Diet of threatened Pheasant species in Himalayas, India
A faecal analysis approach
Ecologia Balkanica 2013; 5(1) : 57-68
The aim of this paper is to determine diet composition of threatened pheasant species i.e. Satyr Tragopan Tragopan satyra, Himalayan Monal Lophophorus impejanus, Kaleej Lophura leucomelana and Koklass Pucrasia macrolopha in their native forest which was never studied earlier. A study was conducted in the Kumaon region of western Himalaya for two years by collecting dropping material. Faeces were identified through direct sighting of defecating species. The diet items of each pheasant species mainly comprised plant materials followed by invertebrates and grit. A significant difference was observed in consuming food items by all pheasant species. Monal emerged as a specialist feeder on plants which were not eaten by other species. The Satyr and Koklass were more similar in terms of diet composition in both seasons while Kaleej and Monal were least similar, only invertebrates and grit were common in the diet of these species. No significant difference was observed in diet composition in different seasons of all pheasant species. The results expected to provide valuable information for the management of these pheasants in Himalayas.