Relative abundance, habitat preference and breeding ecology of Asian Black francolin, Francolinus francolinus asiae (Bonaparte, 1856) from North-Western Himalaya

Journal of Asia-Pacific Biodiversity(2020)

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Asian black francolin (Francolinus francolinus asiae) is an important bird species in the northwestern Himalayan region, inhabiting diverse subtropical to lower temperate habitat types. The relative abundance, habitat preference, and some aspects of breeding ecology are studied here at eleven sites in different habitat types along elevation gradient. The abundance of species at different altitude was worked both through transect trails of different lengths and point counts at some spots. At each study site, maximum activity habitats were marked and selected for breeding ecology study. Sighting of black francolin was minimal in April (0.585±0.185 birds/Km) and maximum in May (2.339±0.015 birds/Km). Data on breeding timings, nest site selection, clutch size, incubation period, and hatching success were collected. Breeding period of black francolin extended from March up to late July with peak egg-laying between May to June. Twelve nests were monitored throughout the breeding season using binoculars from a distance and camera traps, wherever possible and without disturbing the species. The average size of nest was 20.063±1.452 cm ranging from of 18.80 cm to 22.30 cm in width. Mean clutch size was 5.417±0.793 eggs/nest. The hatching success was 86.15% with 56 successfully hatched eggs, whereas the fledging success was 83.92%.
Calls,Clutch size,Forest fire,Galliformes,Nesting
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