Mysore City Bird Atlas 2014-16


Birds respond to changes in the environment and hence can act as indicators for monitoring changes. Easy monitoring fact of birds makes it even more suitable for observing changes. The decreasing richness of bird species from different parts of the world due to habitat loss owing to urbanization, infrastructure development, intensification of agricultural activity, reported regularly. However, the extent of decline in species richness in India is not known as any regular bird monitoring program exists. 

Of late, studies of avian distribution through groups which are willing and capable of organizing total monitoring over a known area have become popular research activity. Thus, Bird-watching, which is an enjoyable hobby, is utilized effectively as a research activity. 'Mysore City Bird Atlas' (2014-16) is a pioneering effort to comprehensively document the birds of a city by surveying 132 grid cells, roughly 160 SQ. Km in all. Coordinated and executed by Mysore birders, each grid cell is repeatedly surveyed twice a year (Feb and June) for three years consecutive years. The information yielded is the first of its kind in India: a systematic understanding of a city's birds, their distribution and seasonal changes, and how they respond to urbanization. Around 50 Mysore birders’ pooled their resources and prepared the Atlas sparing their valuable time, birding knowledge with the guidance of Suhel Quader, Scientist, Bird Count India and Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore. The success of Mysore City Bird Atlas has triggered other cities in India to repeat the same. 

A Bird Atlas provides birds information by making use of maps on distribution, abundance, seasonal occurrence and long-term change. The concept of India bird atlas was floated during a planetary session of Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Nature Science, at Coimbatore in 2013 November. A proto trial was planned in Mysore region and part of Kerala as more birders were active. Mysore has a unified unit of strongly motivated naturalists with a rich history of careful documentation -www.mysorenature.org. The bird atlas was designed to ensure equal effort spatially. The frequency of occurrence of all species calculated and differences between seasons noted. Stricter rules bound Bird-watchers and the event demands more commitment from them. Closer coordination and repeated feedbacks ensured thorough implementation. Debated over the survey after two seasons, every year in the presence of interested public and birders and incorporated the modalities required to improve the standard based on the shortcomings observed. 

For the present study, the standard method is tailored to suit Mysore City habitat by Suhel Quader. Data compilation, analysis, visualization, and mapping is executed by - Suhel Quader, BR Sheshgiri, Sandeep Kumar Jayasankar, Abinandan Reddy, R. Raghunath and Smt. Mousami Ghosh. 




It is a matter of pride that 'Team-Bird count India' has cited this attempt as a pioneering effort in the country. Credit must go to all the participants for providing their valuable knowledge, time and energy into this combined and cohesive endeavor. 

In a citizen science initiative, many people are instrumental in its success. However, the involvement of quality birders in real numbers is very crucial. Birders volunteered to success are (please tell us if any names have been inadvertently left out):  Abhijit APC, Abhishek MB, Amanull Khan, Amathya, Anagha S, Ananya S, Archishmati, Arun Simha, Ashrita Anoop, Chandra S, Charumati, Dinesh KS, Girija T, Gouri, Harsha NR, Janhavi Rajan, Kaleemulla Sharieff, Kashyap, Kiran BS, Krishnamurthy, Madhusudan MD, Maheshwari, Manish Chandi, Michaelsen T, Mohankumar M, Narayan Sharma, Naveen Jois, Navya R, Pavan Ramachandra, Pavithra Sankaran, Prashanth, Raghunath R, Raviprakash, Sadananda KB, Sahamath B, Sahana M, Sandeep Srivatsa, Sandeep, Sapthagirish, Shamkumari C, Shanmugam R, Sheshgiri BR, Shiv Kumar, Shiva prakash A, Shreeraksh Bhat, Shweta Bharati, Shylajesha S, Smitha Rao, Sneha Guptha, Sukrit S, Suresh VP, Syed Ateeq, Syed Mudaseer, Swapna Shivakumar, Tanuja DH, Tushar, Vinay Nadig, Vishak KA, Yogendra HS. 

Late Sri Sadananda KB was a leading light in Mysore, providing a helping hand in life-science studies. Universities, Institutions, Schools, many amateurs like us, professionals and nature lovers in Karnataka utilized his expertise. We, wholeheartedly dedicate this event success to him.