About project

Very little is known about harrier migration within the Indian subcontinent which is one of their critical wintering quarters. This project aims to document their migration and ecology across many parts of India.

The Harrier Watch Project

Conservation of migratory species wintering over vast and diffuse areas requires a good understanding of habitats available, across countries and continents.The project will try to understand the migratory patterns of harriers in the wintering grounds in India and follow it up along its migratory route to central Asia by collecting information through satellite telemetry, survey of the grasslands, habitat analysis and soliciting information from individuals familiar with the species.

Usage of information from citizen science initiatives such as the India Biodiversity Portal, e-bird, questionnaires and other resources to record harrier occurrence over the subcontinent to get a better idea about the spatial and temporal movement of the birds is also planned.

The important factor that makes harriers differ from other large grassland birds is the size of habitat required. They may be commonly seen in large open areas but they require compact roosting sites that can be as small as 1 ha.These small grassland areas apart from the larger ones are critical and identification of such ‘small’ grasslands is possible through this project.Once identified, these will be selected for regular systematic monitoring. A detailed study on the wintering ecology of the species across few selected sites over the entire wintering period is also planned.

The project is being implemented by the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), Bangalore, under the guidance of Dr.T.Ganesh. People interested in volunteering or reporting can write to harrier@atree.org

ATREE is a research institution in the areas of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. ATREE’s focus is on applied science through research, education and action that influences policy and practice on conservation of nature, management of natural resources, and sustainable development.