The ecology of Harwood’s Francolin Pternistis harwoodi (Aves: Galliformes: Phasianidae) at Merhabete District, central highlands of Ethiopia: implications for conservation

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Abadi Mehari Abrha
Habtu Kiros Nigus


This paper investigates the abundance, density and habitat preference of Harwood’s Francolin, and considers threats posed to this species at Merhabete District, Ethiopia. A total of 20 line transects ranging from 0.5–1.2 km, each 150–400 m apart, were placed in four study blocks. Habitat preferences were evaluated by digital elevation model (DEM) analysis and slope. Human pressures were also quantified based on circular plot placements along each line transect. Hence, distance sampling survey was used to count population data. The estimated population size and density were 184±26.46 birds and 43.48±6.25 birds/km2, respectively, with an overall encounter rate of 8.52 birds/km in Jema and Jara valleys. This species mainly preferred dry evergreen scrublands mixed with grassy, rock areas and dispersed acacia woodlands. However, based on stepwise regression model, the main threats to this species were burning, cutting, firewood collection and grazing. Generally, only cutting and firewood collection were the most important predictors that affected the focal species. This finding could be used to plan conservation of the species with the joint contribution of scientists, government and local communities.

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Abrha, A.M. and Nigus, H.K. 2017. The ecology of Harwood’s Francolin Pternistis harwoodi (Aves: Galliformes: Phasianidae) at Merhabete District, central highlands of Ethiopia: implications for conservation. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 9, 9 (Sep. 2017), 10633–10641. DOI:
Author Biography

Abadi Mehari Abrha, Department of Wildlife and Ecotourism Management, Mekelle University, P.O.Box: 231, Tigray, Ethiopia

Lecturer and researcher in Ecology and Biodiversity department Haramaya University Ethiopia


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