Fig: Devi Kere
Hunsur sector has 3 sub-sections, namely Gaddige, Hunsur and Piriyapattana where few water-bodies are monitored for nature activity. While travelling from one tank to other noticeable nature activity are recorded. Census of mid-winter water birds of this sector takes two-three days. Occasionally, few water-bodies of Mysore area is also monitored beyond winter season for local water birds’ breeding activity.
Fig: A typical rocky habitat
Fig: Floating vegetation in Chowdikatte
Fig: Bettadapura habitat supports a small population of Yellow throated Bulbuls
Fig: Geology of hunsur
In Gaddige sector water-bodies monitored are Alanahalli, Waddaragudi, Hebballa, Kutwadi kere, Karimuddanahalli, Nadappayanakere, Gowripuradakere, Nagappanakere, Dhyatana kere and Bilikere; among these water bodies Bilikere being largest, was vibrant with variety and good numbers, but the tank is now empty since a decade, due to disruption of inlet feeder canals. Now Hebballa takes the role of Bilikere, but absence of surface and sub-merged vegetation is not supporting waterbirds as Bilikere. Near Alanahalli, White-backed Vulture was nesting in a Ficus religiosa tree amid arid vegetation fields. Once sighted Imperial Eagle here.
In Hunsur sector Santhekere, Devikere, Chowdanakatte, Kenchanakere, Chikkahunsur kere and Hairige. Among them Kenchanakere being largest supports moderate population of Bar-headed Goose and few individuals of Brahminy Ducks but not regularly. In Feb, 2011 there were Bar-headed Goose Anser indicus in three different tanks, with Mongolian collar numbering - 97, 99, L6 & SF. Mr Martin Gilbert(scientist in-charge ringing in Mongolia) passed on the message that all the collared Goose are females and number 97 was earlier reported from Magadi Tank near Gadag in 2009.
Fig: Bar-headed Goose in Devi kere
Fig: Egyptian vulture breeding ground
Fig: Little Cormorants in smallest tanks
Fig: Strychnos nux-vomica
In Piriyapattana sector Chilkunda, Ravandur, Kalkere, Santhekere, Bettadapura, Hitnaheggabilu, Piriyapattanada ammanakere, Piriyapattanada chikkere, Chowdanahalli, Chintnalli, Kirunelli, Tatanahalli, and Sathegalali. Common Pochard, Eurasian Wigeon and Golden Plover are few important migratory birds recorded here.
Resident population of Pied Crested Cuckoo Clamator jacobinus is reported from here as early as 1929 by Betts (1929) in Periyapattana and still it continues, however their population increases marginally during Monsoon.
Based on conservation priority, 37 sites are identified as Important Bird Areas (Islam & Rahmani 2005) in Karnataka. Twelve among them is located in Mysore area. Though Hunsur sector is rich in birds’ diversity, except Scrub & Dry deciduous forest Arabithittu, none of the waterbodies qualified as Important Bird Area.
In addition, Arabithittu Wildlife Sanctuary (an IBA, CODE: IN-KA-36), Kallalli jungle and Bettadapura hillocks and agriculture fields are scanned for birds, butterflies and vegetation. Exotic Eucalyptus spp and Acacia auriculiformes dominates in almost all the forest patches in Mysore area, to an extent of 40%. Few birds like Lorikeet has been recorded over-running their known habitat –Western Ghat; and Asian Brown Flycatcher (juvenile) was observed in Kallalli forest during rainy season indicating it as a resident species, in this locality. A small population of Yellow-throated Bulbul is present in Bettadapura rocky hillock.
Hunsur sector habitat supports some rare butterflies of this region-Great Evening Brown, Black Rajah, Tawny Rajah, Common Lascar, Gaudy Baron and Striped Albatross. Migration of Danaid family members-Blue Tiger, Dark Blue Tiger, Indian Common Crow and Double Branded Crow is being recorded twice a year, however, the density and duration of migration varies.
Fig: Indoneesiella echioides
Fig: Sida cordata
Fig: Pimpinella candolleana found only in Bettadapura hillock in entire Mysore area
References and further reading:
- Betts, F. N. 1929. Migration of the Pied Crested Cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus). J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 33: 714.
- Islam, M.Z. & A.R. Rahmani. 2005. Important Bird Areas in India: Priority sites for conservation. Mumbai: Indian Bird Conservation Network: Bombay Natural History Society and BirdLife International (UK). P 574.
- Madhukar.B., Shivaprakash.A and Raju Kasambe. 2009. Re-sightings of the Mongolian tagged Bar-headed Goose in India. Newsletter for Birdwatchers: 49(1):2-4.
- Sanderson, G.P. 1879. Thirteen years among the wild beasts of India, 2nd edition, William, H. Allen & Co.,
- Shivaprakash, A. 2005. Distribution, density and Threats to Barheaded Goose in Mysore, Mandya and Chamaranagar districts, Southern Karnataka. Newsletter for Birdwatchers: 45(5):80.
- Thejaswi, S. & A. Shivaprakash. 2004b. The Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca near Mysore, Southern India. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 101(3): 447.
- Thejaswi, S. & A. Shivaprakash. 2004c. Status of the Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga Pallas in the Wetlands of the Kaveri basin of Karnataka. J. Bombay Nat. Hist.Soc. 101(3): 447-450.
- Thejaswi, S. 2004i. New sites for the globally threatened Yellowthroated Bulbul Pycnonotus xantholaemus (Jerdon) in Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, Southern India. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 101(3): 458-461.