Individual study: Reintroduction of cheer pheasant Catreus wallichii to Margalla Hills National Park, North West Frontier Province, Pakistan
Garson P.J., Young L. & Kaul R. (1992) Ecology and conservation of the cheer pheasant Catreus wallichii: Studies in the wild and the progress of a reintroduction project. Biological Conservation, 59, 25-35
This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.
Use ‘anti-predator training’ to improve survival after release
A review of a 1978-89 reintroduction programme for cheer pheasants Catreus wallichii in northern Pakistan (Garson et al. 1992) found that post-release survival was low between 1978 and 1985, with all 17 birds released in 1981 predated by foxes Vulpes vulpes. This was thought to be because birds nested on the ground and were relatively fearless due to rearing techniques. From 1982 onwards, birds were flushed into trees at dusk by workers in their release enclosures and appeared to survive better, with 10-15% of 305 birds released in 1986 and 1988-9 surviving for at least one year. This programme is discussed in more detail in ‘Release captive-bred individuals’.
Release captive-bred individuals into the wild to restore or augment wild populations of gamebirds
A review of a 1978-89 reintroduction programme for cheer pheasants Catreus wallichii in northern Pakistan (Garson et al. 1992) found that post-release survival was low between 1978 and 1985 (see ‘Use ‘anti-predator training’ to improve survival after release’ for details), but that 10-15% of 305 birds released in 1986 and 1988 survived at least one year after release. Breeding was recorded in 1987 (one pair nested, nine eggs laid, seven hatched but all chicks died within six weeks) and 1989 (three females nested, with eight chicks surviving to at least eight weeks and leaving the release pen). However, a survey in 1990 suggested that the release area (a national park) was becoming too overgrown to support cheer pheasants, and that rotational burning (similar to traditional agriculture) may be necessary to maintain the population in the area. Releases were conducted at a medium elevation site (700m) in 1978-81, and two higher elevation sites (approximately 1,000 m) from 1983 and 1988 respectively. Birds were released into open-topped release pens, with 54 birds released between 1978 and 1981; 279 released in 1983-6 and 305 in 1988-9.