Conservation of the Western Tragopan Tragopan melanocephalus around Salkhala Game Reserve, Azad Kashmir, Pakistan
The vulnerable Western Tragopan Tragopan melanocephalus is endemic to the Western Himalayas, restricted to north Pakistan, Kashmir and north-west India (BirdLife International 2001, 2013). This elusive pheasant breeds in little disturbed mixed coniferous mountain forests between 2,400 and 3,600 m, on steep forested slopes in the transition zone between moist and dry temperate forest. The work reported here was carried out to establish the species' current status in and around Salkhala Game Reserve (hereafter Salkhala) three decades after surveys by Mirza et al. (1978) and Islam (1982). Special attention was given to the impact of traditional pastoralism during the breeding season. The study confirmed the importance of the area for the species in Pakistan despite increasing human impact on its habitat.