Monday, June 8, 2020

[Conservation / Ornithology • 2020] Importance of Isolated Forest Fragments and Low Intensity Agriculture for the Long-term Cconservation of the Green Peafowl Pavo muticus

Green Peafowl Pavo muticus  

in Shwe, Sukumal, Oom, ... et Savini, 2020. 
photo: Niti Sukumal

Low intensity subsistence agriculture is generally believed to be less damaging to wildlife than intensive farming. As Myanmar is undergoing rapid modernization, subsistence farming may shift to intensive agriculture, resulting in increased threats to species of conservation concern such as the green peafowl Pavo muticus. Here we investigate habitat use of the green peafowl in a low intensity agricultural landscape surrounding a small forest fragment in southern Shan State, Myanmar. The forest belongs to Nan Kone Buddha Monastery and the green peafowl is protected from hunting in the area on the basis of religious beliefs. We established three survey transects with a total length of 3,414 m. During February 2016–January 2017 we conducted surveys twice daily for 4 consecutive days every month, walking all transects in both directions in the mornings and afternoons and recording visual and auditory peafowl encounters. We estimated peafowl density to be 2.63 animals/km2 in the less disturbed western part of the study area and 1.13 animals/km2 in the eastern part, which had higher levels of human disturbance. The peafowl's habitat use was significantly non-random, with forest patches being the most utilized habitat, followed by croplands. Within a 300 m buffer zone around the forest patch, the order of habitat preference was crop > scrub > fallow, with crop significantly preferred over the other two habitats. We conclude that preserved isolated forest blocks adjacent to community-managed agricultural areas are important for green peafowl conservation, and discuss the implications for long-term conservation management of the species.

Keywords: Agriculture, Buddhist monastery, compositional analysis, green peafowl, fragmented forest, Myanmar, Pavo muticus, Shan plateau

Nay Myo Shwe, Niti Sukumal, Khin Maung Oom Simon Dowell, Stephen Browne and Tommaso Savini. 2020. Importance of Isolated Forest Fragments and Low Intensity Agriculture for the Long-term Cconservation of the Green Peafowl Pavo muticusOryx. First View. DOI: 10.1017/S0030605319000267

Conservation in unexpected places: communities and the green peafowl