Salkhala Game Reserve (SGR) in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, lies within an Important Bird Area (IBA) of the Western Himalayas Endemic Bird Area. The conservation status of the reserve and its birds is poorly known due to political instability in the disputed territory of Kashmir and the relative remoteness of the site. The findings of a bird survey undertaken from May 2007 to April 2008 are documented here. In total, 101 species were recorded including 45 resident species, 48 breeding migrants and six winter migrants. There were significant records of the globally threatened Western Tragopan Tragopan melanocephalus, the Near Threatened Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus and European Roller Coracias garrulus, and the restricted-range Kashmir Nuthatch Sitta cashmirensis and Spectacled Finch Callacanthis burtoni. Kashmir Flycatcher Ficedula subrubra and Cheer Pheasant Catreus wallichi were not recorded in the IBA, with the latter species now possibly locally extirpated. An annotated checklist of the species recorded is presented along with measures of relative abundance. Habitat fragmentation, degradation and clearance through the collection of fuel and timber, forest fire, livestock grazing, collection of non-timber forest products and unsustainable use of pastures are the major threats to the wildlife of SGR. These conservation issues are discussed briefly along with recommendations for the future management of the reserve.
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