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An ornithological survey in the vicinity of Agartala city of Tripura state,
north-eastern India
Avifauna, biodiversity hotspot, Agartala, Tripura, north-east India .

North-east India is a part of Indo-Burma hotspot and among the richest bird
zones in India. Tripura lies in the border of Indo-Burma global biodiversity hotspot
area but is poorly covered by ornithological works. Avifauna of Tripura state is known
by 277 species but there is lack of information about their distribution, particularly in
and around Agartala city, which is the capital of Tripura state and is a tourist
destination along the border of Bangladesh for its natural landscapes, inland water
species, and strong presence of green flora. With a view to enhance its value for
tourist attraction and naturalists, a study was conducted to record the species of birds
that occur in and around the City. In the present study 73 bird species were recorded
from Agartala city and its adjacent areas belonging to 41 families and 14 orders.
852-860 | JRB | 2013 | Vol 3 | No 3

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Journal of Research in Biology
An International Scientific
Research Journal
Partha Pratim Bhattacharjee,
Rahul Lodh, Dipten Laskar,
Joydeb Majumder and
Basant Kumar Agarwala.

Ecology & Biodiversity
Laboratories, Department of
Zoology, Tripura University,
Suryamaninagar-799 022,
Tripura, India.

Corresponding author:
Basant Kumar Agarwala.


Web Address:
Received: 28 Jan 2013 Accepted: 15 Feb 2013 Published: 10 Apr 2013
Article Citation:
Partha Pratim Bhattacharjee, Rahul Lodh, Dipten Laskar, Joydeb Majumder and
Basant Kumar Agarwala.
An ornithological survey in the vicinity of Agartala city of Tripura state, north-eastern
Journal of Research in Biology (2013) 3(3): 852-860
Journal of Research in Biology
An International Scientific Research Journal
Original Research

Avifauna contributes most significantly to the
diversity of terrestrial vertebrates, which have a special
role in conservation of biodiversity of a particular area
(Daniels, 1994). Birds are very good indicator
of environmental changes as they respond in the minute
change in habitat structure and composition
(Robert et al., 2001). Indian subcontinent harbour nearly
1300 species of birds, which is more than 13% of total
bird species of the world (Grimmet et al., 2004), and
more than 60% of Indian birds are found in north-east
India (Choudhury, 2010). North-east India is one of the
most significant biodiversity hotspots of the world and
among the richest bird zones in India because of
convergence of the Indo-Malayan, Indo-Chinese and
Indian biogeographical realms. As a result, it is unique in
providing an abundance of habitats that harbour diverse
biota with a high degree of endemism (Chatterjee et al.,
2006; Narwade et al., 2011). Tripura (2256- 2432 N
and 9110- 9221 E, with an area of 10,490 km
) is a
small state of north-east India bounded by Bangladesh
on three sides and with Assam and Mizoram on the other
side. It lies in the border of Indo-Burma global
biodiversity hotspot area (Myers et al., 2000) but
very poorly covered by ornithological works
(Choudhury, 2010). Although avifaunal checklist for
Tripura state listed 277 species (Choudhury, 2010) but
little is known regarding the bird species found in the
vicinity of Agartala city, situated by international
boundary of Bangladesh.
Agartala city is situated in the western region of
Tripura state with the latitude of 2345' North and
longitude of 9145'

East and an average elevation of
20.36 m above sea level. It is the capital town of Tripura
with a mix of urban and semi urban complex and a rich
green cover. Forests and farms adjoin the town on three
sides, and therefore, it is also called Green City. The
total city area is 62.02 km
and is delimited on the west
side by international boundary with Bangladesh.
Climatic condition is of tropical monsoon type with an
average annual rainfall of 220 cm. Average minimum
and maximum temperature recorded in the region are
6.8C in January and 37.70C in June, respectively.
Present study was carried out in eleven
different sites (viz., College Tilla lake area, Golbazar,
Pratapgarh, Dashamighat, Arundhutinagar, Shanmura,
Bhubanban, Barjala, Jagannath Bari lake area, G B Bazar
and Nandannagar) (Table 1, Figure 1) covering different
sides of Agartala city and its adjacent areas.

