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A study on non-breeding ecology and habitat selection of Kashmir flycatcher in Sri Lanka

BirdLife International (2001) stated that the Kashmir flycatcher (Ficedula subrubra) is a globally vulnerable species. It has a very restricted distribution and is generally confined to north western Himalayas, namely to the side valleys of Kashmir and the Pir Panjal range between the elevations of 1800 to 2400m. It is considered that the majority winters in Sri Lanka with small numbers recently discovered wintering in the Nilgiri hills of southern India. And it has been recorded sparingly in Nepal, Bhutan and across much of India on migration.

Kashmir flycatcher

This species visits to montane forests of the hill zone of central Sri Lanka from October to March . There is little recent information on the population of this species from the summer breeding grounds in north western Himalayas. There is some evidence that it may have declined in its non-breeding range in Sri Lanka as well.

 The habitat degradation and disturbance in breeding and wintering grounds is a serious threat to the long term survival of this species. Therefore it is unlikely that it currently numbers more than a few thousand individuals. So there is a critical need to confirm the wintering status and also to study the ecology and behavior to aid the conservation and management of this species.

Narmadha Dangampola has  started the first conservation research on Kashmir Flycatcher of its non-breeding ground, studying its habitat selection and migrant and mixed-species flock habitat associations within multiuse landscapes. Her research is supervised by Pro Sarath Kotagama and she is working with FOGSl to achieve the project goals. The project is funded by  METI Inc. (Management and Engineering Technologies International Inc.) and USFS-IP (US Forest Service International Programs)

 The field work will be conducted within forest reserves, buffer regions at the edges consisting of degraded forest or plantations and intensive agricultural landscapes including home gardens. Forest reserves include the protected areas falling under The Department of Wildlife Conservation; Hakgala Strict Nature Reserve, Horton Plains National Park, Galways Land National Park and Peak Wilderness Sanctuary and the areas governed by The Department of Forest Conservation at Knuckles Conservation Range and Sinharaja Rain Forest-Morningside.

Taking biometric measurement

Narmadha Dangampola