Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Data on rainforest birds from line transect surveys in the Kalakad - Mundathurai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu, India

Citation

Raman, T. R. Shankar (2022), Data on rainforest birds from line transect surveys in the Kalakad - Mundathurai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu, India, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.0gb5mkm3n

Abstract

This dataset contains data on rainforest bird communities collected along line transects in Kalakad - Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu, India, as part of doctoral research leading up to the following thesis:
Raman, T. R. S. 2001. Community ecology and conservation of mid-elevation tropical rainforest bird communities in the southern Western Ghats, India. PhD thesis, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

Part of the data (from transects T2 and T3, in particular) was used in the following publication:
Raman, T. R. S. 2003. Assessment of census techniques for inter-specific comparisons of tropical rainforest bird densities. Ibis 145: 9-21. http://doi.org/10.1046/j.1474-919X.2003.00105.x

The Raman (2003) publication also uses bird point count data (from T2 and T3) available in a related dataset:  
Raman, T. R. S.,  Mudappa, D., Jeganathan, P., Joshi, N. V., Sukumar, R. 2022. Data on bird communities and vegetation in relation to altitude and habitat alteration in the Kalakad - Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu, India. Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.41ns1rngj

GEOGRAPHICAL AREA: Kalakad-Mundathurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR), 895 km² sanctuary located between 8°25′ to 8°53′ N and 77°10′ to 77°35′ E in Tamil Nadu state in the Western Ghats mountain range of India.

TAXONOMIC SCOPE: Birds, mammals

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: I am grateful to P. Pavithra for help with data entry and compilation.

Methods

Bird data are from 600 m long line transect surveys surveyed typically in about 60 min duration in the early morning hours. The methods for bird sampling are as described in Raman (2003) and in this doctoral thesis:

Raman, T. R. S. 2001. Community ecology and conservation of mid-elevation tropical rainforest bird communities in the southern Western Ghats, India. PhD thesis, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

All transects were censused during the first 3 h after sunrise when bird activity was highest in the area (unpublished data). The 600-m-long transect was walked in about 1 h, at a slow, uniform pace. All birds seen (perched or flying under the canopy) or heard were recorded as to species, number (wherever possible) and perpendicular distance in the following metre classes: 0–5, 5–10, 10–15, 15–20, 20–30, 30–50 and 50–100. The further distance classes were wider to minimize errors in distance estimation (verified using a range finder whenever possible).

Usage Notes

Besides the README.TXT file, this dataset contains the following 3 comma-delimited text files with data in columns as explained below.

01_transectlocations.csv
This file contains details of transect in mature rainforests and plantations and plantation-forest edges
Transect: Unique ID number or name of a 600 m long line transect
LatitudeN: Approximate latitude in decimal degrees North of the midpoint of the transect
LongitudeE: Approximate longitude in decimal degrees East of the midpoint of the transect
LocationDetails: Description of location

02_transectbirds.csv
This file contains the data on birds from 5 minute variable radius point count surveys
Transect: Unique ID number or name of a 600 m long line transect
Date: Date of survey of the specified line transect
StartTime: Start time of the transect (transects were supposed to be of 60 min duration in morning hours)
EndTime: End time of the transect (transects were supposed to be of 60 min duration in morning hours)
Startweather: Weather at the start of the transect
Endweather: Weather at the end of the transect
Time: Specific time of observation
Species_old: Old common name of the bird species
Species: English common name (India) of the bird species as used in the Ebird India portal in 2022
BirdMamm: Category indicating Bird or Mammal
Flock: Category indicating whether the observation of that species was of a detection (1 or more birds detected as indicated in the next column) or a flock of birds (a flock of more than 1 individual was present but could not be counted and is just recorded as 1 in the next column)
Number: Number of individuals detected
PD: Perpendicular distance of the detected bird from the transect line in the following distance classes in metres: 0-5; 5-10, 10-15, 15-20; 20-30; 30-40; 40-50; 50-100; Note that for mammals the following distance classes in metres were also used: 0-10 and 10-20; NA = not available
HSF: Code indicating H = heard; S = seen; F = flying under the canopy (UC) or less than 5 m over the canopy (OC)
Location: 25 m segment location within transect line. Most transects started at A1 and had points marked every 25 m in 100 m chunks: A1...A4, B1...B4, ... upto F1...F4, after which it ended with X at the 600 m point. Alphabet codes varied on longer trails or where transects did not begin at A1.
LR: Portion within 25 m segment and side of transect where bird was observed. L = left; R = right; BL = bottom left; BR = bottom right; ML = mid left; MR = mid right; TL = top left; TR = top right  
Remarks: notes and remarks; (includes some codes: *: in mixed species flock; T: total count of number of individuals;  diff/DIFF/DF: different detection from conspecific; detected on the same point; GP: flock; CC: counter-calling individuals)
MHP: Whether the bird was in a mixed hunting party or mixed species flock (Y = yes; N = no)

03_birdnames.csv
This file contains bird species codes and matching common and scientific names
Species_old: Old common name used for the bird species
Species: English common name (India) of the bird species as used in the Ebird India portal in 2022.
ScientificName: Scientific name of bird species (following the Clements classification) as used in the Ebird India portal (https://ebird.org/india)

Funding

Ministry of Environment and Forests

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation