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Durham e-Theses
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Studies of Himalayan pheasants in Nepal with reference to their conservation

Lelliott, Anthony D. (1981) Studies of Himalayan pheasants in Nepal with reference to their conservation. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The Blood Pheasant Ithaginis cruentus, Satyr Tragopan Tragopan Satyra, Koklass Pheasant Pucrasia macrolopha, and Himalayan Monal Lophophurus impeyanus, were studied for seven months in the South Annapurna region, North of Pokhara, Nepal, in 1979 and 1980. Study was concentrated in the Pipar area, between 3000m and 4000m altitude, where population densities were estimated by counting the numbers of calling males (Tragopan and Koklass), and by Direct Counts of birds (Blood Pheasant and Monal). Population densities ranged from 2.5 t o 4.8 pairs per km for the first three species, and although a slight decline was noted in the 1980 densities, the populations were considered to be quite healthy. An assessment of the habit at preferences of each species was made, which showed that these overlapped considerably. Diet and feeding behaviour were studied and compared with observations made by previous workers. All species showed overlapping food preferences, but these were different in detail. Aspects of the behaviour of each species were studied, including protective behaviour, daily activities, breeding behaviour, and vocalizations. The latter were tape recorded, analysed sonagraphically, and most are described here in detail. The male Tragopan and Koklass were observed to make dawn challenge calls; the function of these and the calls of the other species are discussed. Observations made on breeding biology and territoriality were compared with those in the literature and are also discussed. A fifth species, the Cheer Pheasant Catreus wallichii, was sought for in the Athhazar Parbat region, North-west of Pokhara, Nepal. A small population was located in 1980, and observations were made on these for four days in May. The Cheer is included in the relevant sections along with the other four species. A study of human influence on all the species was undertaken, which included the effects of livestock herds, hunting, burning, and forest clearance. In the South Anna puma region, pressure on the pheasants was not considered to be too great at present, but it is thought likely to increase in the near future. The status of the study species is considered and recommendations for their conservationare made. These include the setting up of a reserve, regulations for hunting, forest production and pastoralism, and recommendations for education and research.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Science
Thesis Date:1981
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:16 Jul 2013 10:53

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