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Population status and threat assessment of Globally Vulnerable Cheer Pheasant Catreus wallichii from Bajura, Nepal
Hari Basnet, Ganga Shah

Last modified: 2017-09-01


The Cheer Pheasant Catreus wallichii categorized as Vulnerable globally, included under Appendix I of CITES and is one of nine protected birds of Nepal listed in the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 2029. It has been recently assessed as Endangered in Nepal. Cheer small population is naturally fragmented, anthropogenic pressure and changing pattern of land use resulted in its population decline from its distribution range. Furthermore, scientific survey for this species is limited within the protected area and concentrated in western Nepal.

Thus, the study was carried out in nine VDCs in Bajura district which was selected based on the output from species distribution modelling and local responses. Based on the preliminary survey, five locations confirm the species presence in Bajura district. Dawn call count survey was carried out in these locations in consecutive three mornings to estimate the population status along with an assessment of conservation threat to the species. The study confirms first scientific evidence of the breeding success of Cheer in Far-western Nepal. The population data revealed that the study area is one of the important habitats of Cheer with an overall density of 7.77 pairs/km2 in Nepal. Low awareness among the local people has adversely affected the existing population of Cheer by hunting and poaching, luring, the collection of eggs for local consumption and wildfire for promoting the grassland. Furthermore, natural predator posing threats to the survival of species. Conservation awareness to concern stakeholder is highly recommended for long term survival of species.

Keywords: Cheer Pheasant, Population Survey, Conservation awareness

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