Muhammad Altaf (2008-VA-725)

Assessment Of Avian And Mammalian Diversity At Selected Sites Along River Chenab - 2016. - 156p.;

The River Chenab is an important wetland of Punjab province and the tree plantations around the
river are the part of tropical thorn forest. But as a consequence of deforestation much of the
natural forested areas have been turned to agricultural land. The main objective of study was to
assess the avian and mammalian diversity of the study area; to identify and assess anthropogenic
impacts on avian and mammalian diversity of the study area; and to explore the level of humanwildlife
conflict selected sites of river Chenab i.e. district Sialkot, district Gujrat and district
Gujranwala from May, 2013 through April. Surveys were made during dawn (5:00 am to 8:00
am) and dusk (4:00 pm to 7:00 pm).
During the waterfowl study recorded 51 species belonging to 33 genera, 16 families and 8 orders
were recorded from the study area. Throughout the year a total of 2531 birds from recorded from
head Marala, 2026 from the head Khanki and 2230 from head Qadirabad. Diversity indices were
analyzed through statistical software PAST version 2.17 C. The Shannon-Weiner diversity index
at head Marala was 2.62, at head Khanki it was 2.64 while at head Qadirabad it was 2.78. It can
be concluded from the present study that the River Chenab is waterfowl rich and should be
declared as protected site for waterfowls.
The study area was divided into different habitat types on the basis of vegetation and
urbanization and was designated as forest habitat (FH), wetland habitat (WLH), rural forest
habitat (RFH), agriculture habitat (AH), agriculture rural habitat (ARH), urban non vegetative
habitat (UNVH) and urban vegetative habitat (UVH). A linear count method was applied and
data was collected through direct and indirect observations. Habitat preference of the birds varied
f declined from forested habitats to the urban landscapes. It can be concluded from the study that
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many of the avian species are habitat specific and the connection/corridors between similar
habitat types might be fruitful for the conservation of avian species.
The anthropogenic impacts and habitat preferences of mammalian species along river Chenab,
Pakistan was also assessed the mammalian diversity was recorded along forested landscapes,
cultivated plantations, semi-urban and urban areas. The data on diversity and distribution of
various mammalian species was collected through point count method viz. direct observation
(personal count and record voices) and indirect observation (presences of carcasses, fecal pellet,
pug marks and meeting with local communities). The habitat preferences of large, medium and
small mammals varied significantly. A decline in mammalian diversity was observed from forest
habitat to urban landscapes. Indian wild boar, Asiatic jackal, Indian fox, jungle cat, Indian
pangolin and long eared desert hedgehog preferred forested areas as well as slightly modified
habitats while Northern palm squirrel, house mouse, house shrew and rat species preferred
human habitations. Similarly, few species such as the small Indian mongoose, Soft-furred field
rat, short tailed mole rat, Asiatic jackal and Indian gerbil preferred cultivated areas. It can be
concluded that many of the mammalian species are habitat specific and corridors and
connections between different landscapes are important for the conservation of mammalian
diversity.
Medicinal and cultural significance of avian species along the River Chenab were assessed
through Relative Popularity Level (RPL) and Rank Order Priority (ROP). One hundred and nine
persons were interviewed and data regarding socio-economic status of the respondents,
qualitative data on cultural significance from three selected districts. The compiled data are
analyzed using different quantitative tools, such as relative frequency of mention (RFM),
fidelity level (FL), relative popularity level RPL and rank order priority (ROP). Out of total 155
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153
avian species recorded from the study area, 28 have medical importance while local people were
using feathers of almost all the bird species for making different toys. Ten species were most
popular and highest RFM values (0.58) were recorded for house sparrow (Passer domesticus).
Similarly, highest FL values (100%) were recorded for house sparrow (P. domesticus) and
domestic chicken (Gallus gallus). These studies indicated that the area is rich in avian diversity
and many of these species have medical and cultural significance for the locales.
Mammals are source of food and medication for humans from ancient times. A survey was
conducted along the Rver Chenab, Punjab, Pakistan and 109 persons were interviewed to
investigate the extent of human dependency on mammalian species of the area. A total of 30
mammalian species were recorded from the study area. Highest relatively frequency of mention
(RFM) values (0.5) were observed for desert hare, Lepus migricollis dayanus while maximum
(100%) fidelity level (FL) was recorded for cow Bos gaurus, sheep Ovis aries and cat Felis
domesticus. Seven species were most popular. It can be concluded from present survey that local
people have strong association with mammalian species of the study area and dependent for
food and medicines on these species. In depth studies are recommended to explore medicinal
importance of the species.
The study area was part of tropical thorn forest but a larger portion has been changed into
agricultural land or human habitations. Data regarding socio-economic value of area, financial
losses to crops and livestock, peoples’ attitude and tolerance towards wildlife, protection
methods for livestock and crops from predators and profile of 150 respondents were collected
through a questionnaire. The age of the respondents was between 20 to 65 years, out of them
54% were literate, 99% were Muslims and all these respondents were from different professions
viz. farmers (32%), livestock managers (37%) and others (31%). Most of the respondents (52%)
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were unaware about the role of wild species in ecosystem, certain respondents (28%) disliked
wild species in their areas and 20% respondents had positive view about wildlife in the area. The
collected data revealed that crops are mostly damaged by the Indian wild boar (42%), Asiatic
jackal (34%), diseases (11%), Indian crested porcupine (6%) and others (7%) including rats,
squirrels, crows and sparrows. Similarly, the livestock animals are affected mostly by diseases
(36%), Asiatic jackal (34%), jungle cat (10%), Indian fox and others (6%) including raptor birds.
Most of the respondents were of the view that wildlife is declining in the area.
The River Chenab is an important wetland of Punjab, Pakistan. Water of the river is becoming
pollutedt due to anthropogenic impact i.e. industrial waste, urbanization, agriculture
intensification. The main objectives of the study were to know the diversity and distribution of
fish species of river Chenab. Both, direct and indirect methods were applied to find out fish
diversity of the area. The diversity indices were analyzed through statistical software PAST
version 2.17 C. During the sampling 34 species was recorded from the river Chenab. The
diversity indices indicate that higher diversity is present at the head Qadirabad than head Khanki
and Marala. The reason is that there is present large number of natural and manmade ponds;
during the flood these pond fishes move to the river further eggs and fingerlings move to rivers
through birds and fisherman.


Department of Wildlife and Ecology
Phd theses

2520-T


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