Prevalence of Tree Cavities and their Use byVertebrate Fauna in Forest Ecosystem of Dhirkot,AJ&KSajid Abbasi, Iftikhar Hus...
IntroductionIn forest ecosystems of Pakistan there are certain wildlifespecies i.e. bats, flying squirrels, rodents, bird...
Objectives• To collect basic information on type, size,prevalence and distribution of hollowbearing trees in forest ecolog...
Study Site & SamplingThe study samplings were carried out at two observation sites(1 km2each) in a deciduous-mixed tempera...
Observation Area-1Upper zone of study site dominated by Blue Pine(Pinus wallichiana)
Lower zone of study site dominated by Chir Pine Pinusroxburgii) at Sanghar Bathara, Dhirkot, AJ&KObservation Area-2
Definition: A cavity is defined as any completely excavated ornatural opening in a trees bole or limbs that could provides...
Data on following parameters were recorded: No. of cavities in each tree species. Condition of the cavity bearing trees ...
Observation and measurement of tree cavities
Tree Age Estimation1: Annual growth rings2: Pressler’s Borer Method
RESULTSTree species Tree species compositionin sub-plots (No. per 200m2)Totaltrees(No.per 1km2)Cavitybearing trees(n)Trees...
Tree species Tree species composition atsub-plots (No. per 200 m2)Totaltrees(No. per1 km2)Cavitybearing trees(n)Treeswithc...
Tree species Totaltrees atsite No.1(No. per1 km2)Total treesat site No.2(No. per 1km2)Combined (SiteNo. 1 &Site No.2)(%) C...
Fauna recordedMultiple cavities in Blue Pine tree used by Flying Squirrel
Internal view of Excavated cavity used by Flying squirrel for nesting.
Hatchlings of Yellow fronted Wood-pecker in tree cavity
Golden-backed wood packer foraging on dead tree
Tree species Condition of the trees bearingthe cavitiesNo.oftreecavitiesPosition of treecavitiesType of tree cavitiesLive ...
Vertebrate fauna Tree species Ageappox.(Year)No. ofCavitiesCavity EntranceDiameter (cm)Avg. (Range)Height fromground (m)Av...
Vertebrate fauna Tree species Ageappox.(Year)No. ofCavitiesCavity EntranceDiameter (cm)Avg. (Range)Height fromground (m)Av...
VertebratefaunaN Entrance Diameterof Tree Cavity (cm)Mean ± SD (range)Depth of TreeCavity (cm)Mean ± SD (range)Height of T...
Tree species Occupancy of tree cavities by vertebrate faunaCavities Mammals Birds Reptiles Total (use) unusedn n % n % n %...
Total percentage of used and unused cavity
ConclusionOccupancy of tree cavities by vertebrate fauna.
Shukreiya.
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  1. 1. Prevalence of Tree Cavities and their Use byVertebrate Fauna in Forest Ecosystem of Dhirkot,AJ&KSajid Abbasi, Iftikhar Hussain, Tariq Mahmood,Maqsood Anwar and Muhammad RaisDepartment of Wildlife ManagementPMAS Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi
  2. 2. IntroductionIn forest ecosystems of Pakistan there are certain wildlifespecies i.e. bats, flying squirrels, rodents, birds and reptilesspecies use hollow bearing trees for nesting, breeding,foraging and roosting, mainly subtropical pine forest andmoist temperate forests (Robert, 1991-1992 and 1998).Although the tree hollows are the critical component offorest ecosystem, a little is known about the characteristics ofthese hollows, rather no report is available on such data fromthe wildlife related ecologies of Pakistan.The present study was designed as an initiative to carryout investigations on hollow bearing trees in the forestecology of Dhirkot, District Bagh, Azad Jammu and Kashmirwith the following objectives.
  3. 3. Objectives• To collect basic information on type, size,prevalence and distribution of hollowbearing trees in forest ecology of the study area.•To identify wildlife species associated with the treehollows to support their lives.
