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Distribution and Habitat Use of Avian Fauna of Rawalakot City and its Surroundings, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan

PJZ_49_6_2331-2334

 

 

Distribution and Habitat Use of Avian Fauna of Rawalakot City and its Surroundings, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan

Saba Khalid*, Muhammad Saddique Awan, Riaz Aziz Minhas, Nasra Ashraf, Khawaja Basharat Ahmed, Nuzhat Shafi and Sajid Abassi

Department of Zoology, University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan

ABSTRACT

Distribution and habitat use of avian fauna of Rawalakot city and its surrounding was studied from March 2006 to February 2007. The study area is situated in the center of district Poonch. For the convenience of data collection the study area was divided into six study sites; systematic surveys were conducted at each site. Direct sighting and indirect evidences were collected from all these sites. Seventy eight bird species were recorded that belonged to 34 families and 11 orders. Passeriformes was the dominant specie. The habitat destruction due to deforestation, agricultural activities, infrastructure and land sliding and disturbances by the increasing human population were major threats to the avian fauna of Rawalakot.


Article Information

Received 13 March 2015

Revised 23 June 2016

Accepted 03 June 2017

Available online 16 November 2017

Authors’ Contributions

MSA designed the study. SK did field work and RAM and KBA analysed the data. SK, NA, NS and SA wrote the manuscript.

Key words

Avian fauna, Distribution, Habitat use, Habitat preference.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17582/journal.pjz/2017.49.6.sc4

* Corresponding author: saba_ak01@yahoo.com

0030-9923/2017/0006-2331 $ 9.00/0

Copyright 2017 Zoological Society of Pakistan



Azad Jammu and Kashmir is located at the junction of Palaearctic and Oriental region having rich mixed fauna and avian diversity of two geographical regions (Roberts, 1991) as well as the migratory birds of Central and Northern Europe who take the route of Afghanistan, Karakorum range, across river Indus in Pakistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and finally towards India (Ali and Ripley, 1987) to avoid adverse climatic conditions or in search of food but the local people are unaware of the avian role in ecosystems, leads to habitat destruction and hunting of bird species in the area. It is therefore required to document the avian diversity and address the factors that lead to habitat destruction and population decline of bird species in the area. In order to address these issues, the distribution, population status, and habitat preference of avian fauna in Rawalakot city was studied.

 

Materials and methods

The study was conducted at Rawalakot (32° 45’ N to 35° 07’ N and 73° 24’ E to 74° 56’ E), district Poonch, AJ&K (Anonymous, 2002). Topographically Rawalakot is mountainous area at an altitude of 5374 feet, having subtropical climate with pleasant summer and cold winter. The area receives precipitation in the form of rainfall and snow. Mild snowfall occurs almost in all areas of Rawalakot. The area possesses a rich flora, having dominant vegetation species of Olea ferruginea, Ailanthus, Rosa indica and Euphorbia helioscopia. Such diverse habitat provides abode for a variety of bird species.

Bird population surveys (45) were conducted from March 2006 to February 2007. Study area was divided randomly into six localities having the same habitat to cover the maximum area for sampling. During the surveys, direct and indirect methods were used to gather information about the presence of avian fauna. Surveys were usually scheduled in the morning and evening time. Most of the day hours were used to gather indirect evidences. The bird fauna was observed by using Binocular (12X 50X) and identified with the help of available keys (Ali and Ripley, 1983; Roberts, 1991). GPS readings were taken in terms of coordinates and elevation at the points where any evidence was found. Habitat analysis was carried out to assess the flora by using quadrate method (Schemnitz, 1980). Dominance of plant species was calculated on the basis of important value index.

 

Results and discussion

Seventy eight bird species belonging to 34 families were identified (Table I) in forty five surveys. Among these species common myna, common swift, black bulbul, house crow, jungle crow were common. While, kalij pheasant, tree pipit, wagtail, kingfisher, spotted owlet, spotted dove and Indian roller were scarce in numbers. Collared dove was frequently observed during survey. Himalayan tree creeper and red vented bulbul were residential birds of Rawalakot and were observed during all seasons. Observed birds were unevenly distributed in each locality. Mostly, avain abundance was observed in uninhabited areas. The percentage of relative abundance of all the species shows that Passeriformes (83.73%) is the dominant order in the study area followed by Columbiformes (3.40%), Cuculiformes (2.1%), Apodiformes (1.79%), Psittaciformes (1.7%), Coraciiformes (1.32%), Piciformes (0.76%), Upupiformes (0.31%), Ciconiiformes (0.24%) Strigiformes (0.12%) and Galliformes (0.10%). Among plant species Olea ferruginea was dominant in study area followed by Ailanthus altissima, Cannabis sativa, Dalbergia sissoo and Acacia nilotica (Supplementary Fig. 1). Availability of abundant food resources and diverse habitat of Rawalakot city like open area, grass land,

 

Table I.- Bird species recorded in Rawalakot city and its surroundings.

