January 8, 2024
Shifting Habitats: Impact of Rising Temperatures on Bird Species in Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary
Exploring the Sanctuary’s Unique Ecosystem
- Nestled in the Himalayan foothills of West Kameng District, Arunachal Pradesh, lies the Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, a protected haven teeming with biodiversity. Its expansive landscape, spanning altitudes from 500 meters to 3,250 meters, creates a diverse habitat for a multitude of species.
- Geographical Adjacencies: This sanctuary shares its borders with the Sessa Orchid Sanctuary to the northeast and the Pakhui Tiger Reserve, separated by the Kameng River to the east.
- Rich Avian Diversity: With over 500 species of birds calling it home, Eaglenest has gained recognition as a prominent birding site. Its accessibility, coupled with the extraordinary variety of bird species, has made it a magnet for bird enthusiasts.
- Unique Flora and Fauna: The sanctuary’s terrain is a mosaic of temperate cloud forests interspersed with bamboo thickets and broadleaved evergreen forests, transitioning to conifers and rhododendrons at higher elevations. This diverse flora sustains a range of wildlife, including capped langurs, Bengal tigers, Asian elephants, red pandas, Asiatic black bears, Arunachal macaques, and gaurs.
Climate Impact on Avian Migration
- Recent findings by researchers from the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, have unveiled a concerning trend. Rising temperatures in the sanctuary have prompted a notable shift in the habitats of many bird species towards higher elevations. This migration is believed to be a response to the changing climate, indicating the adaptive nature of these avian communities.
Significance and Conservation Efforts
- Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary’s ecological significance as part of the Eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspot cannot be overstated. Its inclusion in the Kameng Elephant Reserve underscores its importance in preserving not only avian life but also the diverse fauna and flora that call it home.
- Efforts to monitor and comprehend these habitat shifts are crucial in devising conservation strategies to safeguard the delicate balance of this unique ecosystem. Understanding how climate change affects these habitats and species is vital for informed conservation initiatives.
- Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary stands as a testament to the intricate relationship between climate, habitat, and wildlife. The recent findings emphasizing bird species’ migration due to rising temperatures serve as a reminder of the pressing need for proactive conservation measures to preserve the rich biodiversity of this sanctuary amidst a changing climate landscape.