Pakistan Research Repository Home

Title of Thesis

Haroon Rashid
Institute/University/Department Details
Department of Zoology University of the Punjab, Lahore
Number of Pages
Keywords (Extracted from title, table of contents and abstract of thesis)
HOUBARA BUSTARD, CHLAMYDOTIS UNDULATE MACQUEENII, breeding, pairing, courtship, copulation, nest site, nesting, oviposition, nesting behaviour, incubation

The breeding season of Houbara bustard starts in February/March, with the occupation of territories after their arrival in the breeding grounds followed by a chain of events like pairing, courtship and copulation, selection of nest site and nesting, oviposition, nesting behaviour, incubation and finally brooding and rearing of chicks.

Houbara utilizes varied habitats and in the present study, six habitats with distinct vegetation cover were identified. Houbara was distributed throughout the available habitat. The food plants forming bulk of Houbara diet were preferred in the distribution range. The estimated mean population density calculated was found to be 0.0395 birds/sq km in 1998, 0.0616 in 1999, 0.0568 in 2000 and 0.0611 in 2001. Density assessed was somewhat low from the minimum sustainability: The birds showed no significant preference for a particular habitat with unique set of ecological condition. Population was uniformly distributed in the gravel sand, sandy clay, sandy desert and sandy streambed; whereas an aggregated distribution was observed on rocky surface and cultivated fields.

The birds displayed in February/March. Nesting occurred in March/April followed by the chicks in April/May. Twenty three nests were observed. An average length of the nests was 13.2±1.57 cm with an average width 10.2±1.38 cm. The probable number of Houbara eggs recoded during the survey was 48, an average clutch size of 2.09 ±0.06. Length of two eggs was 61 mm and 62 mm with diameter 43.4 mm and 44 mm respectively. The former weighted 46.3 g and the latter 54.17 g. The information available on 8 broods with I week to 4 weeks old chicks suggested an average brood size of 1.5 in the Nag Valley. On an average 0.59 chicks were predated or died before fledging. The approximate fledging period of Houbara chicks estimated to be ranging from 35 to 40 days. The reproduction potential has declined to a great extent compared with that recorded a decade back probably because of collection of eggs/chicks of Houbara by the Saudi Teams. agriculture escalation and other land use changes. often exacerbated by hunting and trapping.

Efforts to reintroduce Houbara have been made for six consecutive years 1997-2002. During this period 161-t.-birds were released in Punjab. 191 in Sindh (wintering grounds) while 132 were released in the Nag Valley, Balochistan (breeding grounds). In the Nag Valley 22/132 birds were harnessed with the transmitters. The results indicate that the survival of the released birds was not very encouraging due to predation. Foxes were the main predator in the Houbara habitat in the Nag Valley.

Because of the marked difference between wild and captive conditions, the survival of the released birds from captivity is suspected due to lack of prey-predator association. However, if we consider the problems and difficulties to be faced, and the resources required for reintroduction programs then it may be considered a partial success. It will be possible to release groups of Houbara in their breeding grounds to establish populations under natural conditions. A strong protection measures coupled with a public education program is needed after release to ensure survival.

Download Full Thesis
29446.21 KB
S. No. Chapter Title of the Chapters Page Size (KB)
1 0 Contents
2959.95 KB
2 1 Physico-Phytological Habitat Supporting Houbara Breeding Population 10
8018.53 KB
  1.1 Introduction 10
  1.2 Materials and methods 11
  1.3 Results 14
  1.4 Discussion 34
3 2 Breeding Biology 41
8323.95 KB
  2.1 Introduction 42
  2.2 Materials and methods 42
  2.3 Results 43
  2.4 Discussion 64
4 3 Reintroduction of houbara bustard 78
4449.18 KB
  3.1 Introduction 78
  3.2 Materials and methods 80
  3.3 Results 82
  3.4 Discussion 93
5 4 Factors affecting breeding and recommendations to augment the species in their breeding grounds in Pakistan 99
4264.31 KB
  4.1 Factors limiting the breeding success 99
  4.2 Recommendation to augment Houbara 104
6 5 References 120
1415.27 KB