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Population Dynamics of Cheer Pheasant (Catreus wallichii) in Jhelum Valley, Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir, Pakistan

Keywords: Population , cheer pheasant , jhelum valley , azad kashmir , Pakistan

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Abstract:

A sum of 28 surveys were conducted from June 2002 to June 2003 in three main zones (Pir Chinasi, Lowasi-Ghari Dopatta and Chinari-Qazinag) of Jhelum valley Muzaffarabad to collect data on distribution and population status of Cheer Pheasant (Catreus wallichii). The three main zones were divided into 8 main localities, each main locality was further divided into sub-localities or calling sites of Cheer Pheasant. A cumulative total of 194 adults in 2002 and 126 in 2003 were estimated in two breeding seasons. The density indices show one calling site in Low Gali (0.05 km2), three in Kavashan (0.75 km2), four in Pir Chinasi (1.33 km2), four in Garang (1.6 km2), four in Cheetah, seven in Sangar Bari (1.75 km2), three in Shinger (1.5 km2) and two in Khatir Nar (0.80 km2). During present study the no. of calling sites and density indices at various areas showed that maximum value of density index i.e. 1.75 km-2 recorded at Sangar Bari and minimum value of 0.50 km-2 at Low Gali. By documenting the direct and indirect evidences i.e. Call Counts, fresh ground clutching, feathers, foot prints, shepherds (n=10), locals (n=8), hunters (n=5) and wildlife staff (n=5) the total adult population in these two localities is 36 and 8 birds, respectively. T-test shows that there is no significant difference (0.71790) between the means of adults Cheer population estimated in 2002 and 2003 breeding season. The major threats to the cheer pheasant population were determined to be hunting and habitat degradation due to human related activities.

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