The study sites were visited fortnightly
throughout the study period from 2009-2011. Data on
Bhattacharjee et al., 2013
853 Journal of Research in Biology (2013) 3(3): 852-860
Sl. No Sites Coordinates Altitude (m)
1. College Tilla lake area 2349'35.45" N; 9117'42.28" E 17
2. Golbazar 2349'38.30" N ; 9116'57.15" E 16
3. Pratapgarh 2349'08.98" N ; 9117'17.10" E 16
4. Dashamighat 2349'46.34" N ; 9115'51.45" E 16
5. Arundhutinagar 2349'01.44" N ; 9116'21.68" E 31
6. Shanmura 2350'51.98" N ; 9116'07.20" E 15
7. Bhubanban 2351'56.50" N; 9115'73.70" E 21
8. Barjala 2352'05.05" N ; 9116'32.13" E 23
9. Jagannath Bari lake area 2350'05.43" N; 9116'53.70" E 14
10. G B Bazar 2351'33.74" N ; 9117'33.97" E 27
11. Nandannagar 2351'43.68" N ; 9117'57.00" E 28
Table 1: Geo-coordinate details of the study sites
present bird species were collected by direct observations
with the help of binoculars (VISTA LE 8 X 40). Almost
all the species mentioned in the checklist were
photographed. For this purpose, digital cameras of Canon
Power shot SX 200 IS (12 X Digital zoom), Cannon SRL
EOS 50D and Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ 40 were used.
In lake areas birds were observed from the bank,
peripheral areas, and urban areas were surveyed on foot
regularly. Farm and forested areas in the vicinity of the
city were surveyed to record the assemblages of different
bird species. Most of visits were made in morning and
afternoon time when birds are most active. Identification
of birds was based on the field guides produced by Ali
and Ripley (1995), Ali (1996 and 2002) and Grimmett et
al., (2003).
Status of the birds was classified as C-Common,
MC-Most common, NC-Not common, S-Singleton,
W- Winter visitor.

In the present study 73 bird species were
recorded from Agartala city and its adjacent areas
belonging to 41 families and 14 orders (Table 2, Plate 1
and 2). There is no authentic information about the
avifauna of Tripura except that by Blyth (1845, 1846),
Ali and Ripley (1968-74) and International Waterfowl
and Wetlands Research Bureau on Asian Waterfowl
Census, 1989 (Scott and Rose 1989). Majumdar et al.,
(2002) recorded 259 species of birds, belonging to
56 families and 16 orders. Recently Choudhury (2010)
recorded 277 species of birds, in the annotated checklist
from Tripura, but avifaunal diversity of Agartala city is
not yet available. Out of 14 orders. Passeriformes was
found dominant with 22 families followed by
Coraciiformes with 3 families and Pelecaniformes and
Piciformes with 2 families each. Dominance of
Passeriformes was also recorded by Choudhury (2010)
and Majumdar et al., (2002) from the state and from
Nagpur district of central India (Chinchkhede and Kedar,
2012). The resident birds such as Pond heron, Cattle
egret, Lapwing, Blue rock pigeon, Spotted dove,
Parakeets, Asian koel, Kingfisher, Bee eater, Lineated
barbet, Woodpecker, Bush lark, Bulbul, Shrike, Robin,
Tailorbird, Cinereous tit, Sunbird, Sparrow, Starling,
Myna, Oriole, Black drongo and Crow etc were found
regularly throughout the study period. Little Cormorant,
Asian Openbill-Stork, Black headed Ibis, Lesser
Whistling Duck, Crested Serpent Eagle, Red Junglefowl,
Red Collared Dove, Yellow-footed Green Pigeon, Brown
Fish Owl, Asian Palm Swift, Indian Roller, Coppersmith
Barbet, Orange headed Thrush, Blue Rock Thrush,
White-rumped Shama, Scarlet-backed Flower pecker,
Tricoloured Munia etc were found less common in this
study. Common Sandpiper and Black headed Ibis were
observed during the winter season only in the paddy
fields of peripheral areas of the city. Common Hoopoe
Bhattacharjee et al., 2013
Journal of Research in Biology (2013) 3(3): 852-860 854
Figure 1. Showing the study sites in and around Agartala City.

