Chinese Birds
Chinese Birds 2010, 1(1) 9-21 DOI:   10.5122/cbirds.2009.0017  ISSN: 1674-7674 CN: 11-5870/Q

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Keywords
Nilgiri Wood Pigeon
Columba elphinstonii
foraging ecology
Western Ghats
India
Authors
Sellamuthu Somasundaram
Lalitha Vijayan
PubMed
Article by Sellamuthu Somasundaram
Article by Lalitha Vijayan

Foraging ecology of the globally threatened Nilgiri Wood Pigeon (Columba elphinstonii) in the Western Ghats, India

Sellamuthu SOMASUNDARAM 1,2,*, Lalitha VIJAYAN 1

1 Division of Conservation Ecology, Salim Ali Center for Ornithology and Natural History, Anaikatty, Coimbatore 641 108, India
2 Gujarat Institute of Desert Ecology, Post Box No. 83, Opp. Changleswar Temple, Mundra Road, Bhuj - Kuchch 370 001, India

Abstract

Foraging ecology of the globally endangered Nilgiri Wood Pigeon (Columba elphinstonii) was investigated in the Western Ghats, India, using faecal sampling and direct observations. The birds fed on fruits of 39 plant species, on seeds of 11 species, flowers and leaf buds of four species and a few ground invertebrates. Direct observations across seasons showed nine plant species were selected more often (47% of observations), with fruits of the members of the family Lauraceae the most preferred. Gleaning accounted for 76% of feeding methods throughout the year. Feeding was mainly from twigs at the edges on the upper and middle canopy (> 6 m). Frequency of feeding on fruits correlated significantly with fruit abundance, which depended on rainfall. The present study indicates that the pigeon requires a wide variety of diets from different forest environments. Conservation of this species depends on preserving all habitat types required to meet their resource needs throughout the year.

Keywords Nilgiri Wood Pigeon   Columba elphinstonii   foraging ecology   Western Ghats   India  
Received  Revised  Online:  
DOI: 10.5122/cbirds.2009.0017

Fund: This study was conducted as a part of a project on endemic birds in the Western Ghats, funded by the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India (23–1/2001–RE).

Corresponding Authors: Sellamuthu SOMASUNDARAM,Division of Conservation Ecology, Salim Ali Center for Ornithology and Natural History, Anaikatty, Coimbatore 641 108, India; Gujarat Institute of Desert Ecology, Post Box No
Email: nssomasundaram@gmail.com
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