S No. Scientific name Common name

Category residential status

IUCN red list

(CR, EN, VU, NT)*

Protection status in Pakistan

Localstatus

(R, C, F)*

Order Galliformes

Family Phasianidae

   
1 Lophuraleucomelanos Kalij pheasant

Resident

LC

 

R

Oredr Piciformes

 

 

Family Picidae

 

 

2 Dendrocoposhimalayensis Himalayan woodpecker

Resident

LC

 

C

Order Upupiformes

 

 

Family Upupidae

 

 

3 Upupaepops Common hoopoe

Resident

LC

 

C

 
Order Coraciiformes

 

 

Family Coraciidae

 

 

4 Coraciasbenghalensis Indian roller

Resident

LC

 

R

Family Alcedinidae

 

 

5 Alcedoatthis Common king fisher

Resident

LC

 

R

6 Halcyon smyrnensis White breasted Kingfisher

Resident

LC

 

R

Family Cerylidae

 

 

7 Cerylerudis Pied kingfisher

Resident

LC

 

R

Order Cuculiformes

 

 

Family Cuculidae

 

 

8 Cuculusvarius Common Hawk cuckoo

Resident

LC

 

R

9 Clamatorjacobinus Pied cuckoo

Resident

LC

 

R

10 Eudynamysscolopaceus Asian Koel

Resident

LC

 

C

Order Psittaciformes

 

 

Family Psittaculidae

 

 

11 Psittaculaeupatria Alexandrine parakeet

Resident

LC

 

C

12 Psittaculakrameri Rose ringed parakeet

Resident

LC

 

C

Order Apodiformes

 

 

Family Apodidae

 

 

13 Apusapus Common swift

Resident

LC

 

C

14 Apusaffinis House swift

Resident

LC

 

C

Order Strigiformes

 

 

Family Strigidae

 

 

15 Bubo bubo Eurasion eagle owl

Resident

LC

 

C

16 Athenebrama Spotted owlet

Resident

LC

 

C

Order Columbiformes

Family Columbidae

17

Columba livia

Rock pigeon

Resident

LC

 

C

18

Columba leuconota

Snow pigeon

Resident

LC

 

C

19

Columba palumbus

Common wood pigeon

Resident

LC

 

C

20

Streptopeliadecaocto

Collard dove

Resident

LC

 

C

21

Streptopeliaorientalis

Oriental turtle dove

Resident

LC

 

C

22

Streptopeliachinensis

Spotted dove

Resident

LC

 

C

S No.

Scientific name

Common name

 

 

Category residential status

IUCN red list

(CR, EN, VU, NT)*

Prote ction status in Paki stan

Local status

(R, C, F)*

Order Falconiformes

 

 

Family Falconidae

 

 

23 Falco tinnunculus Common kestrel

Resident

LC

 

R

Order Passeriformes

 

 

Family Laniidae

 

 

24 Laniusschach Rufous-tailed shrike

Resident

LC

 

C

25 Laniusexcubitor Great grey shrike

Resident

LC

 

C

26 Laniusvittatus Bay backed shrike

Resident

LC

 

C

Family Corvidae

27 Urocissaflavirostris Yellow billed blue magpie

Resident

LC

 

C

28 Dendrocittavagabunda Rufoustreepie

Resident

LC

 

C

29 Corvussplendens House crow

Resident

LC

 

C

30 Corvusmacrorhynchos Jungle crow

Resident

LC

 

C

Family Dicruridae

31 Dicrurusmacrocercus Black drango

Resident

LC

 

C

Family Rhipiduridae

32 Rhipiduraalbicollis White throated fantail

Resident

LC

 

C

Family Strunidea

33 Acridotherestristis Common myna

Resident

LC

 

C

34 Acridotheresginginianus Bank myna

Resident

LC

 

C

Family Passeridae

35 Passer domesticus House sparrow

Resident

LC

 

C

36 Passer hispaniolensis Spanish sparrow

Resident

LC

 

C

37 Passer rutilans Russet sparrow

Resident

LC

 

C

Family Estrildidae

38 Amandavaamandava Red avadavat

Resident

LC

 

C

39 Lonchurapunctulata Spotted munia

Resident

LC

 

C

Family Fringillidae

40 Carduelisspinoides Himalayan green finch

Resident

LC

 

C

41 Carduelisflavirostris Twite

Resident

LC

 

C

42 Carpodacuserythrinus Common rose finch

Resident

LC

 

C

Family Emberizidae

43 Emberizaleucocephalos Pine bunting

Resident

LC

 

C

44 Emberizastewarti White-capped bunting

Resident

LC

 

C

45 Emberizacia Rock bunting

Resident

LC

 

C

46 Emberizapusilla Little bunting

Resident

LC

 

C

Family Hirundinidae

47 Hirundorustica Common swallow

Resident

LC

 