Bhattacharjee et al., 2013
855 Journal of Research in Biology (2013) 3(3): 852-860
Common name Scientific name
IUCN Abundance
Cormorants [Phalacrocoracidae]
1. Little Cormorant Phalacrocorax niger Vieillot, 1817 LC NC
Herons & Egrets [Ardeidae]
2. Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii (Sykes, 1832) LC MC
3. Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis (Linnaeus, 1758) LC MC
4. Median Egret Mesophoyx intermedia (Wagler, 1827) LC C
Storks [Ciconiidae]
5. Asian Openbill-Stork Anastomus oscitans Boddaert, 1783 LC NC
6. Black headed Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus (Latham, 1790) NT W, NC
Ducks [Anatidae]
7. Lesser Whistling Duck Dendrocygna javanica (Horsfield, 1821) LC NC
Hawks & Eagles [Accipitridae]
8. Crested Serpent Eagle Spilornis cheela Latham, 1790 LC NC
9. Black Kite Milvus migrans (Boddaert, 1783) LC C
Pheasants [Phasianidae]
10. Red Junglefowl Gallus gallus (Linnaeus, 1758) LC NC
Rails & Coots [Rallidae]
11. White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus Pennant, 1769 LC C
Lapwings [Charadriidae]
12. Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus (Boddaert, 1783) LC MC
Sandpipers [Scolopacidae]
13. Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos (Linnaeus, 1758) LC W, C
Pigeons & Doves [Columbidae]
14. Blue Rock Pigeon Columba livia Gmelin, 1789 LC MC
15. Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis (Scopoli, 1768) LC MC
16. Red Collared Dove Streptopelia tranquebarica (Hermann, 1804) LC NC
Orange-breasted Green
Treron bicinctus (Jerdon, 1840) LC C
18. Yellow-footed Green Pigeon Treron phoenicoptera (Latham, 1790) LC NC
Parakeets [Psittacidae]
19. Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri (Scopoli, 1769) LC C
20. Red-breasted Parakeet Psittacula alexandri (Linnaeus, 1758) LC C
Cuckoos & Coucals [Cuculidae]
21. Asian Koel Eudynamys scolopaceus (Linnaeus, 1758) LC MC
22. Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis (Stephens, 1815) LC C
Owls [Strigidae]
23. Collared Scops Owl Otus lettia Hodgson, 1836 LC S
24. Spotted Owlet Athene brama (Temminck, 1821) LC C
25. Brown Fish Owl Bubo zeylonensis (Gmelin, 1788) LC NC
Table 2: List of birds in and around Agartala city during 2009-2011
Bhattacharjee et al., 2013
Journal of Research in Biology (2013) 3(3): 852-860 856
Swifts [Apodidae]
26. Asian Palm Swift Cypsiurus balasiensis Gray, 1829 LC NC
27. House Swift Apus affinis (J E Gray, 1830) LC C
Kingfishers [Alcedinidae]
28. Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis (Linnaeus, 1758) LC MC
29. Stork-billed Kingfisher Halcyon capensis (Linnaeus, 1766) LC C
30. White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis (Linnaeus, 1758) LC MC
Bee-eaters [Meropidae]
31. Little Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis Latham, 1802 LC MC
Rollers [Coraciidae]
32. Indian Roller Coracias benghalensis (Linnaeus, 1758) LC NC
Hoopoe [Upupidae]
33. Common Hoopoe Upupa epops Linnaeus, 1758 LC S
Barbets [Capitonidae]
34. Lineated Barbet Megalaima lineata (Vieillot, 1816) LC MC
35. Coppersmith Barbet Megalaima haemacephala Muller, 1776 LC NC
Woodpeckers [Picidae]
36. Rufous Woodpecker Celeus brachyurus (Vieillot, 1818) LC C
37. Greater Flameback Chrysocolaptes lucidus (Scopoli, 1786) LC C
38. Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker Dendrocopos macei (Vieillot, 1818) LC C
Larks [Alaudidae]
39. Singing bush lark Mirafra cantillans Blyth, 1844 LC C
Pipits & Wagtails [Motacillidae]
40. Paddy field Pipit Anthus rufulus Vieillot, 1818 LC C
41. White Wagtail Motacilla alba Linnaeus, 1758 LC W,C
Bulbuls [Pycnonotidae]
42. Red-whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus (Linnaeus, 1758) LC C
43. Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer (Linnaeus, 1766) LC MC
Loras [Irenidae]
44. Common Lora Aegithina tiphia (Linnaeus, 1758) LC C
Shrikes [Laniidae]
45. Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus Linnaeus, 1758 LC W, MC
46. Grey-backed Shrike Lanius tephronotus (Vigors, 1831) LC W, C
Thrushes [Turdidae]
47. Orange headed Thrush Zoothera citrina (Latham, 1790) LC NC
Flycatchers [Muscicapidae]
48. Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius (Linnaeus, 1758) LC NC
49. White-rumped Shama Copsychus malabaricus (Scopoli, 1786) LC NC
50. Oriental Magpie Robin Copsychus saularis (Linnaeus, 1758) LC MC

