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Title: Data and conservation of Himalayan Galliformes
Authors: Gupta, Garima
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: The Greater Himalaya is home to many sacred landscapes and source of the eight largest rivers of Asia and has three of the world’s 35 global biodiversity hotspots. The region has been identified as having a high number of threatened species which makes the Himalaya an area of high conservation concern. One key taxonomic group that is found throughout the Greater Himalaya and is thought to be of a particular concern is the bird Order Galliformes (gamebirds) which includes species of pheasant, partridges and quail. There are 24 species of Galliformes that are either endemic or near-endemic to the Greater Himalaya and are well recognized for their ecological, socio-cultural and economic values. Despite their ecological and conservation prominence, the group remains poorly known, making conservation decision making difficult. Therefore, I explore the availability and use of data in understanding and planning for the conservation of Himalayan Galliformes. I describe the database from which point locality data has been used in the research. I examine the detailed information held in the database and compare it with published syntheses of both altitude and geographic ranges used for conservation purposes. I show that altitude information from localities in the database allows much more focussed depiction of altitudinal ranges of species. I then determine the threats faced by the Himalayan Galliformes by undertaking a systematic literature review to identify the threats reported in the literature and the evidence supporting them. I show that hunting and habitat loss are the threats for the Galliformes but there is not enough evidence to prove that. I then show how the ecological life traits can be used to assess if there are any correlates between threat types and species life- history. I found that most of the Least Concern species inhabits open habitats at higher altitudes. Geographic ranges are a fundamental part of ecology and species conservation. Knowing where a species occurs is important as it allows conservationists to make an accurate assessment of threats for individual species. I show that our knowledge on Himalayan Galliformes species is good and that it has improved more rapidly than expected by chance by examining the pattern of accumulation of information on a species’ range over time and comparing this with a suitable simulated model. Finally, I show the dependency of the Himalayan Galliformes species on conservation actions by testing the IUCN Green List protocol to quantify the species recovery because of the conservation actions and legislation. I report all the challenges in assessing the Green List status of the species. I conclude by discussing the generality of my findings and how they can be applied to other taxa and localities and finally making a series of recommendation for future conservation and research work in the Greater Himalaya.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

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