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Researchers from IISER records vulnerable birds like black breasted parrotbill, swamp prinia, Indian grassbird

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PASIGHAT ( By Maksam Tayeng )– A team of researchers from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Pune, India, led by Dr. Anand Krishnan and Sutirtha Lahiri are studying the acoustic diversity of birds at D. Ering WL Sanctuary using audio recorders that can record for long duration and are surveying different kinds of grassland habitats of different seasons.

Given the difficulty of physical surveys in the habitat, acoustics provides a way for non invasive monitoring of important biodiversity, the team has already managed to sight and record birds of conservation concern, including the black breasted parrotbill, marsh babbler, jerdons babbler, Indian grassbird and Swamp prinia, informed researchers from IISER, Pune.

They are optimistic that this method can be used long term to aid in the study of rare and threatened birds that have a stronghold in places like D. Ering Wildlife Sanctuary, observed the team from IISER.

“D. Ering WLS is a sanctuary like no other. In a country where very little attention is given to grasslands, this sanctuary is one of the very few places which are protecting wet grassland interspersed in the Siang River. This grassland is home to some very rare and threatened birds, and perhaps is one of the best places in the world to see some of birds like the black breasted parrotbill, the swamp prinia, the Indian grassbird, the marsh babbler among others.

The best moment, of course, was the sighting of a display of critically endangered and rare male Bengal Florican from the comfort of the veranda of the rest house and Range office inside the Borguli Wildlife Range. This experience would not have been possible without the generous help of the DFO Wildlife, the Ranger of Borguli and the forest guards and staff inside the sanctuary who went out of their way to assist us in our research work”, said Dr. Anand Krishnan and Sutirtha Lahiri.

Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune is an autonomous public research university established in 2006. It is one of the seven Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research, and was one of the first IISERs to be established along with IISER Kolkata. It is located in the city of Pune, India.

Meanwhile, Divisional Forest Officer, D. Ering Wildlife Sanctuary, Tasang Taga has expressed thankfulness to team IISER and also team from Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) whose researchers are currently camping at the grasslands of the sanctuary to study and monitor the rare birds.

Taga opined hope that the study and research outcome of the experts and researchers will be helpful in proper identification of the birds in the DEWLS by the departmental staffers which in turn will be instrumental in giving proper protection and strategies to monitor the rare birds departmentally.

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