Birds of Brahmaputra
The Brahmaputra River is a biodiversity hotspot with a unique ecosystem that has received little attention. It is one of the few rivers in the world to have a riverine dolphin, the Gangetic River Dolphin and a very rare riverine shark, the Ganges Shark. Aside from the diverse range of fishes and mammals found in this river system, it is home to many endemic species of birds like the Swamp Grass Babbler, Marsh Babbler, Black-breasted Parrotbill and the Bengal Florican.
Because of increased human pressure and unsustainable agricultural practises along river banks and "char-chaporis"(river islands), the populations of most of these bird species have become highly fragmented. Furthermore, during the winters, the same areas serve as non-breeding grounds for a large number of migratory birds, many of which are threatened species. Every year, the dynamic changes that occur destroy and create new habitats. But, riverine grasslands play a critical role in slowing erosion. The river banks and char-chaporis are home to a variety of grasses and plants from the genus Saccharum, Typha, Tamarix, and others. Many of these grasses are used for nest making by grassland specialist birds. Grasslands are ploughed down or burned to make way for agriculture.
While common birds adapt well, many grassland endemics flee to find suitable habitats away from agricultural patches.