We assessed the density, population size, habitat use and threats to the cheer pheasant Catreus wallichii in Dhorpatan Valley, Nepal, within Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve (DHR) and in the proposed buffer zone in 2003 and 2005. Cheer were found in the Surtibhag, Phagune, Bobang and Muri areas where densities of cheer pheasant recorded were 5 (± 1.2), 12.4 (± 1.2), 8 (± 0.88) and 7.5 (± 0.8) pairs per km2, and the areas of suitable habitat for cheer pheasant estimated were 7.5, 13.5, 11 and 13.5 km2 respectively. Based on density and suitable habitat, populations of cheer in Surtibhag, Phagune, Bobang and Muri areas were estimated to be 37 (± 9), 167 (± 16), 67 (± 10) and 101 (± 10) pairs of cheer pheasant respectively. The densities of cheer pheasant were the highest recorded from Nepal, and population levels in the Dhorpatan Valley had not changed since it was surveyed in 1981. The species preferred open forests and shrubs with grassy undergrowth on rugged, rocky slopes. Densities of cheer pheasant were negatively correlated with tree crown cover. There was no significant correlation with grass cover or measures of grazing pressure, suggesting that current levels of grazing, timber collection and grass burning were not hindering the species’ existence. Hunting and snaring may be major continuing threats to cheer pheasant despite legal protection. Future conservation and research activities are proposed to help support this population.
SINGH, P.B.; SUBEDI, P; GARSON, P.J. AND POUDYAL, L. (2011) Status, habitat use and threats of cheer pheasant Catreus wallichii in and around Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, Nepal. International Journal of Galliformes Conservation, 2, 22 – 30.