towards the nest and the waiting female gently arranged it into the nest structure securely. Apart from these, the frequency of nest building by the parents was maximum during the early stage of nest building activities but it gradually declined during later stages. The frequency of nest building trips was maximum during the 2nd and 3rd day which gradually decreased in the following days (Table 1). Exchange of incubation duty: Both male and female pigeons shared the duty of incubation (Image 2c). They were seen exchanging incubation duty about four times a day at an average interval of 2–4 hours depending upon the weather condition and food availability. Two nests were closely watched during 2008 and 2009 at Jeypore Reserve Forest to determine the time interval between each shift and it was found that the average time interval between each shift in Nest 1 which was on a Bombax ceiba tree was approximately 3, 4 and 2 hours respectively between 1st– 2nd, 2nd–3rd and 3rd–4th shifts. Similarly, the average time interval at the Nest 2 which was on a Michellia champaca tree was found to be 4, 2 and 3 hours respectively between 1st–2nd, 2nd–3rd and 3rd–4th shifts (Fig. 1). It was also observed that shifting incubation duty was delayed and took longer time when the food source is far from the nesting tree and it took place regularly when plenty of food was available near the nest. Clutch size: The clutch size of Yellow-footed Green Pigeon, ranged from 1–2 in all the live nests located during 2008 and 2009. Eggs are spotless white, typical Columbidae, about 5cm long and weigh about 9.5–14.3 g. Nest exchange behaviour: During shifting of

O.S. Devi & P.K. Saikia

Table 1. Nest building activity at five Yellow-footed Green Pigeon nests at Jeypore Reserve Forest, during May–June, 2009 Days of Nest building

Hours of observation

Hours of nest building

No. of trips to nest

No. of trips/ min to nest

Nest A 1 2 3 4 5

5.20 4.30 4.50 6.10 8.20

4.18 3.35 3.50 5.22 1.11

26 31 34 23 5

0.10 0.15* 0.16* 0.07 0.07

Nest B 1 2 3 4 5

4.10 3.30 5.00 6.10

3.30 2.50 4.11 0

28 37 21 -

0.14 0.25* 0.09 -

Nest C 1 2 3 4 5

2.30 3.50 4.00 3.00 5.00

2.10 2.40 3.15 2.09 0

19 31 38 23 -

0.15 0.22* 0.20* 0.18 -

Nest D 1 2 3 4 5

2.00 2.30 3.00 4.00

1.20 1.50 2.20 0

15 21 17 -

0.21 0.24* 0.19 -

Nest E 1 2 3 4 5

2.00 2.00 2.00 3.00

1.05 1.35 1.15 0

13 24 19 -

0.21 0.30* 0.28 -

* - Nest Building activity gradually decreases during 4th and 5th days. ‘0’ indicates that adults were seen sitting on the nest but no nest building is seen.

incubation, the breeding pair showed some peculiar behaviour while exchanging their duty (Image 2d). The incoming bird stayed on the perch for about 30– 40 minutes, preening and resting before going to the nest. Sometimes the bird also whistled in a typical ‘whoo- woo- whoo-woo’ sound by frequently moving its tail. After this, the other bird sitting on the nest earlier, responsed to the advertisement call of the incoming bird by moving its tail rhythmically. Both the pair moved their tail for about two minutes before the incoming bird slowly walked inside the nest and checked the eggs. The resident bird then flew away to the nearby fruiting tree. Nesting season and days of incubation: During the study period of two years, the nesting season started during the month of April and ended by June. During the breeding season of 2008, seven live nests were discovered near Tipam Mandir and were watched closely for nesting behaviour and incubation period. The average incubation period of five nests

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O.S. Devi & P.K. Saikia

20

25

2008

18

2009

16

Days of incubation

Average time interval between shifts

Nesting behaviour of Yellow-footed Green Pigeon

14 12

Nest 1

10

Nest 2

8 6 4 2 0

15 10 5 0

2nd shift 3rd shift 4th shift 1st shift Enchange of shifting duty during incubation

Figure 1. Average time interval during exchange of Incubation duty in two closely watched nest trees of Yellow-footed Green Pigeon at Jeypore Reserve Forest during 2008 and 2009.

was 23 days while two nests were destroyed by storm on the eleventh and fifteenth days of incubation (Fig. 2). One squab each hatched on all the five successful nests. In 2009, pair formation and nest building was observed from the first week of May. A total of twelve live nests were closely watched for nesting behaviour and incubation periods. The average incubation periods of seven nests was 21 days and one squab each were hatched in six nests while one nest hatch had two squabs (Fig. 2). The remaining five nests were abandoned or destroyed before hatching due to heavy storm and thus were not successful. Post-hatching behaviour: It was observed that nest attentiveness declined after hatching of the young one. The nest with newly hatched young squabs were left a unattended for few hours after the fourth day of hatching and was largely unattended after the tenth day of hatching. After the tenth day the parents come to the nest only to feed the young and left soon after feeding. Sometimes they stayed on the nearby perch to protect the young from predators as in one case the parents were seen chasing away a crow which circled the nest. Discussions The Jeypore Reserve Forest is one among the few remaining tropical forest patches of eastern Assam which is unique for its varied avian fauna (Saikia & Devi 2011). The present study was one of the few attempts to gather valuable data regarding the bird’s nesting behaviour and breeding biology. From the study it was revealed that the breeding season of Yellow-footed Green Pigeon starts from 2474

20

 

1

2

3

4

5 6 7 8 Number of nests

9

 

10

11

12

Figure 2. Incubation periods of successful nests in different nesting colonies of Jeypore Reserve Forest during 2008 and 2009.

April and lasts till June at the study area. The season may start even earlier in other areas, but no birds were observed to breed during March here. Pair formation and nest building starts by early April and they make open nests of mostly twigs in tall trees near the forest edges and human habitation areas. It is interesting to note that during the two breeding seasons, not a single nesting colony of Yellow-footed Green Pigeons were encountered inside the closed forest. Both sexes were seen sharing nest building and duty of incubation. As per the observations, only one or two squabs are hatched as the clutch sizes were normally one or two eggs per pair and that the days of incubation range between 20– 24 days. Parental care and nest attentiveness declines after 10 days post hatching of squabs and parent were seen chasing away predators such as crows, hawks etc. during the first few days after hatching. It may be mentioned that the present population status of Treron phoenicoptera in the wild is unknown but evidences suggest that the species might be facing serious threat from habitat loss and hunting (Walker 2007). Long-term population monitoring and ecological studies are required immediately. Conservation programs must also focus on these least studied important frugivores which are abundantly available now-a-days but might become rare and threatened in the near future if left unchecked.

REFERENCES Ali, S & S.D. Ripley (1987). Handbook of Birds of India, Pakistan and Srilanka. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 700pp.

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Nesting behaviour of Yellow-footed Green Pigeon

Bancroft, G.T., R. Bowman & R.J. Sawicki (2000). Rainfall, fruiting phenology and nesting season of White-crowned Pigeons in the Upper Florida Keys. The Auk 117(2): 416– 426. Bhattacharya, B.N. (1994). Diversity of feeding adaptations in certain columbid birds: a functional morphological approach. Journal of Bioscience 19(4): 415–427. Birdlife International (2010). Species factsheet: Treron phoenicopterus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 14.09.2010. Burger, J., M. Gochfeld, D.J. Gochfeld & J.E. Saliva (1989). Nest site selection in Zenaida Dove (Zenaida aurita) in Puerto Rico. Biotropica 21(3): 244–249. Champion H.G. & S.K. Seth (1968). A Revised Survey of The Forest Types of India. The Manager of Publications, Government of India, New Delhi, 404pp. Corlett, R.T. (1998). Frugivory and seed dispersal by vertebrates in the oriental (Indo-Malayan) region. Biological Reviews 73: 413–448. Kakati, K. (2004). Impact of Forest Fragmentation on the Hoolock Gibbon in Assam, India. PhD Thesis. Wildlife Research Group, Department of Anatomy, Cambridge University, 230pp. McConkey, K.R., H.J. Meehan & D.R. Drake (2004). Seed dispersal by Pacific Pigeons (Ducula pacifica) in Tonga, Western Polynesia. Emu 104: 369–376.

