This study was carried out to enlist the existing vertebrate diversity of LSNP, and to come up with recommendations and strategies for conservation and management of biodiversity in a sustainable manner.
Five vantage points were selected for Animal/Bird's census in LSNP. GPS (GARMIN, GPS map 76CS x) was used for coordinates of vantage points.
Lal Suhanra National Park (LSNP) was declared as first biosphere reserve in 1977 (Khan 2012).
Each of the 23 stands (stretches having reasonably uniform physic-biotic conditions) established over LSNP was extensively searched for direct/indirect sighting of black and grey francolins during 1993 and stands (n = 10) having francolin populations were selected for present population studies.
Table I.- Population density (mean +- SEM, per km2) of black and grey francolins in different stands of LSNP having favourable francolin habitat.
Fluctuations in the average densities (per km2) of black and grey francolins during different calendar months (1993 - 2004) in LSNP.
A total of 23 stands (stretches having reasonably uniform physico-biotic conditions) were delineated throughout LSNP and extensively searched for direct (sighting) and indirect (calls, feathers, faecal pellets) presence of black francolin during different parts of 1993.
Black francolin population could be detected in 6/23 (26%) stands delineated in LSNP, where the population was distributed with an overall density of 8.40+-1.39/ km2.
Presence of both black and grey francolins in LSNP provides the opportunity to simultaneously study feeding preferences (results on food of black francolin reported; Khan and Mian, 2011) of both the species and to develop an insight into possible feeding competition between these two species.
The birds were collected from LSNP (29o 12' - 29o 78' NL, 71o 48' - 72o 08' E; northwestern Cholistan Desert, northwestern part of the Thar Desert; high summer temperature and mild winters, low relative humidity, sporadic rainfall mainly in July-August; most plant species bloom in autumn though some bloom in March-April; grey francolin distributed in non-irrigated desert tracts: Khan, 2010; Khan and Mian, 2011) and its adjacent areas during spring (February - April, n = 7), summer (May - July, n = 9), autumn (August- October, n = 7) and winter (November - January, n = 8).
The results of the present study revealed that the Black Francolin under the conditions of LSNP consumed a minimum of 33 plant and 12 animal texa.
The diversity in the food species though appeared to attribute a food generalistic characteristic to the species, yet only 33 plant species could be identified from the crop content out of the 105 species available in the Black Francolin habitat in LSNP (Khan, 2010).