Santhivanam (10.131, 76.241) and its surroundings is a veritable and unique habitat which require an explicit conservation strategy because it is one of the remnants of the low land coastal evergreen ecosystem in the State. The avian diversity of the area is myriad and varied as explained by the various studies or surveys undertaken by Ornithologists and Birdwatchers*. Bird Surveys by Thanal during 2012-14, Kerala Bird Atlas survey during August 2016 and February 2017 and studies by the Cochin Natural History Society in April 2019, returns a total of 138 species, out of which Three species are Western Ghats Endemics; Eight species belongs to the Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972; and Two are Near Threatened (NT) as per the IUCN documents.
Nilgiri Thrush (Scaly Thrush) is an endemic bird of the Evergreen forests of the Western Ghats. A resident, but an uncommon bird which usually seen in Evergreen forests above 600 meters. The presence of this bird in Santhivanam shows the ecological importance of this patch of forest.
A few of the rare birds documented from Santhivanam. Clock-wise from top left: Rufous Woodpecker, Eurasian Hoopoe, Grey-bellied Cuckoo, Scaly-breasted Munia, Indian Pitta, Orange-headed Thrush, Interestingly, the location of Santhivanam was within a cell (cell number 61,4,3 NF) of the Kerala Bird Atlas survey. Kerala Bird Atlas is an ambitious citizen science project, to map the distribution and abundance of birds of an entire Indian state for the first time, undertaken by the Bird Count India during 2017.
Dr. Dilip K.G. & Manoj P.G.
Cochin Natural History Society
- * Raju Sankaran and Rajasree V, Thanal, 2012-14.
- Premchand Raghuvaran, Polly Kalamasssery, Mukundan Kizhakkemadom
and Puneet Dhar, Kerala Bird Atlas,
- Dilip K.G. and Manoj P. G.
- Chins Chandran, Photo documentation, 18/02/2017, 28/12/2017, 10/01/2018
- Locus Map app
- Sasikumar C. et.al., Birds of Kerala – Status and Distribution, Kottayam, DC
Books, 2011, p.566.