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Meehan, H.J., K.R. McConkey & D.R. Drake (2005). Early fate of Myristica hypargyraea seeds dispersed by Ducula pacifica in Tonga, Western Polynesia. Austral Ecology 30: 374–382. Saikia, P.K. & O.S. Devi (2011). A checklist of avian fauna at Jeypore Reserve Forest, eastern Assam, India with special reference to globally threatened and endemic species in the Eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspot. Journal of Threatened Taxa 3(4): 1711–1718. Steadman, D.W. (1997). The historic biogeography and community ecology of polynesian pigeons and doves. Journal of Biogeography 24(6): 737–753. Stiles, F.G. (1985). On the role of birds in the dynamics of neo-tropical forests, pp. 49–212. In: Diamond, J.M. & T.E. Lovejoy (eds.). Conservation of Tropical Forest Birds. ICBP, Cambridge, UK. Strong, A.M. & M. D. Johnson (2001). Exploitation of seasonal resource by non-breeding plain and Whitecrowned Pigeons: implications for conservation of tropical dry forests. The Wilson Bulletin 113(1): 73–77. Walker, J.S. (2007). Geographical patterns of threat among pigeons and doves (Columbidae). Oryx 41(3): 289–299. Wiley, J.W. & B.N. Wiley (1979). The biology of Whitecrowned Pigeon. Wildlife Monographs 64: 1–54.

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JoTT Short Communication

4(3): 2476–2480

Incidence of orthopteran species (Insecta: Orthoptera) among different sampling sites within Satoyama area, Japan S. Abu ElEla 1, W. ElSayed 2 & K. Nakamura 3 Department of Entomology, Faculty of Science, Cairo University, Giza 12613, Egypt Graduate School of Science and Technology, Kanazawa University, Kakuma, Kanazawa, 920-1192, Japan 3 Division of Biodiversity, Institute of Nature and Environmental Technology, Kanazawa University, Kakuma, Kanazawa, 920-1192, Japan Email: 1 shosho_ali76@yahoo.com (corresponding author), 2 wael_elsayed88@yahoo.com, 3 kojin9@gmail.com 1,2 2

Abstract: In a survey of the orthopteran assemblages in four different sampling sites in Satoyama area, fifty different species have been recorded. These species belong to 10 families, 17 subfamilies and 27 tribes. Family Acrididae was found to exhibit the highest number of subfamilies and tribes (four subfamilies and eight tribes). This was followed by Tettigoniida with six tribes. However, both of Gryllidae and Tettigoniida harbored the highest number of observed species (12 species). On the other hand, three families were considered comparatively poor families exhibiting a single subfamily, a single tribe and a single species. These families were Eneopteridae, Mecopodidae and Pyrgomorphidae. Keywords: Distribution, incidence, Orthoptera, presenceabsence, Satoyama.

Orthoptera are one of the largest and most diverse groups of insects. They are functionally important,

Date of publication (online): 26 March 2012 Date of publication (print): 26 March 2012 ISSN 0974-7907 (online) | 0974-7893 (print) Editor: Magdi El-Hawagry Manuscript details: Ms # o2775 Received 27 April 2011 Final received 17 December 2011 Finally accepted 07 March 2012 Citation: ElEla, S.A., W. ElSayed & K. Nakamura (2012). Incidence  of orthopteran species  (Insecta: Orthoptera)  among different  sampling sites within Satoyama area, Japan. Journal of Threatened Taxa 4(3): 2476–2480. Copyright: © S. Abu Elela, W. Elsayed & K. Nakamura 2012. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. JoTT allows unrestricted use of this article in any medium for non-profit purposes, reproduction and distribution by providing adequate credit to the authors and the source of publication. Acknowledgements: Authors wish to express their sincere thanks to members of the Laboratory of Ecology and Biodiversity, School of Natural Science and Technology, Kanazawa University for their support and encouragement in the fieldwork. Cordial thanks are given to all persons and institutions for their special permission, keen advice and encouragement in the course of this study in Satoyama especially Zontan area and Kanazawa Castle Park. OPEN ACCESS | FREE DOWNLOAD

