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Virat Jolli and Maharaj K. Pandit

ABSTRACT

Jolli V., Pandit M.K. 2011. Monitoring pheasants (Phasianidae) in the Western Himalayas tomeasure the impact of hydro-electric projects. Ring 33, 1-2: 37-46.

In this study, we monitored pheasants abundance to measure the impact of a hydroelectric development project. The pheasants abundance was monitored using “call count” and line transect methods during breeding seasons in 2009-2011. Three call count stations and 3 transects were laid with varying levels of anthropogenic disturbance. To understand how the hydro power project could effect the pheasant population in the Jiwa Valley, we monitored it under two conditions; in the presence of hydro-electric project (HEP) construction and when human activity significantly declined. The Koklass Pheasant (Pucrasiamacrolopha), Cheer Pheasant (Catreus wallichi) and Western Tragopan (Tragopan melanocephalus) were not recorded in Manjhan Adit in 2009. During 2010 and 2011 springs, the construction activity was temporarily discontinued in Manjhan Adit. The pheasants responded positively to this and their abundance increased near disturbed sites (Manjhan Adit). The strong response of pheasants to anthropogenic disturbance has ecological application and thus can be used by wildlife management in the habitat quality monitoring in the Himalayan Mountains.