Conservation of the White-Naped Tit and its thorn forest habitat in the southern Aravali hill range
The White-naped Tit (Parus nuchalis) is vulnerable in status and endemic to the southern Aravalis. Forest fragmentation and competition for nest holes has led to a decline in its population. The species is a secondary hole-nester dependent on the primary hole nester of the tropical thorn forest - the Yellow Crowned Woodpecker (Dendrocopos mahrattensis).
A project on 'Conservation of the White-Naped Tit and its thorn forest habitat in the southern Aravali hill range' is being implemented in parts of southern Rajasthan and northern Gujarat.
The project is set out to assess the present population status of the White-Naped Tit and its habitat in the region, identify threats and conservation issues, create awareness of the same among local communities residing in its distribution range, and arrive at conservation strategies with an active involvement of stakeholders in the conservation action. The project also involves an experimental assessment of the use of artificial nest boxes that are intended to reduce hole-nest competition and ensure long term survival of the species.
As part of the project, 50 nest boxes have already been installed during the breeding season, for observations on breeding preference and nest hole competition. Seven pairs of White-naped Tits used the nest boxes. Brahminy myna (Sturnus pagodarum), Fivestriped Palm Squirrel (Funambulus pennantii), Indian Bush Rat (Golunda ellioti) and an ant were recorded as competitors.
Rufford Small Grants Foundation