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Relative Abundance of Mammalian Fauna of Chitral Gol National Park, Pakistan

Relative Abundance of Mammalian Fauna of Chitral Gol National Park, Pakistan

Muhammad Younis1, Sami Ullah1, Fathul Bari1, Muhammad Asif2, Muhammad Ilyas2, Mahvish Rauf2, Ejaz Ur Rehman3, Rubina Noor4, Muhammad Arif4 and Muhammad Ali Nawaz5*

1Wildlife and Ecosystem Research Lab, Department of Zoology, University of Chitral, KPK, Pakistan. 
2Carnivore Conservation Lab, Department of Zoology, Quaid-I-Azam University, Islamabad
3Snow Leopard Foundation, Islamabad, Pakistan
4Directorate of National Parks, Wildlife Department Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
5Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Qatar University, Doha Qatar
 
* Corresponding author: nawazma@gmail.com

ABSTRACT

Chitral Gol National Park (CGNP) harbors a large number of mammals. However, population size, estimated density or any other ecological parameter is not available for those species except annual census counts for markhor Capra falconeri. Management and conservation efforts are assessed by using relative abundance estimates. The current study aimed to estimate relative abundance of mammalian fauna of CGNP. During the current study, 30 camera traps (motion triggered camera (Reconyx™) with infrared flash were deployed for a period of 47 days. The survey resulted in 1052 functional trap nights obtaining 5906 photographs. Results of the study show that large carnivores like common leopard, grey wolf, Himalayan lynx are present in the National Park. Snow leopard which used to be a symbol of fame for the National Park was not detected in the current study. Among other meso-carnivores golden jackal, leopard cat and red fox were also captured at different stations while small mammals included stone marten, Kashmir flying squirrel, Himalayan wood mouse, and golden marmot. Relative abundance of markhor (RAI= 49.631), cape hare (RAI= 23.832) and red fox (RAI= 6.879) were found to be higher as compared to other species. Relative abundance of other mammals like common leopard, leopard cat, grey wolf, golden marmot and Himalayan wood mouse was lower than one. Overall, 13 mammal species were recorded during the study whereas some of the previously reported species were not detected. This may probably be due to single season survey; conducting a multi-season camera trapping and targeting all different types of microhabitats is recommended for future studies.

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

December

Vol. 54, Iss. 6, Pages 2501-3000

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