C

48 Hirundodaurica Red ramped swallow

Resident

LC

 

C

Family Motacillidae

49 Motacilla alba White wagtail

Resident

LC

 

C

50 Motacillamaderaspatensis Large pied wagtail

Resident

LC

 

C

51 Motocillacitreola Yellow headed-wagtail

Resident

LC

 

C

52 Motacillaflava Yellow wagtail

Resident

LC

 

C

53 Anthustrivialis Tree pipit

Resident

LC

 

C

Family Campephagidae

54

Pericrocotusflammeus

Scarlet minivet

Resident

LC

 

C

55

Pycnonotusleucogenys

Himalayan bulbul

Resident

LC

 

C

56

Pycnonotuscafer

Red vented bulbul

Resident

LC

 

C

57

Hypsipetesleucocephalus

Black bulbul

Resident

LC

 

C

Family Irenidae

58

Chloropsisaurifrons

Golden fronted leaf bird

Resident

LC

 

C

Family Turdidae

59

Enicurusleschenaulti

Leschenaults forktail

Resident

VU

 

C

S No. Scientific name Common name

Category residential status

IUCN red list

(CR, EN, VU, NT)*

Protection status in Pakistan

Locals tatus

(R, C, F)*

60 Enicurusscouleri Little forktail

Resident

LC

 

C

61 Saxicolatorquata Common stone chat

Resident

LC

 

C

62 Saxicolaferrea Dark grey bush chat

Resident

LC

 

C

63 Saxicolacaprata Pied bush chat

Resident

LC

 

C

Family Sittidae

64 Sittacastanea Chestnut-bellied Nutchatch

Resident

LC

 

C

Family Paridae

65 Parus major Great Tit

Resident

LC

 

C

Family Certhiidae

66 Certhiahimalayana Himalayan tree creeper

Resident

LC

 

C

Family Zosteropidea

67 Zosteropspalpebrosus Oriental white-eye

Resident

LC

 

C

Family Oriolidae

68 Oriolusoriolus Golden Oriole

Resident

LC

 

C

Family Phylloscopidae

69 Phylloscopusaffinis Tickell's leaf warbler

Resident

LC

 

C

70

Phylloscopusxanthoschistos

Grey hooded warbler

Resident

LC

 

C

Family Cisticolidae

71 Priniacrinigera striated prinia

Resident

LC

 

C

Family Muscicapidae

72 Cyornistickelliae Salty-blue flycatcher

Resident

LC

 

C

73 Saxicolaleucurus Stone chat

Resident

LC

 

C

74

Saxicoloidesfulicatus

Indian robin

Resident

LC

 

C

75 Ficedulasuperciliaris Ultramarine flycatcher

Resident

LC

 

C

76 Eumyiasthalassinus Verditer fly catcher

Resident

LC

 

C

77 Muscicapasibirica Sooty fly catcher

Resident

LC

 

C

Family Monarchidae

 

78 Terpsiphone paradise Indian paradise flycatcher

Resident

LC

 

C

LC, least concern; VU, vulnerable; R, rare; C, common.

 

forest and cultivated (maize and wheat) area prop up species richness (Ashkenazi and Dimentman, 1998). Similarly, integration of species habitat contributes to a better understanding of species resource requirements for suitable management program on year-round basis (Hoffman et al., 1996).

Rawalakot provide large mosaic habitats for avian fauna and provides nesting, breeding, foraging, and roosting sites. Any disturbance (grass cutting, wood collection and insecticidal spray) in and around the roost sites especially, during the breeding seasons should be restricted.

 

Supplementary material

There is supplementary material associated with this article. Access the material online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.17582/journal.pjz/2017.49.6.sc4

 

Statement of conflict of interest

Authors have declared no conflict of interest.

 

References

Ali, S. and Ripley, S.D., 1987. Birds of India and Pakistan, 2nd ed. Oxford University Press, pp. 223-669.

Ali, S. and Ripley, S.D., 1983. Handbook of the birds of India and Pakistan. Oxford University Press, Delhi.

Anonymous, 2002. Azad Kashmir at a glance. Statistics section, Planning and Development, Azad Govt. of State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Ashkenazi, S. and Dimentman, C., 1998. Wetlands Ecol. Manage., 6: 169-187. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1008488607329

Hoffman, L., Hafner, H. and Salathe, T., 1996. Colonial Water Birds, 19: 12-30. https://doi.org/10.2307/1521942

Mckinney, M.L., 2002. Bioscience, 52: 883-890. https://doi.org/10.1641/0006-3568(2002)052[0883:UBAC]2.0.CO;2

Roberts, T.J., 1991. The birds of Pakistan. Non Passeriformes. Oxford University Press, Karachi, pp. 558.

Schmnitz, S.D., 1980. Wildlife management techniques manual, 4th edition, revised. The Wildlife Society Inc., Washington, pp. 113-126.

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