Birds as Bioindicators of Traditional Weather Forecasting among the Sumi Tribe of Nagaland, India

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Alino Sumi


Aims: This study was undertaken to document the birds that act as bioindicators of weather forecasting among the Sumi tribe of Nagaland, India.

Study Design: The study was carried out using a qualitative design.

Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out in 4 villages of the Zunheboto district- Shiyepu, Sukhalu, Natha old and Natha new. It was conducted for a period of 2 years, i.e., 2016-2018.

Methodology: Convenient and snowball sampling were used. Information was gathered from 200 respondents, through In-depth interviews and focus group discussions, targeting elders (women and men) above 40 years of age. The respondents included elders, farmers, hunters, folk tellers and bards who also shared their stories from different events of observation and decades of experience. Questionnaires were prepared and administered by the researcher while a topic guide was also used for the focus group discussions.

Results: The study listed few birds and their significance in weather prediction by the Sumi tribe of Nagaland, India. The singing of cuckoo (Cuculidae) means it is time to start sowing seeds in the fields; possibility of rainfall through the singing of partridge (Perdix perdix); flight of yellow-throated laughing thrust (Garrulax galbanus) indicating fair weather or rain/storm; migration of Amur Falcon (Falco amurensis) to Nagaland indicating the coming of colder season; prediction of floods through the height of birds’ nest- long-tailed wren babbler (Spelaeornis chocolatinus) and rusty-capped fulvetta (Alcippe dubia) and onset of warmer season (rainy season)  through the abundance of sparrows (Passeridae); the perching behaviour of grey-crowned warbler (Seicercus tephrocephalus) and  bamboo partridge (Bambusicola fytchii) predicting fair or adverse weather and the behaviour of domesticated chickens (Gallus gallus) searching for food during rain means the rainfall will continue.

Birds, bioindicators, traditional weather forecasting, Sumi, Nagaland

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How to Cite
Sumi, A. (2018). Birds as Bioindicators of Traditional Weather Forecasting among the Sumi Tribe of Nagaland, India. Asian Journal of Environment & Ecology, 7(4), 1-7.
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