  4. 4. Study Site & SamplingThe study samplings were carried out at two observation sites(1 km2each) in a deciduous-mixed temperate-coniferous forestspreading over 10 km2located at 340 ˝ N; 730 34˝ E in theSanghar Bathara area,of district Dhirkot, A J& K
  5. 5. Observation Area-1Upper zone of study site dominated by Blue Pine(Pinus wallichiana)
  6. 6. Lower zone of study site dominated by Chir Pine Pinusroxburgii) at Sanghar Bathara, Dhirkot, AJ&KObservation Area-2
  7. 7. Definition: A cavity is defined as any completely excavated ornatural opening in a trees bole or limbs that could provideshelter to wildlife species. All the trees in 10 sampling plots at each study site wereobserved for presence of tree cavities. Where ever requiredbinoculars were used to aid the visual inspection of snagsand excavated openings from several different angles. Tree cavities in larger and older trees were observed byclimbing on tree trunk and large branches. Those trees that had a larger diameter and difficult toclimbed, were climbed by installing a locally made bambooladder at the base of the tree trunk to reach the upperbranches.
  8. 8. Data on following parameters were recorded: No. of cavities in each tree species. Condition of the cavity bearing trees either live or dead.The height of cavity entrance from ground (m). Position of the cavities (trunk or branches) Type of cavity (natural or excavated). Dimensions of cavity (i.e diameter of entrance and depth (cm)of cavities (wherever possible)
  9. 9. Observation and measurement of tree cavities
  10. 10. Tree Age Estimation1: Annual growth rings2: Pressler’s Borer Method
  11. 11. RESULTSTree species Tree species compositionin sub-plots (No. per 200m2)Totaltrees(No.per 1km2)Cavitybearing trees(n)Trees withcavities (%)Relativeabundance ofcavity bearingtrees (%)a b c d ePinus wallichiana 185 150 2 61 85 483 12 2.48 35.29Quercus incana 0 20 11 42 36 109 7 6.42 20.59Quercus dilatata 0 0 2 18 4 24 3 12.5 8.82Pinus roxburghii 5 0 4 0 0 9 1 11.11 2.94Melia azedarach 0 0 5 0 0 5 3 60 8.82Bauhinia variegata 0 0 5 0 0 5 3 60 8.82Morus alba 0 0 4 0 0 4 2 50 5.88Prunus armanica 0 0 4 0 0 4 2 50 5.88Diospyros kaki 0 0 3 0 0 3 1 33.33 2.94Juglans regia 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0Total 190 170 41 121 125 647 34 5.25 100Vegetation Structure and Cavity Bearing Trees in ObservationArea-1
  12. 12. Tree species Tree species composition atsub-plots (No. per 200 m2)Totaltrees(No. per1 km2)Cavitybearing trees(n)Treeswithcavities (%)Relativeabundanceof cavitybearingtrees (%)a b c d ePinus roxburghii 40 21 130 10 1 202 2 0.99 4.08Olea ferruginea 17 51 2 80 4 154 20 12.98 40.81Prunus armanica 5 17 5 0 12 39 3 7.69 6.12Melia azedarach 11 0 0 5 8 24 11 45.83 22.44Diospyros kaki 6 0 3 2 11 22 2 9.09 4.08Quercus incana 2 0 0 4 10 16 3 18.75 6.12Morus alba 7 0 0 1 5 13 2 15.38 4.08Bauhinia variegata 7 1 0 0 2 10 2 20 4.08Pyrus communis 3 0 0 2 5 10 3 30 6.12Juglans regia 3 0 0 0 0 3 1 33.33 2.04Total 101 90 140 104 58 493 49 9.93 100Vegetation structure and prevalence of cavity bearing trees inobservation area 2.
