R J Ranjit Daniels
Articles written in Journal of Biosciences
Volume 19 Issue 4 October 1994 pp 503-509
Landscape ecology as a discipline in science is rather young. However its principles appear promising in outlining conservation strategies including a wide range of organisms, particularly birds. Birds due to their mobility use a variety of environmental resources, especially habitats. However, currently these habitats are only available in patches over most of the tropical world. Further whatever is left is under constant human pressure. This paper, therefore, addresses this problem and suggests means of dealing with it using the landscape approach as outlined by landscape ecology.
The landscape approach starts with the realization that patches of habitats are open and interact with one another. Corridors of trees along roads, hedgerows and canals in a landscape can aid in the movement of species. Hence the landscape approach considers patches of habitats as interacting elements in the large matrix of the landscape. The landscape approach also integrates concepts. It puts together often debated issues such as whether to preserve maximum species diversity, to maximize representativeness, or to preserve only the valuable species. Based on a case study of the Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka, these oft-opposing views and complications can be dealt with practically and synthesized into a conservation strategy for the diverse avifauna of the Western Ghats.