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Title of Thesis

Afsar Mian
Institute/University/Department Details
University of the Punjab, Lahore
Number of Pages
Keywords (Extracted from title, table of contents and abstract of thesis)
Houbara Bustard, Chiamydotis Unduiata macqueenii, Baluchistan, Pakistan, migration, habitat, associated fauna, feeding, populations, breeding

The present study was undertaken to collect basic data on migration, habitat, associated fauna, feeding, populations, breeding and general behaviour of the Asian race of the Houbara (Chiamydotis undulate macqueenii) in Baluchistan. The study was also aimed at providing a sound biological basis for future species conservation programmes

Preliminary studies on migration suggest that the species generally has an autumn and spring migration from/ to the northern latitudes of USSR and Afghanistan, along the same south-north routes. The bird appears to walk during migration with shorter flights.

The phytoecological analysis of the bustard habitat suggests a substantial diversity in the vegetative composition of different tracts (91 species, relative uniformity of each stand area, 25 vegetative communities identified),

Physical habitat requirements of the Houbara suggest the species can be present in 6 different habitat divisions, but requires some degree of loose soil background

There are 61 species of birds/mammals distributed in Bustard habitat, but few are associated with the Houbara. The Houbara has no direct food competitor and no natural predator, except for the human hunting and livestock.

Analysis of the stomach contents shows that the species depends upon beetles, ants and tender foliage of at least 23 plant species, with seasonal variations in the food consumed. Animal matter gradually increased in its proportion of the food contents from early to mid and late winters (25. 3% to 31. 4% and 57. 6%, respectively). Insect species consumed tend to reflect their availability in the area. The animal appears to be opportunist feeder, depending on food in proportion to its availability.

Behavioural observations suggest that the bird selects plants which have some degree of tender green foliage/fleshy parts. The tender leaves have higher water and protein contents than other plant materials. Water from dew accumulated on these tender leaves also provides additional source of water for this species, which very seldom drinks otherwise.

The analysis of food habits suggests that the species is placed at a trophic level so that it derives its food from three different levels.

Available data suggest the distribution of wintering population of the species over some 75,000 sq. km, with and overall density of 0.1239 birds/sq. km. during 1986-87 winters.

The population of the bird wintering in Baluchistan appears to show a rapid decline from and estimated 22,000 €... 1983-84, to 20,000 (1984-85), 15,000 (1985-86) and 10,000 (1986-87). The population was estimated at 8,000 bird during 1987-88 wintering season.

The population decline appears to be direction associated with the number of the birds killed during different years. The 1983-84 population levels (22,000)€.. only be achieved by a complete ban strictly imposed for 15 years. Under the practical conditions a ban on foreign hunting has to be imposed for 20 years to achieve the same end.

Breeding activities are distributed over a wide area. Initial observations suggest that though certain degree of variations exist between years, yet some 100 bird pairs breed in southern highlands, western kharan and northern chagai. Preliminary observations suggest that the bird breeds at altitudes above 600 m. Soils in the breeding tracts are categorized as loose sandy with some degree of stabilization and a layer of dispersed grey stones, with a general vegetative cover of 6-10%, scattered both in the depressions as will as general tracts. Breeding extends from February through late April (earlier than reported from northern latitudes). Nesting occurs on bare ground and clutch size is 2-3 eggs.

Basic studies on day rest/night roosting suggest that the bird limits its activities during parts of the clock when ambient conditions are unfavourable. Varied reactions have been recorded to human disturbances, falcons, cold and human settlements.

Sanctuary area development, hunting regulations, public educational programme and international research are recommended s immediate measures for priority conservation and management if this species is to be maintained even at current levels

Download Full Thesis
3026.14 KB
S. No. Chapter Title of the Chapters Page Size (KB)
1 0 contents
216.83 KB
2 1 introduction 1
138.04 KB
3 2 review Of Literature 14
152.64 KB
  2.1 migration
  2.2 habitat
  2.3 food
  2.4 population Biology
  2.5 breeding
  2.6 behaviour
4 3 study Area 34
90.63 KB
  3.1 geography
  3.2 climate
  3.3 soil
  3.4 flora
  3.5 fauna
  3.6 human Eploitation
  3.7 socio-Ecological Changes
5 4 material And Methods 45
176.67 KB
  4.1 establishment Of Stands
  4.2 population Density
  4.3 migration
  4.4 habitat
  4.5 food And Feeding
  4.6 population Biology
  4.7 breeding Biology
  4.8 behaviou
  4.9 statistical Analysis
6 5 results 71
787.7 KB
  5.1 movement And Migration Patterns
  5.2 habitat
  5.3 food And Feeding
  5.4 population Dynamics
  5.5 breading Biology And Behaviour
  5.6 general Behaviour
7 6 discussion 160
515.19 KB
  6.1 migration And Migratory Patterns
  6.2 habitat
  6.3 food And Feeding Behaviour
  6.4 population Dynamics
  6.5 breeding
  6.6 general Behaviour
8 7 implications For Population Management 231
179.29 KB
  7.1 ecoligical Position
  7.2 ecological Amplitude
  7.3 desert Adaptations
  7.4 survival Potentials
  7.5 pr4esent Stresses
  7.6 future Threats
  7.7 management Requirements
  7.8 management Strategy
9 8 references 252
723.27 KB
  8.1 appendices 274
  8.2 annexures 300