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Habitat Suitability Modelling of Kalij Pheasant (Lophura leucomelanos) in Mirpur Division, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan

Habitat Suitability Modelling of Kalij Pheasant (Lophura leucomelanos) in Mirpur Division, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan

Muhammad Furqan1*, Zulfiqar Ali1, Muhammad Mudassar Shahzad2, Rida Ahmad1, Faraz Akrim3, Imad-ul-Din Zangi4

1Environmental Health and Wildlife Laboratory, Institute of Zoology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan
2Department of Zoology, Division of Science and Technology, University of Education Lahore, Pakistan
3Department of Zoology, University of Kotli, Kotli, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan
4Department of Wildlife Management, Pir Mehar Ali Shah, Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Pakistan
 
* Corresponding author: furqanzoologist@gmail.com

ABSTRACT

Kalij pheasant Lophura leucomelanos is habitat indicator and the information about its habitat characteristics and suitability is lacking. In the current study, presence of kalij pheasant was recorded from 166 sites of Mirpur Division Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan. The maximum abundance was recorded at Gaian site (2.33/ha). Estimation of Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) from 166 sites revealed that ten sites fell under the category of highly suitable habitat based on parameters including water, food, vegetation, disturbance, hunting and predation pressure. Kalij pheasant was distributed between 381-1689m (asl) elevation. Species presence data along with GIS database were used to model the habitat suitability of kalij pheasant through MaxEnt software, version 3.4.4. The model showed an average Area Under the Curve value (AUC) (0.802), showing the model precision for suitable habitat mapping. The analysis for the contribution of environmental variables through Jackknife test showed that temperature was the prime environmental variable. Results revealed that out of total, 4388 km2, 406.03 km2 area was calculated to be highly suitable for kalij pheasant. Identification of hotspots and potential habitats for kalij pheasant can be considered as an important initiative to conserve the species.

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

February

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

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