Avian Community Composition and Spatio-temporal Patterns at Deva Vatala National Park, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan

Muhammad Umar, Mubashar Hussain, Muhammad Faheem Malik, Muhammad Naeem Awan, David Lee

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An assessment of the avifauna of Deva Vatala National Park (DVNP), Bhimber, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan was conducted from June 2017 to May 2018. Data were collected along one km line transects at three sites within the National Park: Barmala, Deva and Vatala. In total, 52 species were recorded, which included the globally threatened sociable lapwing. The most abundant species were Asian green bee-eater, red-vented bulbul, house sparrow and common myna, and no species was unique to a single site in the DVNP. Highest abundance, richness and diversity was recorded in Deva, with lowest community measures recorded in Barmala. Species richness and diversity peaked in September and was lowest in November. Applying a suite of community composition analyses, bird communities were significantly different across all the three sites (ANOSIM), with 10 species explaining 16.5% to 17.2% of these community dissimilarities (SIMPER). Of these key contributing species, the relative abundance of seven species was significantly different across sites. This study documents spatio-temporal patterns in the avifauna of DVNP, providing a basis for ongoing monitoring in the DVNP, and further studies focusing on bird-habitat associations and the current impacts of habitat degradation. The presence of sociable lapwing is an indication of habitat suitability and highlights the need for further surveys in the region to locate other possible wintering grounds for this critically endangered species.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)921-929
Number of pages9
JournalPakistan Journal of Zoology
Issue number3
Early online date27 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Bird communities
  • PRIMER software
  • Sociable lapwing


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