Indore: Survey finds 18 new bird species in Ralamandal Wildlife Sanctuary
The Indian Pitta (Pitta brachyura)

Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Bird species population down in Ralamandal to 78 species from 82 species in the second survey conducted on Sunday. Along with some other striking species, Peregrine falcon –the fastest bird and in fact the fastest animal on Earth, has flown away for now.

The species have changed as many of the birds spotted in the first survey were migratory and returned. Surprisingly, about 18 new species were found in the sanctuary in the second survey.

Though the number of bird species is currently 78 in the sanctuary, the total number of species detected climbed up to 102 species.

Ralamandal will be conducting survey during each season, i.e. four surveys of birds every year starting from this year, said chief conservator of forests HS Mohanta.

“Generally, the population is controlled by climatic factors such as temperature, relative humidity, rainfall and photoperiodism etc. and sometimes it may not be so. It has been found that highest population was in winter and low in summer in many studies. After winter, population generally declines due to the departure of migratory species,” Mohanta said.

Wildlife Warriors team along with forest officials forming a team of 30 conducted the survey. People of various backgrounds, naturalist, bird watchers, conservationist, engineers, zoologist, Indian Army officers of Brigadier rank and professors participated in the survey and helped the forest department in identification and recording of various bird species in the sanctuary.

Forest ranger Akanksha Khatekar said, “Before the survey, we knew of 23 species of birds commonly seen in the sanctuary.”

Shrikhant Kalamkar, a birdwatcher, said, “Madhya Pradesh is a stronghold of many critically endangered species of vultures, the endangered Lesser Florican, Black-bellied Tern, Forest Owlet and other vulnerable species like the Indian Skimmer, Sarus Crane etc. Effective conservation planning can only be done based on a sound knowledge of the species, sites, and habitats that need protection.”

//Some new species found in Season 2 survey at Ralamandal\\

1. Pied Cuckoo

2. Grey-bellied Cuckoo

3. Common Hawk Cuckoo

4. Crested Bunting

5. Rock Eagle Owl

6. Indian Pitta

7. Indian Spot Bill Duck

8. Painted Francolin

9. Sirkeer Malkoha

10. Asian Paradise Flycatcher

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