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Ornithofauna Diversity of Tehsil Pakpattan, Punjab, Pakistan

Muhammad Amir Sial*

Department of Wildlife and Ecology, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan

*Corresponding Author:
Muhammad Amir Sial
Department of Wildlife and Ecology, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan
E-mail: mramirsyal@gmail.com

Received: 12-Dec-2023, Manuscript No. JZS-23-122563; Editor assigned: 15-Dec-2023, PreQC No. JZS-23-122563 (PQ); Reviewed: 29-Dec-2023, QC No. JZS-23-122563; Revised: 03-Jan-2024, Manuscript No. JZS-23-122563 (R); Published: 09-Jan-2024, DOI: 10.4172/2347-2294.11.4.001. 

Citation: Sial MA. Ornithofauna Diversity of Tehsil Pakpattan, Punjab, Pakistan. Res Rev J Zool Sci. 2023;11:001.

Copyright: © 2024 Sial MA, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Tehsil Pakpattan is situated in the Doab region of Punjab Pakistan along the river Sutlej. The Current study was intended to evaluate the avian biodiversity of Tehsil Pakpattan. The study included the evaluation of species diversity, IUCN Red List status, migratory description, and feeding habits of the bird populations of Tehsil Pakpattan. Regular surveys were conducted at 10 different localities of Tehsil Pakpattan including Islam Colony, Kanipur, Farid Kot, 14 S/P, Chak Khagga, Musewal, 8 S/P, Noorpur, Green Town, and Bonga Niaz Khan from January 2022 to April 2023. The Shannon Wiener Diversity index value (R=3.41) evidenced the eminent diversity of bird populations in the study area. A total of 1884 individuals representing 41 species, 30 families, and 12 orders were recorded. The Highest diversity was of Order Passeriformes. The most abundant birds in the observed population were the Cattle egret (n=160), House crow (n=150), Asian green bee-eater (n=100), Rock pigeon (n=100), Bown rock chat (n=98) and House sparrow (n=90). Among all species, 34 were the resident, 2 were summer breeders, and one was a winter visitor. 37 (75.60%) of the bird species belonged to the Least Concern (LC), 2 (4.87%) Nearly Threatened (NT), and 2 (4.84%) Vulnerable (VU) categories of the IUCN Red List.


Aves; Ornithofauna; Pakpattan; Birds of Pakistan; Bird diversity


Birds belong to the Class Aves making it the only group of Phylum Chordata to have feathered vertebrates. Class Aves has more than 10,000 bird species conferring it as the most diverse group of vertebrates. Pakistan has a fantastically diverse avifauna comprising of more than 790 bird species [1,2]. Class Aves is the most diverse and best studied among all other vertebrate groups. Undoubtedly, birds are eye- catching and permeating creatures of nature. High agility makes their presence global approximately in all habitats. Birds are highly diverse, widely recognized, and valuable living creatures that serve as valuable indicators for tracking global biodiversity patterns. They are easily observable and provide useful insights into biodiversity. A flourishing bird population indicates environmentally friendly and sustainable growth and better environmental health. Birds have eminent ecological, biological, and financial contributions including pollination, seed dispersal, nutrient cycling, pest control, and scavenging [3-6].

Unfortunately, over the past few decades, the human population has been increasing at an exponential rate, as per the projected numbers the world population will reach a gigantic number of 9.7 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion by the end of the 21st century. Substantial growth in the human population, unplanned expansion of urban settings, and lack of knowledge about wildlife are posing various bewildering threats to the precious bird species including illegal hunting and shooting, habitat destruction, environmental pollution, and illegitimate trade. Due to these astonishing menaces, bird diversity is declining expeditiously [7-9].