  13. 13. Tree species Totaltrees atsite No.1(No. per1 km2)Total treesat site No.2(No. per 1km2)Combined (SiteNo. 1 &Site No.2)(%) Cavitybearingtrees(n)Cavitybearingtrees (%)Relativeabundanceof cavitybearing trees(%)Pinus wallichiana 483 0 483 42.36 12 2.48 14.45Quercus incana 109 16 125 10.96 10 8.00 12.05Quercus dilatata 24 0 24 2.10 3 12.5 3.61Pinus roxburghii 9 202 211 18.5 3 1.42 3.61Melia azedarach 5 24 29 2.54 14 48.27 16.87Bauhinia variegata 5 10 15 1.31 5 33.33 6.02Morus alba 4 13 17 1.49 4 23.53 4.82Prunus armanica 4 39 43 3,77 5 10.42 6.02Diospyros kaki 3 22 25 2.19 3 12.00 3.61Juglans regia 1 3 4 0.35 1 25.00 1.20Olea ferruginea 0 154 154 13.5 20 12.99 24.10Pyrus communis 0 10 10 0.95 3 30.00 3.61Total 647 493 1140 100 83 7.28 100Vegetation Structure and Cavity Bearing Trees in the two ObservationAreas
  14. 14. Fauna recordedMultiple cavities in Blue Pine tree used by Flying Squirrel
  15. 15. Internal view of Excavated cavity used by Flying squirrel for nesting.
  16. 16. Hatchlings of Yellow fronted Wood-pecker in tree cavity
  17. 17. Golden-backed wood packer foraging on dead tree
  18. 18. Tree species Condition of the trees bearingthe cavitiesNo.oftreecavitiesPosition of treecavitiesType of tree cavitiesLive Dead Total Trunk Branches *Natural Excavatedn % n % n n % n % n % n %Pinus wallichiana 6 50 6 50 12 34 28 82 6 18 20 59 14 41Pinus roxburghii 3 100 0 0 3 4 4 1000 0 0 0 4 100Olea ferruginea 0 0 20 100 20 60 42 70 18 30 58 97 2 3Quercus incana 6 60 4 40 10 26 16 62 10 38 18 69 8 31Quercus dilatata 2 67 1 33 3 8 5 62 3 38 2 25 6 75Melia azedarach 9 64 5 36 14 32 26 81 6 19 7 22 25 78Pronus armanica 1 20 4 80 5 11 6 55 5 45 7 64 4 36Morus alba 2 50 2 50 4 11 9 82 2 18 7 64 4 36Diospyros kaki 3 100 0 0 3 5 5 1000 0 0 0 5 100Juglans regia 0 0 1 100 1 3 2 67 1 33 3 100 0 0Pyrus communis 2 67 1 33 3 8 6 75 2 25 5 63 3 37Characteristics of cavity bearing trees & tree cavities
  19. 19. Vertebrate fauna Tree species Ageappox.(Year)No. ofCavitiesCavity EntranceDiameter (cm)Avg. (Range)Height fromground (m)Avg. (Range)Cavity depth(cm)Avg. (Range)MammalsFlying squirrel Pinus wallichiana 80 4 14.3 (6 - 21) 9 (3.5-15) >90 (>90)Quercus incana 60 4 6.6 (3 - 8) 10 ( 7-12) 55 (35- 85)Long fingered bat Pinus wallichiana 77 3 4.3 (2 - 7) 11 (3- 20 ) >90 (>90)Birds (Passerine)Common myna Pinus wallichiana 72 2 5 (3 - 7) 7 (3- 11) 42.5 (35- 50)Melia azedarach 50 3 5 (4 - 7) 4 (2- 5) 44 (40- 46)Diospyros kaki 55 1 6 (6) 5.5 (5.5) 42 (42)Pyrus communis 77 1 5 (5) 3(3) 47 (47)Great tit Olea ferruginaea 72 2 5.5 (5.5) 3.5 (3.5) 30 (28- 32)Diospyros kaki 45 1 4.5 (4.5) 6 (6) 30 (30)Himalayan treecreeperQuercus incana 54 2 5 (4 - 6) 10 (7-13) 37 (34- 40)House sparrow Melia azedarach 85 3 5 (3-6 ) 3.3 (2-5 ) 45 (45)Prunus armanica 63 1 6 (6) 4 (4) 65 (65)Olea ferruginaea 87 3 6 (3 - 8) 3 (2- 4) 45 (22- 65)Chust-nut belliednuthatchsQuercus incana 148 1 6 (6) 4 (4) 38 (38)