Bhattacharjee et al., 2013
857 Journal of Research in Biology (2013) 3(3): 852-860
Babblers [Timaliidae]
51. Rufous-necked Laughing-
Garrulax ruficollis (Jardine & Selby, 1838) LC C
Warblers [Sylviidae]
52. Common Tailorbird Orthotomus sutorius (Pennant, 1769) LC MC
Flycatchers [Stenostiridae]
53. Grey-headed Canary-
Culicicapa ceylonensis (Swainson, 1820) LC W, C
Tits [Paridae]
54. Cinereous Tit Parus cinereus Vieillot, 1818 LC MC
Flowerpeckers [Dicaeidae]
55. Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker Dicaeum cruentatum (Linnaeus, 1758) LC NC
Sunbirds [Nectariniidae]
56. Ruby-cheeked Sunbird Anthreptes singalensis (Gmelin, 1788) LC C
57. Purple-rumped Sunbird Nectarinia zeylonica (Linnaeus, 1766) LC C
58. Purple Sunbird Cinnyris asiaticus Latham, 1790 LC MC
White-eyes [Zosteropidae]
59. Oriental White-eye Zosterops palpebrosus (Temminck, 1824) LC C
Munias [Estrildidae]
60. Scaly-breasted Munia Lonchura punctulata (Linnaeus, 1758) LC C
61. Tricoloured Munia Lonchura malacca (Linnaeus, 1766) LC NC
Sparrows [Passerinae]
62. House Sparrow Passer domesticus (Linnaeus, 1758) LC MC
Weavers [Ploceidae]
63. Baya Weaver Ploceus philippinus (Linnaeus, 1766) LC C
Starlings & Mynas [Sturnidae]
64. Chestnut-tailed Starling Sturnus malabaricus (Gmelin, 1789) LC C
65. Asian Pied Starling Gracupica contra (Linnaeus, 1758) LC MC
66. Common Myna Acridotheres tristis (Linnaeus, 1766) LC MC
67. Jungle Myna Acridotheres fuscus (Wagler, 1827) LC MC
Orioles [Oriolidae]
68. Black-hooded Oriole Oriolus xanthornus (Linnaeus, 1758) LC MC
Drongos [Dicruridae]
69. Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus (Vieillot, 1817) LC MC
70. Greater racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus paradiseus Linnaeus, 1766 LC NC
Crows & Treepie [Corvidae]
71. Rufous Treepie Dendrocitta vagabunda (Latham, 1790) LC C
72. House Crow Corvus splendens Vieillot, 1817 LC MC
73. Jungle Crow Corvus macrorhynchos Wagler, 1827 LC MC
Status: LC = least concern; NT = near threatened; C = common; MC = most common; NC = not common;
S = singleton; W = winter visitor.

Bhattacharjee et al., 2013
Journal of Research in Biology (2013) 3(3): 852-860 858
Plate 1. A-Lineated barbet, B-Cattle egret, C-Red-wattled Lapwing, D-Common Hoope, E-Little cormorant,
F-Stripe-breasted woodpecker, G-Rufous woodpecker, H-White throated kingfisher, I-Yellow footed green
pegion, J-Asian open bill stork, K-Chestnut-tailed starling, L-Collared scops owl.
Plate 2: M-Asian Koel, N-Crested serpent eagle, O-Common Tailorbird, P-Cinereous Tit, Q-Emerald dove,
R-Little green bee-eater, S-Grey-baked shrike, T-Indian pond heron, U-Red collared dove, V-White-rumped
shama, W-Singing bush lark, X-Black headed ibis.

and Collared Scops Owl were sighted only once in the
two years study. Brown Shrike, Grey-backed Shrike,
Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher were observed in the
winter season only (Table 2), which corroborates with
the findings of Choudhury (2010) and Majumdar et al.,

The present avifaunal survey of Agartala city and
its adjacent areas revealed 73 bird species which is very
important as it is the first ornithological record of the city
and will give a baseline data for future study. Rich bird
diversity is influenced by the topographical location of
the city and adjacent areas of Bangladesh.
Expansion of the city by construction activities,
reducing forest and farm areas with population pressure,
filling of pond and lake areas, dumping of wastes and
garbage in the low lands, use of chemical pesticides in
agricultural fields and hunting of birds are the major
threats to the avifaunal diversity here which needs proper
conservation management practices.

Authors are thankful to Mr. Dipankar Kishore
Sinha for his constant services, tireless field assistance
and in capturing photographs during the study.

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