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10 March 2021 Population Status and Roost Site Selection of Endangered Egyptian Vultures (Neophron percnopterus) in Poonch River Mahasheer National Park, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan
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Abstract

The Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus; Accipitridae) is a medium-sized scavenger distributed throughout most of the Indo-Pak subcontinent. Although the species has been listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List since 2007 due to rapid population decline, scientific data about the species' population trends and ecology in Pakistan are sparse. The present study was conducted in and around Poonch River Mahasheer National Park (PRMNP) in the northeastern part of Pakistan, covering an area of approximately 146 km2. To monitor populations, we used the line transect method to survey 11 sites once per year from May 2013 to May 2019. Based on monitoring data at all 11 sites, the total number of vultures observed averaged 84 birds annually (n ¼ 7 yr, range ¼ 64–131), with the greatest number observed in 2019. Congregation sites of the vultures were closer to settlements (mean ¼ 239 m) and rivers (mean ¼ 1119 m) than to dump sites (mean ¼ 2975 m), though some roost sites were very near (,200 m) dump sites and roads. Roost sites included large pine (Pinus roxburghii) trees, electric pylons, rocks, and cliffs. To better understand population status and dynamics, we recommend studies extending across a larger area and including surveys of the nesting population.

© 2021 The Raptor Research Foundation, Inc.
Shakeel Ahmad, Fathul Bari, Muhammad Kabir, Muzaffar Ali Baig, Tanveer Khan, Romaan Hayat Khattak, and Ejaz Ur Rehman "Population Status and Roost Site Selection of Endangered Egyptian Vultures (Neophron percnopterus) in Poonch River Mahasheer National Park, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan," Journal of Raptor Research 55(1), 99-105, (10 March 2021). https://doi.org/10.3356/0892-1016-55.1.99
Received: 24 January 2020; Accepted: 8 September 2020; Published: 10 March 2021
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