Studies on the habitats of Grey Francolin Francolinus pondicerianus (J.F. Gmelin, 1789) (Galliformes: Phasianidae) in northern districts of Tamil Nadu, India

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M. Pandian


This paper pertains to the habitats of the Grey Francolin Francolinus pondicerianus with specific reference to populations, habitat type, vegetation, foraging, impact of human dwellings, and probable threats to  populations in 20 villages covering four northern districts of Tamil Nadu, India. A total of 252 individuals were enumerated. During the non-breeding season, birds move in small groups of 2–6. Of four habitats identified, the maximum number of 143 birds was observed foraging in grasslands, while 61 were seen in dry fallow agricultural lands, 37 in dry lakes/canals, and 11 in harvested fields. No significant association was observed between habitat type and bird behaviour. They feed on termites and spilled paddy grains. Males have repeated loud calls and fight with each other. Four species of tall grasses, six of stunted trees and two shrubs were identified to provide bird habitat. Birds preferred to live away from human dwellings, with 193 found 1,000 m away from settlements. The study area continues to be a suitable habitat for Grey Francolin populations, hence this habitat needs protection.

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