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being the dominant aboveground invertebrates in pastures and natural grasslands when judged by biomass (Scott et al. 1979; Risser et al. 1981). Some orthopteran species, in particular acridids, cause significant damage to tree seedlings (Joshi et al. 1999) and agricultural crops. They are also important components of the food chain for many birds and mammals (Capinera et al. 1997; Mayya et al. 2005), and hence resource management practices that alter orthopteran population dynamics will affect several trophic levels in the food chain (Capinera et al. 1997). In recent years man-made impacts have altered cropping patterns and agronomical practices due to urbanization, labour problems and a desire for greater profits. The changing scenario in agriculture is affecting primary consumers and thereby creating impacts for entire food webs, thus it is necessary to study the distribution and incidence of orthopteran species as primary consumers in relation to their habitats. In this study, 50 different orthopetran species representing 10 families, 17 subfamilies and 27 tribes have been tabulated during a survey of their assemblages from different habitats of Satoyama area. Material and Methods Study Area The survey of orthopteran assemblage was conducted in four sampling sites (Kitadan Valley 36.5457N & 136.694E; Zontan area - 36.560N & 136.682E; Kakuma Campus grassland - 36.546N & 136.708E; Kanazawa Castle Park: - 36.561N & 136.656E) within Satoyama area of Kanazawa City, Ishiakawa Prefecture, Japan. Kanazawa is located on

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Orthoptera of Satoyama area

the area facing Japan Sea, boarded by the Japan Alps, Hakusan National park and Noto Peninsula National Park. The city sits between the Sai and Asano rivers covering an area of ca. 467.77km2. Satoyama covers an area of ca. 74ha and is located at 150m altitude, 5km southeast from the city center. The area comprises various habitat types ranging from secondary forests dominated by Konara Quercus serrata, Abemaki Q. variabilis, Moso Bamboo Phyllostachys pubescens, and Japanese Cedar Cryptomeria japonica. Sampling protocol The entomological sweep net was used for sampling orthopteran species from various habitats to cover a sampling period extending from May till September for two consecutive years, 2008 and 2009. Sampling was achieved in 1000 to 1400 hr once in a month. Collected specimens were immediately preserved in 70% ethanol. They were later identified, counted, sorted and kept in individual labeled glass vials in the laboratory. These vials could be stored in freezer for a year with no apparent damage to the specimens (Mulkern & Anderson 1959; Brusven & Mulkern 1960; ElSayed 2003; ElSayed & ElShazly 2006). Identification Orthopteran species were identified following the taxonomic key of Ichikawa et al. (2006). Specimens were also compared with identified museum specimens in Kanazawa University for further confirmation. Meteorological variables The weather of Kanazawa is temperate, though rainy. Average temperature were 40C in January, 150C in April, 250C in July and August, 150C in October, and around 50C in December. The average minimum record was -2.30C (2007); on the other hand, the average maximum temperature was 37.50C (2007). The city is relatively wet with an average relative humidity of 73% and an average of 178 rainy days a year. Precipitation is relatively the highest in autumn and winter with an average rainfall of more than 250mm from November through January. Average temperature, relative humidity and precipitation data of 2008 and 2009 were obtained from Japan Meteorological Office (http://www.data. kishou.go.jp) and compared with data collected from the study sites for further confirmation.

S.A. ElEla et al.

