Declines and Conservation of Threatened Galliformes in the Himalayas

From October 2010 to October 2013
Project Leader(s): Jonathon Dunn; Professor Whittingham
Staff: Phil McGowan, Mark Shirley
Sponsors: NERC, World Pheasant Association

The Himalayan mountain range and associated areas provide important habitat for over twenty species from the highly endangered Galliformes order.  They exhibit great variety in their geographic distribution, the threats they face and their IUCN Red List categories. This makes it necessary to discriminate between different species and localities in order to target limited conservation resources with maximum efficacy.  The IUCN uses inter alia geographic range size to gauge short-term extinction probabilities, which are then used by conservationists to help prioritise efforts. However, concern exists that by focusing on range-restricted species and the final extinction phase only, we are missing large-scale declines in widespread species. 
This studentship will investigate this by focusing on one of the most comprehensive data sets collected for any animal group.  The World Pheasant Association (WPA) has developed an extensive database that consists of a large number of sighting records.  These will be mapped and a combination of statistical and GIS modelling will be used to provide insight into the underlying causes of declines and help predict future species distributions.  In addition, a spatially-explicit, region-wide threat analysis will be undertaken.  The findings will help provide a framework for future Galliformes monitoring and research in the region.



Dr Philip McGowan
Senior Lecturer in Biodiversity and Conservation

Dr Mark Shirley
Research Associate

Professor Mark Whittingham
Professor of Applied Ecology (MCIEEM)