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Habitat Ecology and Breeding Performance of Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) in Faisalabad, Pakistan

Habitat Ecology and Breeding Performance of Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) in Faisalabad, Pakistan

Muhammad Abdullah1,*, Rashid A. khan2, Muhammad Rafay3, Tanveer Hussain3, Tahira Ruby4,Fariha Rehman5, Sangam Khalil3 and Sohail Akhtar6

1Cholistan Institute of Desert Studies, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Bahawalpur, Pakistan
2Department of Forestry and Range Management, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan
3Department of Forestry, Range and Wildlife Management, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Bahawalpur, Pakistan
4Department of Life Sciences, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Bahawalpur, Pakistan
5Department of Environmental Sciences, COMSATS Institute of Information and Technology, Vehari Campus, Pakistan
6Department of Entomology, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Bahawalpur, Pakistan

*      Corresponding author: abdullahfrw@gmail.com

ABSTRACT

Cattle egret is considered as biological insect pest control agent in our agricultural ecosystem. To analyze this activity present work was planned to collect the preliminary information about habitat requirements and different breeding aspects of Cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis). The fieldwork was performed for two years (2012, 2013) at three different stations in the surrounding area of Faisalabad. Based on results it was concluded that Cattle egrets are colonial breeders and colonies were monospecific with no other ardeidae members nesting in the neighborhood. They prefer sites for nest building, which have regular accessibility of water, and usual human activities are common nearby. The breeding period was discerned to be start from April to August and Acacia nilotica was observed as most preferred tree for nesting followed by Syzygium cuminii. At three selected sites, 30 nests from each were marked and regularly monitored to get data on nesting behavior (nest height and diameter), birds plumage variations, courtship behavior, eggs measurements (clutch size, eggs length, breadth and weight), incubation and hatching. The hatching of the chicks was observed to be an asynchronous one i.e., chicks did not hatch at the same time but at an interval of a day (20-25 h). Role of parents during weaning period i.e. feeding and parental care of nestlings was performed by both partners. It may be said that Cattle egret is an insectivorous bird and take food from the agricultural fields in surroundings of study sites. Therefore, an awareness program about the beneficial status of Cattle egret in agro-ecosystem is recommended to protect and promote their habitats from anthropogenic activities.
 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology (Associated Journals)

October

Vol. 49, Iss. 5, Pages 1547-1936

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