Table 1. Number of families, subfamilies, tribes and species of orthopteran species co-occurring in four sampling sites within Satoyama area. Number Family Acrididae

Subfamilies

Tribes

Recorded species

4

8

8

Eneopteridae

1

1

1

Gryllidae

2

3

12

Mecopodidae

1

1

1

Phaneropteridae

1

2

3

Pyrgomorphidae

1

1

1

Mantidae

1

1

2

Tetrigidae

2

2

7

Tettigoniidae

2

6

12

Trigonididae

2

2

3

Total

17

27

50

Results A total of 50 orthopteran species were collected during the study period from the four sampling sites within Satoyama area (Table 1). Collected orthopteran species were belonging to 10 families representing 17 subfamilies and 27 tribes (Table 1). Comparatively, the highest number of species was confined to Gryllidae and Tettigoniidae (12 species). This was followed by family Acrididae (8 species). However, family Acrididae was found to harbor, comparatively, the highest number of subfamilies and tribes (four subfamilies and eight tribes) as indicated in Table 1. The least number of species (one) was found in three families: Eneopteridae, Mecopodidae and Phaneropteridae (Table 1). It was interesting to notice that no orthopteran species was recorded in the four main sampling sites in Satoyama (Table 2). However, seven species were recorded at three of the main sampling sites (Table 2): Oxya yezoensis, Teleogryllus emma, Velarifictorus mikado, Tenodera angustipennis, Tetrix japonica, Eobiana gradiella ichikawa and Gampsocleis mikado (Table 2). The majority of these seven species were collected from Kitadan Valley, Zontan area and Kakuma Campus grasslands (Table 2). However, only Velarifictorus mikado was recorded in Kitadan Valley, Kanazawa Campus grasslands and Kanazawa Castle Park and was absent in Zontan area (Table 2).

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Table 2. Distribution of orthopteran species among different sampling sites of Satoyama area (data combined for 2008 and 2009) Kakuma Campus grasslands (36.546N & 136.708E)

Kanazawa Castle Park (36.561N & 136.656E)

+

+

Aiolopus thalassinus tumulus

+

+

Eusphingonotus japonicas

+

Oedaleus infernalis

+

+

Trilophidia annulata

+

+

Kitadan Valley (36.5457N & 136.694E)

Zontan area (36.560N & 136.682E)

Stethophyma magister

+

+

Parapodisma mikado

+

+

Acridid species Acrida cinerea

Oxya yezoensis

+

+

+

Oecanthus simulator ichikawa +

Acheta domesticus

+

Loxoblemmus equestris Loxoblemmus sylvestris

+

Loxoblemmus tsushimensis ichikawa

+ +

Stethophyma magister Teleogryllus occipitalis

+

+

Teleogryllus emma

+

+

Velarifictorus asperses

+

Velarifictorus mikado

+

+ +

Velarifictorus ornatus

+

Modicogryllus siamensis

+ +

Ducetia japonica

+

+

Phaneroptera falcate

+

+

Phaneroptera nigroantennata

+ +

Atractomorpha lata Tenodera angustipennis

+

Tenodera aridifolia

+

+

+

+

+

Criotettix japonicas

+

Euparatettix tricarinatus Tetrix japonica

+

+

Sclerogryllus punctatus Mecopoda niponensis

+

+

+

Tetrix macilenta

+

Tetrix minor ichikawa

+

+ +

Tetrix nikkoensis

+

Tetrix silvicultrix ichikawa

+ +

Conocephalus japonica Conocephalus melaenus

+

Euconocephalus varius

+

+

+

Ruspolia dubia Chizuella bonneti

+

Eobiana gradiella ichikawa

+

+ +

Eobiana engelhardti subtropica

+

+

Gampsocleis mikado

+

+

Hexacentrus japonicas

+

Tettigonia orientalis

+

Tettigonia sp 6*

+

Tettigonia sp 8*

+

+ +

Dianemobius furumagiensis +

Pteronemobius fascipes Trigonidium pallipes

+

* According to Ichikawa et al. (2006)

