ECOLOGICAL STUDIES OF AVIFAUNA IN THE NALTAR VALLEY, NORTHERN PAKISTAN WITH A CONSERVATION PERSPECTIVE

Kashif M., Sheikh (1900) ECOLOGICAL STUDIES OF AVIFAUNA IN THE NALTAR VALLEY, NORTHERN PAKISTAN WITH A CONSERVATION PERSPECTIVE. Doctoral thesis, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad.

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Abstract

Mountains around the world and especially in Asia are one of the relatively less explored regions for their biodiversity and conservation wealth. At many platforms and discussions these Asian highlands have been declared as data deficient on biodiversity. The present study was conducted in the Naltar Valley of Northern mountainside of Pakistan, which stands within north-western Karakorum Range. This and the surrounding mountain area in this region have been on low investigation/ records in the past and no consistent and reliable data is available on the species ecology especially avian ecology and its environment. Aim of the present study is to investigate the natural environment of the area with focus on the avian biodiversity and their environment studying their habitat requirements, breeding biology and its interaction with other components of the local environment. The field investigations were carried out between 1996-1998 and the detailed experimentation/ observations were carried out in the study area. Quantitative data on the habitats use and aspects of breeding biology of the species were gathered. The data is further put to statistical measures through manual as well as computer software on biodiversity assessment and valuation i.e. BIODIV. Bird species habitat preferences and diversity indices have been calculated. Other aspects of the biodiversity are also studied throwing some light on their current trends with a detailed account on the floral biodiversity issues. The study and actualization of conservation perspectives of the biodiversity follow this exercise. Many factors of the human communities living/ visiting/ managing in this remote mountain area have been surveyed extensively to gather the social data. Conservation perspectives have further been utilized to describe management implications on the potential future research and management initiatives. The field investigation were followed by data analysis and its interpretation in Pakistan and Germany, leading to the formulation of a GIS-based Vegetation Map of the study area that explains the overall habitat situation, and other natural and man-made settlements. The overall bird species occurrences have been presented in particular. A total of 100 bird species have been recorded which is so far the highest number from this area. This number is mostly dominated by the Passeriformes, represented by a variety of warblers, buntings, finches and tits. Detailed study on the bird diversity of 8 most commonly occurring species provided newest information on the use of habitats by various birds, habitat preferences and with latest details on the breeding secrets of a few species especially buntings and warblers. The breeding biology of chosen eight species has revealed that there is considerable new information on the data regarding body mass increase, clutch and time to fledge. Some of these species seems to have changed their habitat use and extended their breeding range. The presence of some endemic and five Red Data Book avian species has also been detected. Some new records of the species have also been made which are the first ones from the valley and this area. The concept of species life is discussed in detail. Floral diversity studied gives useful information on the uses and commercial importance of 157 plant species. Many plant species having a to-date herbal homeopathic medicinal importance has also been studied. Many threats are occurring to the wild flora caused by extensive human activities. The exercise on the conservation and development issues provides an up to date knowledge on the crucial but puzzling real life situations that are further studied to favor the possible management options for the area. The upland serves as the resource areas for the lowlands in many different ways. Their deterioration cause damages to lowlands in many short and long term ways. The study area still supports a good refuge and breeding ground for a variety of avian and other plant & animal species that should be conserved before the huge detrimental effects of the upland destruction causes environmental problems at local and distant level.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: avifauna, naltar valley, biodiversity, avian ecology, passeriformes
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Muhammad Khan Khan
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2016 06:26
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2016 06:26
URI: http://eprints.hec.gov.pk/id/eprint/2328

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