The Cheer Pheasant Catreus wallichi breeds in the wild from late April to June (Johnsgard 1999), with most birds paired in April (Gaston & Singh 1980). Egg-laying peaks in May and most clutches are laid by early June, although birds at lower altitudes tend to breed about a month earlier than those at higher elevations (Baker 1930, Kaul 1989). Clutch size is normally 9–10 eggs, although up to 14 eggs have been recorded (Baker 1930, Ali & Ripley 1998). Incubation by the female alone takes about 26 days and the male helps rear the newly hatched chicks (Roberts 1991, Ali & Ripley 1998). Generally no more than one or two individuals survive for more than six months in the wild (Kaul 1989), with sexual maturity reached after one year (Johnsgard 1999). Nesting tends to be in precipitous, and at times inaccessible, areas (Baker 1930) making it difficult to document breeding success in the wild. In May 2011, a call count survey (Gaston 1980) of the species was carried out in the Jhelum valley, Azad Kashmir, north-east Pakistan. In total, 17 points (CH 01–17) were surveyed in three different areas: Pir Chinasi, Garidopata and Chinari (Figure 1). Eleven of them had been used in previous surveys (Awan et al. 2004). After each point was surveyed MNA and wildlife staff assisting the survey systematically searched for nests within a 300 m radius of each point. Each search lasted three hours. The location of each nest was marked using GPS and clutch size recorded. Each nest was revisited after two and four weeks to monitor progress; unhatched eggs and dead chicks were recorded. In total nine nests were found at six of the 17 locations—all were in the Chinari survey area (Table 1). One nest was found at CH 09, 12, 15.
|Number of pages||3|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|