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Discussion From the gathered results of orthopteran assemblage and their community structure in different sampling sites, it could be suggested that the orthopteran assemblages were moderately species rich in some sites and poor in others. The highest richness was recorded from different sampling sites in Zontan area. However, the relatively poor assemblage was detected in forest margins of Kitadan Valley. The species compositions of the collected orthopteran species were quite different in the study sites within Satoyama. In general, orthopteran species were not present in all the studied sites of Satoyama, characterizing their ubiquitous nature. While many species were exclusively found in a definite sampling site and were likely to show high habitat specificity, these results are in accordance with other findings on different orthopterans or acridids assemblages in different localities (Thiele 1977; Luff 1982; Horvatovich 1986; van Dijk 1987; Sunose 1992; Lövei & Sunderland 1996; Olsson et al. 2000). It has to be mentioned that there were high variations in species composition among different sampling sites within Satoyama (Kato 2001, ElSayed & Nakamura 2010). This could be explained by the differences between the habitats. These sampling sites composed different kinds of ‘elements’ as suggested by Rainio & Niemelä (2003), and ElSayed (2010). Grasslands in Zontan area, for instance having more refuges, relatively good levels of moisture, many dietary feeding resources or preys could be encountered as a result of the presence of relatively good canopy, etc. These grasslands have favored levels of moisture that attract species for breeding, feeding and overwintering (ElSayed 2010; Pfiffner & Luka 2000). Moreover, arable and floral rich lands are known to be species rich of Orthoptera, especially acridids, as suggested by Purtauf et al. (2003) which are common components in agroecosystem and feed on various arthropods, weeds, seeds and slugs (Sunderland 1975). Few numbers of orthopteran species were probably able to utilize these sources of such habitat for enhancing their breeding and feeding. In addition, sampling sites subjected to regular man-made disturbances including removal of weeds and other plant species that grow wildly, mowing regimes and rearrangement of field rims of these fields have relatively fewer species and higher number of individuals. These human-made disturbances are conceivably altering the necessary

S.A. ElEla et al.

sources for orthopteran species in a way that these sources could not be used by all orthopteran species. Thus, few orthopteran species could utilize, or harshly utilize these resources and increase in their individuals comparing with other orthopteran species. In addition, grasslands of Kakuma Campus were relatively poor in their canopy reflecting the relatively poor species richness in these sampling sites over the two-year study period. It has to be mentioned that the landscape composition variables showed a significant effect on Orthoptera diversity (Marini et al. 2010, 2011). The Orthoptera species richness and composition were also significantly related to the proportion of grassland in the surrounding landscape (Marini et al. 2010, 2011). Chorthippus parallelus benefited from a large proportion of grassland, while most of the species belonging to Ensifera and Caelifera were affected negatively. At the landscape scale, an enhanced mortality because of mowing of large areas is suggested to be the main constraint to high diversity of Orthoptera communities (Gardiner 2006; Marini et al. 2010, 2011). In contrast, in landscapes with a low proportion of grassland, the local diversity could benefit from the presence of ecotonal habitats such as forest edges, hedgerows and bushes (Marini et al. 2010). Grassland areas possibly accumulated more visiting species from these habitats by providing suitable conditions for foraging and reproduction as cited by Gardiner (2006) and Marini et al. (2010).