The area of Tehsil Pakpattan is situated along the bank of river Sutlej in the Bari Doab Region of Punjab. The climate of Tehsil Pakpattan is dry, damp, and sizzling in summers and winters are dry, cool, and short in duration. Around the year, the temperature varied from 42ºF to 105ºF and barely less than 38ºF or above 112ºF (GOP, n.d.). Furthermore, it is noteworthy that there is no study conducted so far in the area of Tehsil Pakpattan regarding the estimation and assessment of bird diversity. However, studies regarding the impact of deforestation and avian population dynamics have been carried out in adjoining areas like District Okara [2,10]. Hence, the present study is conceived for the evaluation of IUCN status, migratory behavior, and feeding habits of the avifauna of Tehsil Pakpattan.

Materials and Methods

Study area

The study was conducted in the 10 urban, agri-rural Forests, agri-rural, and rural localities of Tehsil Pakpattan, Punjab Pakistan (Table 1). Pakpattan is one of the two tehsils of district Pakpattan. Tehsil is a term for the sub-administrative branch in the Provincial governing setup of Pakistan. Tehsil headquarters of Pakpattan are located in the city of Pakpattan. It has a population of 0.9 million majority of living in rural vicinities

Survey site Coordinates Type of survey site Elevation (ft)
Islam Colony 30.3499954 73.39516274 Urban 589
Kani Pur 30.40291184 73.51485369 Agri-Rural 652
Farid Kot 30.37803027 73.54669148 Rural 665
Bunga Niaz Khan 30.18991728 73.45135166 Rural 612
Arif Abad 30.33394439 73.34321385 Rural 561
Malik Bahawil 30.28630302 73.43802034 Agri-Rural Forest 605
Chak 25 SP 30.43691107 73.40485532 Agri-Rural Forest 592
Noor Pur 30.4935406 73.24532649 Agri-Rural Forest 552
Green Town 30.3615754 73.37732928 Urban 570
Bonga Hayat 30.49568629 73.52083014 Agri-Rural 633

Table 1. Description of survey sites of study area.

Surveying and data collection

For data collection, regular surveys were conducted from January 2022 to April 2023 on a weekly basis. Birds were observed using binoculars (10 mm ×50 mm) and the direct vision method (naked eye) while some of the birds were identified using the sound capture feature of the BirdNET mobile application developed by Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Cornell University, USA. The identification was confirmed by Books and field guides of ornithology including “Birds of Pakistan” and “Ornithology in laboratory and field”. The bird count for population density estimation was carried out using the transect count method devised by Emlen [11-13].

Statistical analysis

For the statistical analysis of data, Shannon Wiener’s Diversity Index (H’), Species evenness index, Simpson’s diversity index (Isimpson), Simpson’s dominance index (Isimpson), and Margalef’s index (IMargalef) were applied using Microsoft Excel (MS Excel) version 2019 (Table 2). Graphical representations, tables, and graphs were generated using MS Excel version 2019.

Index Formula Value
Shannon Wiener Diversity Index equation 3.41853844
Species Evenness Index equation 0.453317773
Margalef’s Index equation 5.30422906
Simpson’s Dominance Index equation 0.039808635
Simpson’s Diversity Index Isimpson = 1 – Dsimpson 0.960191365

Table 2. Various diversity indices used in the study their formulae and outcome values.


Composition of avian diversity

Preponderantly, 1884 individual birds belonging to 41 species, 30 families, and 12 orders were sighted in the study area. Results revealed that Order Passeriformes is the most diverse among all orders. Out of 41 species, 19 species were belonging to order Passeriformes, 4 to Coraciiformes, 4 to Charadriiformes, 3 Columbiformes, 2 Cuculiformes, 2 Bucerotiformes, 2 Galliformes, one each from Pelecaniformes, Piciformes, Ciconiiformes, Strigiformes, and Accipitriformes (Figure 1). Percentage of individual bird count that the order Passeriformes is richest in diversity amongst other orders in the study area (Figure 2).


