Assessment of raptor migration and status along the Tsangpo-Brahmaputra  corridor (India) by a local communities participatory survey


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A raptor survey based on local knowledge was undertaken in 45 villages along Siang River valley, a part of Tsangpo-Brahmaputra corridor in Arunachal Pradesh, India during summer and autumn in 1999 and a comprehensive list of raptors of the area was prepared. The list was prepared involving the local people through systematic questionnaire using participatory processes. Elders and knowledgeable persons of the villages were involved in the process to get the best baseline information on raptors of the study area. The questionnaire was designed to address the status of raptors, their habitat use patterns, and migratory habits. The results were then compared with recent studies made by different experts from the region. Most survey records and previously documented data were found to be similar to each other, suggesting reliability of local knowledge. The study is a model for similar local-population-based research either for gap analysis, rapid environmental assessment or in areas where there is limitation for exclusive study and need for immediate effective conservation measures. We suggest to undertake a systematic survey and monitoring to confirm the presence of those species which were uncertain in the local knowledge. This research shows the importance of local participation, community involvement, and traditional knowledge in raptor conservation.