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Sīta Road, Pakistan

Chaudhry M.J.I.,WWF Pakistan | Chaudhry M.J.I.,Quaid-i-Azam University | Ogada D.L.,Quaid-i-Azam University | Malik R.N.,Peregrine Fund | And 2 more authors.
Bird Conservation International | Year: 2012

The cliff-nesting Long-billed Vulture Gyps indicus is one of four critically endangered Asian Vultures. In India, this species has declined catastrophically, but in Pakistan only small population declines have been recorded. Mortality of this species has been linked to poisoning by veterinary diclofenac, which was banned throughout south Asia in 2006. Between 2003 and 2012 we measured abundance of adult, sub-adult, juvenile, and dead vultures, and nest occupancy and productivity at the largest known Long-billed Vulture colony in Pakistan. We compared population parameters from before (2003-2006) and after (2007-2012) the ban on veterinary diclofenac. Our data and models indicate that vulture abundance, nest occupancy, and nest productivity declined 61%, 73%, and 95%, respectively, in the three years before the diclofenac ban, and then increased 1-2 years after the ban by 55%, 52%, and 95%. Furthermore, we observed 87% of total vulture mortalities prior to the diclofenac ban. Our results demonstrate for the first time since the onset of the Asian vulture crisis that the ban on veterinary diclofenac is an effective management tool for reversing Long-billed Vulture population declines. © 2011 BirdLife International.

Gul S.,Government of Pakistan | Moazzam M.,WWF Pakistan | Morandini A.C.,University of Sao Paulo
Check List | Year: 2015

This report presents the occurrence of two species of crowned jellyfish, Cephea coerulea and Netrostoma setouchianum, recorded for the first time from waters off the coast of Pakistan in the northern Arabian Sea. Diagnosis of the genera Cephea and Netrostoma are provided. We also provide simple keys for the identification of cepheid genera. We found that long filaments on mouth arms in Cephea easily distinguish it from Netrostoma, which has no such filaments. © 2015 Check List and Authors.

Mebert K.,Siebeneichenstrasse 31 | Masroor R.,Pakistan Museum of Natural History | Chaudhry M.J.I.,WWF Pakistan
Pakistan Journal of Zoology | Year: 2013

Based on the recent rediscovery of a dice snake (Natrix tessellata) in the Karakoram mountains of north-central Pakistan (western Karakoram) and the only other records from northwestern Pakistan we utilize contemporaneous information on the ecology of N. tessellata and climate fluctuations during the Holocene to analyze its limited distribution to a few mountain valleys. We elaborate several plausible expansion routes from a glacial refugium in northern Afghanistan through the Hindu Kush Mountain Range into Pakistan and the western Karakoram. The apparent range restriction of N. tessellata to the mountains of northern Pakistan is discussed in regards to postglacial expansion speed and routes, available period during the Holocene, habitat requirement, competition with another semi-aquatic water snake, Xenochrophis piscator, and potential misidentification with the latter species. Copyright 2013 Zoological Society of Pakistan.

Arshad M.,WWF Pakistan | Malik R.N.,Quaid-i-Azam University | Saqib Z.,International Islamic University, Islamabad
Pakistan Journal of Botany | Year: 2013

Since the recognition of Chitral Gol as a National Park, there has been no vegetation assessment of the area, particularly in context of the habitat of Kashmir markhor (Capra falconeri cashmiriensis). Therefore, the present study is a first ever attempt to elaborate the vegetation of Park as habitat of Kashmir markhor using multivariate statistical methods. The vegetation abundance data was systematically collected from the park area on a grid with 200m vertical and 400m horizontal spacing, resulting in 252 nested sampled plots for each of the tree (10m×10m), shrub (4m×4m) and herbaceous layers (1m×1m). The data were analyzed for possible natural grouping using TWINSPAN classification analysis that resulted in 4 vegetation communities viz., (i) Prangos pabularia Hypericum perforatum Rosa macrophylla community, (ii) Cedrus deodara Pinus gerardiana Rosa macrophylla community, (iii) Quercus baloot Sophora mollis Artemisia fragrans community and (iv) Artemisia fragrans Agrostis canina Iris hookeriana community. The ordination using Detrended correspondence analysis and regressing its scores with primary topographic attributes revealed that the altitude, (p<0.0001), aspect (p<0.05) and slope (p<0.05) have strong impact on the distribution of vegetation distribution in the park. These communities possess a diverse range of plant species and are variously utilized by Kashmir markhor as summer habitat (i), lambing season (ii) and winter habitat (iii, iv).

Awan M.N.,Himalayan Nature Conservation Foundation HNCF | Ali H.,WWF Pakistan | Lee D.C.,University of South Wales
Forktail | Year: 2012

Salkhala Game Reserve (SGR) in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, lies within an Important Bird Area (IBA) of the Western Himalayas Endemic Bird Area. The conservation status of the reserve and its birds is poorly known due to political instability in the disputed territory of Kashmir and the relative remoteness of the site. The findings of a bird survey undertaken from May 2007 to April 2008 are documented here. In total, 101 species were recorded including 45 resident species, 48 breeding migrants and six winter migrants. There were significant records of the globally threatened Western Tragopan Tragopan melanocephalus, the Near Threatened Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus and European Roller Coracias garrulus, and the restricted-range Kashmir Nuthatch Sitta cashmirensis and Spectacled Finch Callacanthis burtoni. Kashmir Flycatcher Ficedula subrubra and Cheer Pheasant Catreus wallichi were not recorded in the IBA, with the latter species now possibly locally extirpated. An annotated checklist of the species recorded is presented along with measures of relative abundance. Habitat fragmentation, degradation and clearance through the collection of fuel and timber, forest fire, livestock grazing, collection of non-timber forest products and unsustainable use of pastures are the major threats to the wildlife of SGR. These conservation issues are discussed briefly along with recommendations for the future management of the reserve.

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