Note:  Programme Coordinator, InWEnt - Capacity Building International, Germany, South Asia Regional Office, 21, Jor Bagh, New Delhi - 110 003 India, Email [email protected]
Abstract: For sustainability of urban areas, urban ecosystem management must integrate biodiversity conservation in the planning process. While it is an established practice to set aside areas for conservation, it is also critical to continuously monitor urban areas using suitable indicators. The need for monitoring environmental changes at local levels assumes greater significance in light of the predicted impacts of climate change on ecosystems and biodiversity. Birds serve as useful indicators for monitoring biodiversity at the ecosystem-community level. The impacts of global climate change on bird populations can be observed and monitored. This paper focuses on the urban area of Delhi, based on previous studies and work during 2008–09. Between 2006 and 2008, there occurred a general decline in the abundance and frequency of bird species, except for the common myna, house crow, and rock pigeon. The most striking feature is the change in relative density of occurrence of the rock pigeon. Delhi’s vegetation has a predominance of exotic species, with limited shrub and herb cover. The paper proposes to initiate conservation action to maintain urban biodiversity under three levels—within greenspaces, at the landscape level, and at the policy level.