By Mithu Das November 27, 2011
It is a phenomenon well known to biologist that certain areas of the world, particularly in tropical regions, support concentrations of animal and plant species with restricted ranges, i.e. species that are found nowhere else in the earth.The Endemic Bird Areas of the World
Birds found in certain natural areas and could not be seen anywhere else may called restricted-range birds. According to Stattersfield and their colleagues, a restricted-range bird species is a landbird which is judged to have had a breeding range of less than 50,000 km2 throughout historical times (since 1800). Birdlife International has identified at least 218 Endemic Bird Areas (EBA) which supports more than 2500 species. Unfortunately, due to habitat loss and alteration, half of these restricted-range bird species are qualified as globally threatened or near threatened.
There are 12 EBAs occur in India among which Assam Plains is the most important one. Assam plains is located in the flood plain of the Brahmaputra river in Bangladesh and India. It covers parts of eastern Nepal, Sikkim, North-West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya, Southern Bhutan and western Myanmar. The total number of restricted-range birds found in Assam are seventeen. These birds could be seen in grasslands, bushes, bamboo thickets, dense evergreen forests, and in the high grassland on riverbanks. Unfortunately, habitat loss due to alteration of grasslands and forest for agricultural land has severely affected these birds. More than 50% of total endemic birds of Assam are considered either vulnerable or near threatened.
The restricted-range endemic birds of Assam
- Tawny-breasted Wren-babbler (Spelaeornis longicaudatus)
- Blackish-breasted Babbler (Sphenocichla humei)
- Snowy-throated Babbler (Stachyris oglei)
- Striped Laughingthrush (Garrulax virgatus)
- Brown-capped Laughingthrush (Garrulax austeni)
- Streak-throated Barwing (Actinodura waldeni)
- Grey Sibia (Heterophasia gracilis)
- Beautiful Sibia (Heterophasia pulchella)
- Marsh Babbler (Pellorneum palustre)
- Black-breasted Parrotbill (Paradoxornis flavirostris)
- White-napped Yuhina (Yuhina bakeri)
- Chestnut-breasted Partridge (Arborophila mandellii)
- Blyth's Tragopan (Tragopan blythii)
- Manipur Bush Quail (Perdicula manipurensis)
- Yellow-vented Warbler (Phylloscopus cantator)
- Broad-billed Warbler (Tickellia hodgsoni)
- Rusty-bellied Shortwing (Brachypteryx hyperythra)
Manipur Bush-Quail was found in the foothills of the south of the Brahmaputra river. However, there has no recent record of this bird. Similarly, ''Marsh Babbler and Black-breasted Parrotbill has frequently sighted" (Birdlife International). ''And there has little recent ornithological activity in some parts of the region."
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