Project: Tirupati Bird Atlas.
Why a bird atlas?
The Tirupati landscape has the extensive Seshachalam Biosphere Reserve with excellent deciduous and scrub forests. Numerous tanks, lakes and adjoining agricultural fields also host and attracts a lot of resident and migratory birds. Since 2016, IISER Tirupati faculty have been conducting regular bird and nature walks for their community. Birding club members are regularly participating in annual events like Great backyard bird count, Campus bird count, and actively contributing a lot of avian data to citizen science portal ebird. In the process, multiple rare species of birds are recorded in Tirupati, including new species like Grass-hopper warbler, which was never recorded from Andhra Pradesh before.
With the knowledge of avian diversity gained from the landscape, the scientific community at IISER strongly felt the need for a Tirupati bird atlas to,
Bird Atlas Surveys - Strategy
• Tirupati and surroundings regions will be divided into grids of 3.3 x 3.3km (3.75’ x 3.75’),
each will then be subdivided into 9 cells of size 1.1x1.1km. See map.`
• Birdwatcher teams sample 1 random subcell in every grid (~20% sampling) with 4
independent lists (15 min each). Each team (2-5 birders) will include at least one expert
birder to ensure validity of data.
• Different teams will visit a sub-cell (dividing the four lists) to limit observer bias.
• Birdwatching times are expected to be between 6:00-9:00 and 16:00-18:00; strictly followed
for forest birds.
• A sub-cell has to be re-sampled if the lists are not representative due to unforeseen
conditions like rain, disturbances, weather conditions, etc. and is decided together by
coordinator and the lead birder.
• This effort will be replicated twice a year to capture seasonal variation.
Study Site: Tirupati
Funding: Duleep Matthai Trust
Nandini Rajamani IISER Tirupati