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Field Validation of Avian Diversity at Uchalli Wetland Complex: A Ramsar Site in Khushab, Pakistan

Field Validation of Avian Diversity at Uchalli Wetland Complex: A Ramsar Site in Khushab, Pakistan

Adeel Kazam1, Safdar Sidra2, Zulfiqar Ali1*, Rida Ahmad1,3, Ahmad Bilal1 and Aliza Batool1,3

1Institute of Zoology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan
2Department of Wildlife and Ecology, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan
3Department of Zoology, Lahore College for Women University, Lahore, Pakistan
 
* Corresponding author: zali.zool@pu.edu.pk

ABSTRACT

Wetlands are one of the major habitats that play a vital role in the survival of biodiversity. The recent study aimed to evaluate diversity, abundance and threats to birds of an important Ramsar site, Uchalli Wetland Complex, along with Ahmedabad lake. Data were collected by direct (point count) as well as indirect method (interviews) from December 2020 to May 2021. In total, 139 avian species of 27,450 individuals were recorded at study sites. Results revealed that the species richness was maximum at Uchalli (133), followed by Khabbaki (92), Jahlar (88), and Ahmedabad lake (79). The Shannon Weiner index and Simpson index values for Jahlar lake, Uchalli lake, Khabbaki lake, and Ahmedabad lake were (2.99, 0.90), (2.32, 0.82), (2.26, 0.66) and (1.72, 0.51) respectively. The omnivore was the most abundant (40%) feeding guild followed by carnivores (32%) and insectivores (20%). Four vulnerable species sarus crane (Grus antigone), southern grey shrike (Lanius excubitor), imperial eagle (Aquila heliaca), and common pochard (Aythya ferina), four near-threatened species ferruginous pochard (Aythya nyroca), northern lapwing (Vanellus vanellus), alexandrine parakeet (Psittacula eupatria), and pallid harrier (Circus macrourus), and one endangered species steppe eagle (Aquila nipalensis) were observed during the study. These species require special attention for conservation as illegal hunting is one of the major threats to the species in the study area. Other threats include fishing, use of insecticides and pesticides.

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

February

Pakistan J. Zool., Vol. 56, Iss. 1, pp. 01-501

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