Scientific Journal of the BirdLife Hungary

A Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület tudományos folyóirata

Ornis Hungarica. vol.30(1). (2022) p.97-112.

Sacred green spaces in semi-urban areas sustain more birds than its adjacent areas: A study from lower Gangetic plains, West Bengal, India
Antara Sarkar & Subhendu Mazumdar

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With rapid urban expansion and flourishing real estate sector, remaining green patches in many sub-urban/peri-urban areas are facing immense threat and/or being destroyed. We therefore, explored the avian abundance and richness of green spaces around temples (sacred sites) and compared them with adjoining green spaces without religious places (control sites). The species richness and abundance in sacred sites (12.16 ± 0.65 species; 25.54 ± 1.176 individuals) was significantly higher than control sites (6.31 ± 0.77 species; 20.04 ± 1.4 individuals). The compositions of avian communities of sacred sites were significantly different and the presence of temple positively influenced the species richness. GLMM also revealed that the species richness was positively influenced by the distance to building and tree cover area and not influenced by distance to road, areas of water body, bare land. Our findings indicate that the green spaces around the sacred places have greater avian diversity in semi-urban areas, and could be prioritized for the conservation of avian diversity. Generating local support could be relatively easier due to traditional, religious and/or cultural belief against tree felling around the places of worship.