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Zoological Research
Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
ISSN: 2095-8137
Vol. 35, No. 4, 2014, pp. 338-345
Bioline Code: zr14041
Full paper language: English
Document type: Report
Document available free of charge

Zoological Research, Vol. 35, No. 4, 2014, pp. 338-345

 en Population survey and conservation assessment of the globally threatened cheer pheasant ( Catreus wallichi check for this species in other resources ) in Jhelum Valley, Azad Kashmir, Pakistan
AWAN, Muhammad Naeem; ALI, Hassan & LEE, David Charles

Abstract

The cheer pheasant Catreus wallichi check for this species in other resources is a globally threatened species that inhabits the western Himalayas. Though it is well established that the species is threatened and its numbers declining, updated definitive estimates are lacking, so in 2011, we conducted a survey to assess the density, population size, and threats to the species in Jhelum valley, Azad Kashmir, which holds the largest known population of cheer pheasants in Pakistan. We conducted dawn call count surveys at 17 points clustered in three survey zones of the valley, 11 of which had earlier been used for a 2002-2003 survey of the birds. Over the course of our survey, 113 birds were recorded. Mean density of cheer pheasant in the valley was estimated at 11.8±6.47 pairs per km2, with significant differences in terms of both counts and estimated density of cheer were significantly different across the three survey zones, with the highest in the Chinari region and the lowest, that is the area with no recorded sightings of the pheasants, in Gari Doppata. The total breeding population of cheer pheasants is estimated to be some 2 490 pairs, though this does not consider the actual area of occupancy in the study area. On the whole, more cheer pheasants were recorded in this survey than from the same points in 2002-2003, indicating some success in population growth. Unfortunately, increasing human settlement, fires, livestock grazing, hunting, and the collection of non-timber forest products continue to threaten the population of cheer in the Jhelum valley. To mitigate these potential impacts, some degree of site protection should be required for the conservation of cheer pheasants in Pakistan, and more effective monitoring of the species is clearly needed.

Keywords
Abundance; Habitat analysis; Cheer Pheasant; Jhelum valley; Pakistan

 
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