e-ISSN : 2347-2677, p-ISSN : 2394-0522
The Himalayan Monal (Lophophorus impejanus), state bird of Uttarakhand state is also the national bird of Nepal. The bird is of conservation priority species due to the nine coloured bird is distributed throughout the higher altitude of Himalayas and due to the bright coloured feather, they have been exploited for the feather as well as for the meat purposes. This species conservation priority species in its entire range because of its declining population due to anthropogenic threats. This bird is facing greatest threat of extinction due to poaching and habitat degradation. Out of the 17 species of Pheasant that occur in India are protected from capture by national and international legislation. Due to decrease in population they have been recognised as Schedule I species of Wildlife Protection Act (1972). However, it is highly desirable that status, distribution, and threats to conservation of monal pheasant should be given due importance. To understand the status distribution and habitat preference of the monal an intensive study was carried out. Surveys were conducted at 6 high altitude sites in Garhwal Himalayas including Kedarnath Wildlife sanctuary and the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, between the altitudinal range from 2500m to 4000m a.s.l. The direct as well indirect methods were used and found that the number of faecal group was found to be maximum in Himtoli (2.64±2.2) followed by Madh Maheshwer (0.96±1.29), Saukhark (0.75±1.4). For the direct sighting the maximum number of monal were sighted in Tungnath (0.26±0.59), followed by Bansinarayan (0.14±.43), Madh Maheshwer (0.14±0.44). No direct sightings were recoded from Himtoli. Due to illegal poaching and habitat destruction the population of monal pheasant has declined and now confined to a few small fragmented patches and needs urgent attention for the conservation.
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