  20. 20. Vertebrate fauna Tree species Ageappox.(Year)No. ofCavitiesCavity EntranceDiameter (cm)Avg. (Range)Height fromground (m)Avg. (Range)Cavity depth(cm)Avg. (RangeBirdsYellow-frontedwoodpeckerMelia azedarach 36 2 6.5 (5 - 8) 4 (3- 5) 43 (33- 53)Himalan piedwoodpeckerQuercus incana 47 2 6 (5- 7) 10 (8.5-12.5) 48 (45-51)Pinus wallichiana 69 2 5 (4.5-5.5) 13 (10-16) 42 (39- 45)Scaly-belliedwoodpeckerPinus wallichiana 62 2 6 (5 - 7) 13 (12- 14) 42.5 (30- 55)Quercus dilatata 55 2 5.5 (4 - 7) 7 (5- 9) 44 (40- 48)Rufous-belliedwoodpeckerMelia azedarach 40 2 4.5 (3 - 6) 5 (4.5- 5.5) 38 (32- 44)Glden-backedwoodpeckerBahunia verrigata 98 1 7 (7) 3 (3) 30 (30)Blue throatedbarbetMorus alba 75 3 7.5 (6 - 9) 3 (3- 3) 52 (42- 60)Prunus armanica 82 2 7 (6-8) 5 (4.5- 5.5) 46 (43- 49)Reptiles SnakesKashmir cliff racer Pinus wallichiana 118 1 9 (9) 5 (5) >100 (>100)Common catsnakePyrus communis 145 1 5 (5) 3 (3) 47 (47)Melia azedarach 47 1 9 (9) 4 (4) 45 (45)LizardsSpotted barngeckoQuercus incana 97 1 5 (5) 3 (3- 3) 32 (32)Bahunia verrigata 77 1 10 (10) 2 (2) 18 (18)
  21. 21. VertebratefaunaN Entrance Diameterof Tree Cavity (cm)Mean ± SD (range)Depth of TreeCavity (cm)Mean ± SD (range)Height of TreeCavity fromGround (m)Mean ± SD(range)Mammals 11 8.78 ± 5.95 (2-21) > 90 9.9 ± 5.13 (3-20)Aves 41 5.56 ± 1.49 (3-9) 42.43 ± 9.88 (22-65) 7.05 ± 7.25 (2-16)Reptiles 5 6.38 ± 2.77 (3-10)30.00 ± 11.96 (18-100)3.13 ± 0.99 (2-5)
  22. 22. Tree species Occupancy of tree cavities by vertebrate faunaCavities Mammals Birds Reptiles Total (use) unusedn n % n % n % n % n %Pinus wallichiana 34 7 21 6 18 1 3 14 41 20 59Pinus roxburghii 4 0 0 1 25 0 0 1 25 3 75Olea ferruginea 60 0 0 7 12 2 3 9 15 51 85Quercus incana 26 4 11 5 18 1 4 10 38 16 62Quercus dilatata 8 0 0 2 25 0 0 2 25 6 75Melia azadarach 32 0 0 10 31 1 3 11 34 21 66Pronus armanica 11 0 0 3 27 1 9 4 36 7 64Morus alba 11 0 0 3 27 0 9 3 27 8 77Diospyros kaki 5 0 0 2 40 0 0 2 40 3 60Juglans regia 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 100Pyrus communis 8 0 0 1 13 1 13 2 25 6 75Bahunia verrigata 9 0 0 1 11 1 11 2 22 7 78Total 211 11 5.21 41 19 8 4 60 28.4 151 71.6
  23. 23. Total percentage of used and unused cavity
  24. 24. ConclusionOccupancy of tree cavities by vertebrate fauna.
  25. 25. Shukreiya.
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