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Birds of Nannaj, Maharashtra: Shrinking Grasslands Study



  May 31, 2024

Birds of Nannaj, Maharashtra: Shrinking Grasslands Study



Q1: What specialist birds are declining in the Nannaj grasslands?
A1: The specialist birds declining in the Nannaj grasslands include the great Indian bustard, red-necked falcon, and great grey shrike.

Q2: Why has the great Indian bustard lost its seasonality in Nannaj?
A2: The great Indian bustard has lost its seasonality due to near-local extinction, which is consistent with country-wide population declines.

Q3: What are the main causes of habitat loss in the Nannaj grasslands?
A3: The main causes of habitat loss include excessive grazing, lack of protection for grasslands, urban development, agricultural expansion, and renewable energy projects.

Q4: What conservation approach is recommended for the Nannaj grasslands?
A4: Community-led management involving pastoralists is recommended for the conservation of grasslands in Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Q5: What did the 13-year study in Nannaj reveal about bird species trends?
A5: The study revealed that while smaller-bodied generalist species showed stability or increases, large-bodied specialist birds like the great Indian bustard showed strong declines.

Q6: What makes up the landscape of the Nannaj grasslands?
A6: The Nannaj grasslands are part of a landscape that includes afforested woodland plots, human settlements, private and public grazing lands, and agricultural fields.

Q7: Why are grassland birds considered good indicators of ecosystem health?
A7: Grassland birds are good indicators of ecosystem health because they are ground-nesters highly sensitive to habitat changes.

Q8: How does agricultural activity impact grassland bird populations?
A8: Low-intensity agro-pastoral lands can supplement protected areas in conserving grassland species, but intensive agricultural activities can lead to declines in bird populations.

Q9: How do excessive grazing and fires affect grassland regeneration?
A9: Excessive grazing and frequent fires hinder the regeneration of diverse grass species, necessitating controlled fires and the creation of firelines to protect grassland patches.

Q10: What future efforts are needed for grassland conservation?
A10: Future efforts should focus on targeted restoration of native grasslands and considering the ecological impacts of renewable energy projects on these habitats.

Q11: What policy changes are needed to support pastoralists and conservation?
A11: Policies need to differentiate pastoralists from farmers to align conservation needs with sustainable livelihoods, promoting community-led management of grasslands.



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