Figure 1: Species diversity among various orders exhibiting bird species in each order.equationequationequation


Figure 2: Percentage of individual birds among different orders. equationequationequation

Diversity indices

The outcomes for various diversity indices were recorded as Shannon Wiener’s Diversity Index (R’) 3.4185, Species Evenness index 0.4533, Simpson's Diversity Index (Isimpson) 0.9601, Simpson’s dominance index (Dsimpson) 0.0398 and Margalef’s index 5.30422906 (Table 2).

IUCN Red list status of avifauna

The results disclosed that 2 species (Sterna aurantia; Columba eversmanni) were Vulnerable (VU) and 2 (Limosa limosa; Mycteria leucocephala) Near Threatened (NT) and the rest of the species (N=34) belonged to Least Concern (LC) category of IUCN Red List (Figure 3).


Figure 3: Migratory status of the ornithon-fauna indicating the abundance of summer breeder, winter visiting, and resident species

Common name Scientific name Order Family Description IUCN Status Feeding habits N
Asian Green bee-eater Merops orientalis (Latham, 1801) Coraciiformes Meropidae Resident Least Concern Insectivores 100
Zitting Cisticola Sylvia juncidis (Rafinesque, 1810) Passeriformes Cisticolidae Summer breeder Least Concern Insectivores 20
Common myna Acridotheres tristis (Linnaeus, 1766) Passeriformes Sturnidae Resident Least Concern Omnivores 70
House crow Corvus splendens (Vieillot, 1817) Passeriformes Corvidae Resident Least Concern Scavenger 150
Indian roller Coracias benghalensis (Linnaeus, 1758) Coraciiformes Coraciidae Resident Least Concern Carnivores 10
Cattle egret Bubulcus ibis (Linnaeus, 1758) Pelecaniformes Ardeidae Resident Least Concern Insectivores 160
Red-vented bulbul Pycnonotus cafer (Linnaeus, 1766) Passeriformes Pycnonotidae Resident Least Concern Omnivores 70
Rufous treepie Dendrocitta vagabunda (Latham, 1790) Passeriformes Corvidae Resident Least Concern Omnivores 25
Black drongo Dicrurus macrocerus (Vieillot, 1817) Passeriformes Dicruridae Resident Least Concern Insectivores 27
Barn swallow Hirundo rustica (Linnaeus, 1758) Passeriformes Hirundinidae Summer breeder Least Concern Insectivores 50
White-throated kingfisher Halcyon smyrnesis (Linnaeus, 1758) Coraciiformes Alcedinidae Resident Least Concern Piscivores 16
Red-wattled lapwing Vanellus indicus (Boddaert, 1783) Charadriiformes Charadriidae Resident Least Concern Insectivores 75
Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis (Stephens, 1815) Cuculiformes Cuculidae Resident Least Concern Insectivores 23
House sparrow Passer domesticus (Linnaeus, 1758) Passeriformes Passeridae Resident Least Concern Omnivores 90
Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops (Linnaeus, 1758) Bucerotiformes Upupidae Resident Least Concern Insectivores 36
Coppersmith barbet Megalaima haemacephala (P.L.S. Müller, 1776) Piciformes Megalaimidae Summer breeder Least Concern Frugivores 20
Asian Koel Eudynamys scolopaceus (Linnaeus, 1758) Cuculiformes Cuculidae Resident Least Concern Omnivores 30
Common Tailorbird Orthotomus sutorius (Pennant, 1769) Passeriformes Cisticolidae Resident Least Concern Insectivores 45
Black-rumped Flameback Dinopium benghalense (Linnaeus, 1758) Piciformes Picidae Resident Least Concern Insectivores 21
Jungle babbler Turdoides striata (Dumont, 1823) Passeriformes Leiothrichidae Resident Least Concern Insectivores 64
Brown Rock Chat Oenanthe fusca (Blyth, 1851) Passeriformes Muscicapidae Resident Least Concern Insectivores 98
Oriental Magpie-Robin Copsychus saularis (Linnaeus, 1758) Passeriformes Muscicapidae Resident Least Concern Carnivores 56
Baya Weaver Ploceus philippinus (Linnaeus, 1766) Passeriformes Ploceidae Resident Least Concern Omnivores 42
Rock Pigeon Columba livia (J.F. Gmelin, 1789) Columbiformes Columbidae Resident Least Concern Omnivores 100
Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala (Pennant, 1769) Ciconiiformes Ciconiidae Resident Near Threatened Piscivores 7
Spotted Owlet Athene brama (Temminck, 1821) Strigiformes Strigidae Summer breeder Least Concern Carnivores 26
White Wagtail Motacilla alba (Linnaeus, 1758) Passeriformes Motacillidae Summer breeder Least Concern Insectivores 60
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus (Linnaeus, 1758) Charadriiformes Recurvirostridae Resident Least Concern Omnivores 20
Black Kite Milvus migrans (Boddaert, 1783) Accipitriformes Accipitridae Resident Least Concern Scavenger 38
Purple Sunbird Cinnyris asiaticus (Latham, 1790) Passeriformes Nectariniidae Summer breeder Least Concern Nectarivores 12
Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris (Linnaeus, 1758) Passeriformes Sturnidae Winter visitor Least Concern Omnivores 19
Indian Robin Copsychus fulicatus (Linnaeus, 1766) Passeriformes Muscicapidae Resident Least Concern Carnivores 65
Laughing Dove Spilopelia senegalensis (Linnaeus, 1766) Columbiformes Columbidae Resident Least Concern Granivores 60
Grey Francolin Ortygornis pondicerianus (J.F. Gmelin, 1789) Galliformes Phasianidae Resident Least Concern Insectivores 10
Wire-tailed Swallow Hirundo smithii (Leach and K.D. Koenig, 1818) Passeriformes Hirundinidae Summer breeder Least Concern Insectivores 80
Indian Golden Oriole Oriolus kundo (Sykes, 1832) Passeriformes Oriolidae Summer breeder Least Concern Frugivores 15
Red throated bee-eater Merops bulocki (Vieillot, 1817) Coraciiformes Meropidae Resident Least Concern Insectivores 30
Yellow-eyed pigeon Columba eversmanni (Bonaparte, 1856) Columbiformes Columbidae Resident Vulnerable Granivores 5
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa (Linnaeus, 1758) Charadriiformes Scolopacidae Resident Near Threatened Carnivores 12
River tern Sterna aurantia (J.E.Gray, 1831) Charadriiformes Laridae Resident Vulnerable Carnivores 10
Common Quail Coturnix coturnix (Linnaeus, 1758) Galliformes Phasianidae Summer breeder Least Concern Insectivores 17

