Kerala is home to myriad species of animals and birds. Its abundance has mesmerised biologists and enthusiasts. In a way to commemorate Kerala’s diverse bird species, a bird atlas was put together. This is the first time in India, Kerala has created an atlas dedicated to the many bird species.
According to The Hindu, the Kerala Bird Atlast (KBA) is said to be “Asia’s largest bird atlas in terms of geographical extent, sampling effort and species coverage derived from the aggregation of 25,000 checklists.” It has information on three lakh records of 361 species – 94 very rare species, 103 rare species, 110 common species, 44 very common species, and 10 most abundant species.
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This atlas includes data of all the bird species and their habitats in Kerala. Believe it or not, the data was collected through the participation of over 1000 volunteers. The volunteers from the bird watching community gathered the data by conducting surveys twice over 60 days a year between 2015 and 2020. The survey teams of two to five members were stationed in 14 districts of Kerala. Each of them had access to tools like Locus Free to conduct the survey in a smooth, more efficient manner.
They carried out the operation during the wet (July to September) and dry (January to March) seasons. The species count was higher in the dry season than in the wet season. They were found more in the northern and central districts than in the southern districts.