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Breeding Ecology of Chukor Partridge (Alectoris chukar) in Lower Dir District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Breeding Ecology of Chukor Partridge (Alectoris chukar) in Lower Dir District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Tariq Mahmood1,*, Ijaz Ahmad1, Faraz Akrim1, Abdul Hamid1, Muhammad Waseem1, Abid Hussain1 and Muhammad Sajid Nadeem2

1Department of Wildlife Management, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi
2Department of Zoology, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi

*     Corresponding author: tariqjanjua75@uaar.edu.pk

 

ABSTRACT

The Chukor or Chukar Partridge (Alectoris chukar) is a game bird of family Phasianidae. In Pakistan it occurs in a wide range of rough, sloping and dry regions rising to the higher foothill valleys of the internal Himalayan ranges and western Himalayas and plains, Balochistan, and dry hillsides of the Punjab and Sindh. It is the “National Bird” of Pakistan, however, very little is known about its ecology and breeding in its native range in the north of the country. The present study investigated breeding ecology of the bird in its native range of Lower Dir district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province from September 2016 to August 2017. Results show that breeding season of the species starts from February: peak breeding months being March and April, during which frequent breeding calls were heard. The calling frequency ranged from 0.15 per minute to 0.3 per minute. Six active nests of Chukor were found at five different sampling sites; nest location was mostly on sloping areas under sanatha Dodonaea viscosa shrubs. Nesting material consisted of dry leaves of annual grass Poa annua, small twigs of bushes and downy feathers. The depth of nest ranged between 5-10 cm. Clutch size ranged from 8-20 eggs while the incubation period was found to be 22-24 days. Hatching success was up to 85% (range 75 to 85%) in different nests. The dense vegetation consisting of Dodonaea viscosa and Poa annua provided shelter, cover and abundant supply of insects to the chicks. The study concludes that the breeding season of Chukor partridge in Dir Lower starts from February and lasts up to July, with successful nesting, egg laying and hatching.
 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

August

Vol. 51, Iss. 4, Pages 1203-1598

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