Kerala Biodiversity Home for 9 more bird species

“The bird and biodiversity-rich areas in Kerala are drawing global attention with nine more locations being identified as Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs)“.

In News

  • Kerala IBAs are home to three critically endangered species — Whiterumped Vulture, Indian Vulture, and Red-headed Vulture.
  • Studies have identified the presence of five endangered, 13 vulnerable, and 32 near-threatened bird species in the Kerala IBAs.
  • The BirdLife International had earlier listed 19 endangered species in India, out of which nine are found in Kerala.

Conservation threats faced by the IBAs

  • Anthropogenic pressure on the forests are very intense.
  • The “birds of the low altitude evergreen forests seem to have suffered the most in Kerala, mainly due to human interventions.
  • These ‘sky islands’ are now surrounded by tea estates or plantations, leaving very limited habitat for species such as White-bellied Blue Robin, Nilgiri Blue Robin, and Blackand-Orange Flycatcher.

Newly Identified Important IBAs

  •  Achencoil Forest Division.
  • Anamudi Shola National Park.
  • Camel’s Hump Mountain,Wayanad.
  • Kurinjimala Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • Malayattoor Reserve Forest.

Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs)

The IBAs are “places of international significance for the conservation of birds and other biodiversity” and are “distinct areas amenable to practical conservation action.

IBAs form part of a country’s existing protected area network, and so are protected under national legislation. Legal recognition and protection of IBAs that are not within existing protected areas varies within different countries. Some countries have a National IBA Conservation Strategy, whereas in others protection is completely lacking.

Criteria for IBA

  • Globally threatened species.
  • Restricted-range species.
  • Biome-restricted species.
  • Congregations.

Biodiversity: It is the variety of plant and animal life in the world or in a particular habitat, a high level of which is usually considered to be important and desirable.

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