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plant selection of an acridid community on the edge between a desert- and an agro-ecosystem in Egypt. Environmental Informatics Archives 4: 1–25. ElSayed W.M. & K. Nakamura (2010). Abundance, diversity and distribution of the ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in a Satoyama Valle in Kanazawa, Japan, with special reference to the body size and feeding categories. Far Eastern Entomologists 205: 1–20. Gardiner, T. (2006). The Impact of Grassland Management on Orthoptera Populations in the UK. Unpublished PhD Thesis. University of Essex, Colchester, UK. Horvatovich, S. & I. Szarukán (1986). Faunal investigation of ground beetles (Carabidae), in the arable soils of Hungary. Acta Agronomica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 35: 107–123. Ichikawa, A., Y. Kano, Y. Kawai, M. Kawai, O. Tominago & T. Murai (2006). Orthoptera of the Japanese Archipelago in Color—2nd Edition. Hokkaido University Press, Hardcover, 687pp. (In Japanese). Joshi, P.C., J.A. Lockwood, N. Vashishth & A. Singh (1999). Grasshopper (Orthoptera: Acridoidea) community dynamics in a moist deciduous forest in India. Journal of Orthopteran Research 8: 17–25. Kato, M. (2001). ‘Satoyama’ and biodiversity conservation: ‘Satoyama’ as important insect habitats. Global Environment Research 5: 135–149. Lövei, G.L. & K.D. Sunderland (1996). Ecology and behavior of ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae). Annual Review of Entomology 41: 231–256. Luff, M.L. (1982). Population dynamics of Carabidae. Annals of Applied Biology 101: 164–170. Marini, L., R. Bommarco, P. Fontana & A. Battisti (2010). Disentangling area and habitat diversity effects on orthopteran species with contrasting mobility. Biological Conservation 143: 2164–2171 Marini, L., E. Bona, W.E. Kunin & K.J. Gaston (2011). Exploring anthropogenic and natural processes shaping fern species richness along elevational gradients. Journal of Biogeography 38: 78–88

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Journal of Threatened Taxa | www.threatenedtaxa.org | March 2012 | 4(3): 2476–2480


Dr. Gowri Mallapur, Mamallapuram, India Dr. George Mathew, Peechi, India Prof. Richard Kiprono Mibey, Eldoret, Kenya Dr. Lionel Monod, Genève, Switzerland Dr. Shomen Mukherjee, Jamshedpur, India Dr. P.O. Nameer, Thrissur, India Dr. D. Narasimhan, Chennai, India Dr. T.C. Narendran, Kozhikode, India Stephen D. Nash, Stony Brook, USA Dr. K.S. Negi, Nainital, India Dr. K.A.I. Nekaris, Oxford, UK Dr. Heok Hee Ng, Singapore Dr. Boris P. Nikolov, Sofia, Bulgaria Prof. Annemarie Ohler, Paris, France Dr. Shinsuki Okawara, Kanazawa, Japan Dr. Albert Orr, Nathan, Australia Dr. Geeta S. Padate, Vadodara, India Dr. Larry M. Page, Gainesville, USA Dr. Prakash Chand Pathania, Ludhiana, India Dr. Malcolm Pearch, Kent, UK Dr. Richard S. Peigler, San Antonio, USA Dr. Rohan Pethiyagoda, Sydney, Australia Mr. J. Praveen, Bengaluru, India Dr. Robert Michael Pyle, Washington, USA Dr. Muhammad Ather Rafi, Islamabad, Pakistan Dr. H. Raghuram, Bengaluru, India Dr. Dwi Listyo Rahayu, Pemenang, Indonesia Dr. Sekar Raju, Suzhou, China Dr. Vatsavaya S. Raju, Warangal, India Dr. V.V. Ramamurthy, New Delhi, India Dr (Mrs). R. Ramanibai, Chennai, India Dr. M.K. Vasudeva Rao, Pune, India Dr. Robert Raven, Queensland, Australia Dr. K. Ravikumar, Bengaluru, India Dr. Luke Rendell, St. Andrews, UK Dr. Anjum N. Rizvi, Dehra Dun, India Dr. Leif Ryvarden, Oslo, Norway Prof. Michael Samways, Matieland, South Africa

