Effect of plant cover on presence of Black Francolin (Francolinus francolinus) in Khouzestan Province, Southwestern Iran

  • R Behbash
  • M Karami
  • A Mahiny
  • M Nabavi
  • N Khorasani
Keywords: Black francolin, Francolinus francolinus, plant cover, habitat, Iran.

Abstract

Three of 6 subspecies of black francolins (Francolinus francolinus), are found throughout Iran. Habitat destruction and indiscriminate hunting as well as agricultural pesticides are among the most crucial factors threatening the populations of these birds in Khouzestan Province, southwestern Iran. Using plot sampling, this study aims to investigate different vegetative factors including plant species, percentage of species presence and dominant plant cover height on francolin presence. Sampling was carried out throughout 5 presence areas of black francolin and 2 areas lacking francolins (control areas). Results showed that frequency of Camels thorn (Alhagi cameloram), Cashew (Prosopis farcta) and African Salsola (Suaeda fruticosa) were higher in presence areas compared with other plant species. Using One Way ANOVA, it was determined that there was no significant difference between plant cover percent (P = 0.279) and dominant plant cover height (P = 0.316). However, difference of these two mentioned factors were significant in 4 seasons (P = 000 for cover height and P = 0.001 for cover percent). In fact, the highest black francolin presence was recorded at 15 – 67 and 4 – 48 for cover percent and cover height classes respectively.
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eISSN: 1684-5315