Avifaunal diversity and ecotourism opportunities: A case study from Barachaka tribal village of Bankura, West Bengal, India
Ethnic people throughout the globe are engaged in the conservation of biodiversity. The objective of this study was to measure the avifaunal diversity in heterogeneous forest and paddy fields surrounding the Barachaka tribal village of West Bengal, India and the prospect of development of ecotourism spot in this area. The study was conducted during June and July of 2019 and 2020. A total of 47 bird species belonging to 27 families were identified and recorded during the span of study. Among these bird species, Asian open bill stork (Anastomus oscitans) is predominant in the heterogeneous forest of this village and they usually used this place as a breeding ground during the rainy season. The study reveals that the safety and food security provided by the villagers encourage these birds to prepare colonial nests in trees very near to the human habitation. Shannon-Wiener diversity index value was recorded 2.49 within village forest and 2.33 in the paddy field during June 2019 and July 2019 and 2.62 within village forest and 2.47 in the paddy field during June 2020 and July 2020. Results obtained from the questionnaire survey revealed that tribal people of this village are directly attached to bird conservation in their area and these tribal people protect the bird generation after generation through their traditional knowledge. The community-based bird monitoring programs may protect birds as well as wildlife and encourage researchers who may gather scientific knowledge from these ethnic people. The village under study has the prospective to develop into a good bird watching site, where bird lovers may watch the birds in nature and thereby helping the socio-economic development of the tribal people of this village.
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