Dr. Yves Samyn, Brussels, Belgium Dr. K.R. Sasidharan, Coimbatore, India Dr. Kumaran Sathasivam, India Dr. S. Sathyakumar, Dehradun, India Dr. M.M. Saxena, Bikaner, India Dr. Hendrik Segers, Vautierstraat, Belgium Dr. R. Siddappa Setty, Bengaluru, India Dr. Subodh Sharma, Towson, USA Prof. B.K. Sharma, Shillong, India Prof. K.K. Sharma, Jammu, India Dr. R.M. Sharma, Jabalpur, India Dr. Tan Koh Siang, Kent Ridge Road, Singapore Dr. Arun P. Singh, Jorhat, India Dr. Lala A.K. Singh, Bhubaneswar, India Prof. Willem H. De Smet, Wilrijk, Belgium Mr. Peter Smetacek, Nainital, India Dr. Humphrey Smith, Coventry, UK Dr. Hema Somanathan, Trivandrum, India Dr. C. Srinivasulu, Hyderabad, India Dr. Ulrike Streicher, Danang, Vietnam Dr. K.A. Subramanian, Pune, India Mr. K.S. Gopi Sundar, New Delhi, India Dr. P.M. Sureshan, Patna, India Dr. Karthikeyan Vasudevan, Dehradun, India Dr. R.K. Verma, Jabalpur, India Dr. W. Vishwanath, Manipur, India Dr. Gernot Vogel, Heidelberg, Germany Dr. Ted J. Wassenberg, Cleveland, Australia Dr. Stephen C. Weeks, Akron, USA Prof. Yehudah L. Werner, Jerusalem, Israel Mr. Nikhil Whitaker, Mamallapuram, India Dr. Hui Xiao, Chaoyang, China Dr. April Yoder, Little Rock, USA English Editors Mrs. Mira Bhojwani, Pune, India Dr. Fred Pluthero, Toronto, Canada

Journal of Threatened Taxa is indexed/abstracted in Zoological Records, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Index Fungorum, Bibliography of Systematic Mycology, EBSCO and Google Scholar.


Journal of Threatened Taxa ISSN 0974-7907 (online) | 0974-7893 (print)

March 2012 | Vol. 4 | No. 3 | Pages 2409–2480 Date of Publication 26 March 2012 (online & print) Communications A new species of barb Puntius nigripinnis (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) from southern Western Ghats, India -- J.D. Marcus Knight, K. Rema Devi, T.J. Indra & M. Arunachalam, Pp. 2409–2416 Odonata of Sungai Bebar, Pahang, Malaysia, with four species recorded for the first time from mainland Asia -- Rory A. Dow, Yong Foo Ng & Chee Yen Choong, Pp. 2417–2426 Evaluation of some mangrove species on the nature of their reproduction along the coastal belt of the Indian Sunderbans -- Arunima Ghosh & Prabir Chakraborti, Pp. 2427– 2435 DNA barcoding of the Bryde’s Whale Balaenoptera edeni Anderson (Cetacea: Balaenopteridae) washed ashore along Kerala coast, India -- A. Bijukumar, S.S. Jijith, U. Suresh Kumar & S. George, Pp. 2436–2443 An avifaunal case study of a plateau from Goa, India: an eye opener for conservation of plateau ecosystems -- Minal Desai & A.B. Shanbhag, Pp. 2444–2453

Avian diversity in the Naliya Grassland, Abdasa Taluka, Kachchh, India -- Sandeep B. Munjpara & Indra R. Gadhvi, Pp. 2454–2463 Short Communications Conservation status of Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis bengalensis (Gmelin, 1789) (Gruiformes: Otididae) in Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve and adjoining areas, eastern Nepal -- Hem Sagar Baral, Ashok Kumar Ram, Badri Chaudhary, Suchit Basnet, Hathan Chaudhary, Tika Ram Giri & Dheeraj Chaudhary, Pp. 2464–2469 Notes on the nesting behaviour of Yellow-footed Green Pigeon Treron phoenicoptera (Columbidae) at Jeypore Reserve Forest, Assam, India -- O.S. Devi & P.K. Saikia, Pp. 2470–2475 Incidence of orthopteran species (Insecta: Orthoptera) among different sampling sites within Satoyama area, Japan -- S. Abu ElEla, W. ElSayed & K. Nakamura, Pp. 2476– 2480

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. JoTT allows unrestricted use of articles in any medium for non-profit purposes, reproduction and distribution by providing adequate credit to the authors and the source of publication.


JoTT 4(3): 2409-2480 26 March 2012