|Date||28 Mar 2018|
Destruction and fragmentation of seasonally flooded grasslands is threatening >75 grassland bird species in South Asia along Indo-Gangetic Plain; these birds are particularly vulnerable in Bangladesh where human pressures are especially intense. Within Bangladesh, these grasslands are now primarily restricted to a few wetlands in the north-east and to the main rivers bordering the north-west. However, recent ornithological field surveys suggest that these remaining grasslands still hold globally threatened species, but these bird communities remain largely unstudied and remain largely unknown. Therefore, detail information of these bird communities is needed for immediate conservation action. This project will fill important knowledge gaps regarding birds of Indo-Gangetic grasslands particularly in Bangladesh—if birds can be managed in this context, then there is probably potential for managing Indo-Gangetic grasslands in other countries in the region as well.
The study will be conducted in two seasonally flooded grasslands of north-west Bangladesh particularly on riverine grassland in the Ganges-Padma River floodplain in Rajshahi district and in the Brahmaputra-Jamuna River floodplain in Kurigram district. Bird species richness and abundance will be estimated using variable circular point counts, complemented by mist netting. Vegetation structure and composition of the habitat in survey areas will be measured for sample quadrats. Local people and university students will assist with surveys to build up their technical capacity. University students with biological science training, Bangladesh Bird club members, and/or local NGO staff will also be invited to join this project to be trained in ornithological fieldwork. A bird fair for outreach and education on the value of grasslands for people and wildlife including the findings of this study will be organized in Rajshahi with assistance from the Bangladesh Bird Club inviting local people, school children, bird photographers, bird watchers, forest department officials and local officials.
Finally, results from this project will be discussed with forest department officials and local people in the two main study sites as to where in these sites conservation should be prioritized and what range of management options can be realistically implemented.
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