Table 3. Detailed description of avifauna observed in Tehsil Pakpattan.


Figure 4: Distribution of the avifauna as per their IUCN Red List status

Migratory status

The Majority of the recorded bird population was comprised of resident species. Results showed that 75.60% (N=31) of the bird species was resident, 21.95% (n=9) were summer breeder, and 2.43 % of species (N=1) were winter visitor.


Figure 5: Relative number of species and individuals observed at each survey site.equationequation

Feeding habits

The Plurality of the bird species was Insectivores (n=17) while other species were Omnivores (n=9), Carnivores (n=6), Frugivores (n=2), Granivores (n=2), Piscivores (n=2), Scavengers (n=2), and Nectarivores (n=1).


Pakistan has a marvelous avifaunal diversity. Birds are regarded as valuable environmental indicators and help us to recognize the preeminent zones for conservation. Protection efforts are aided by metrics like the current species distribution, their historical distribution evidence, and the degree of threat to the species [14]. Birds are crucial for the continuance of ecological cycles, especially in the trophic hierarchies of food chains [15]. The current study was designed to get an insight into the species diversity, IUCN Red List status, feeding types, and migratory behavior of the ornithofaunal populations of Tehsil Pakpattan, Punjab, Pakistan. There has not been any survey conducted for the appraisal of bird diversity in this region so far. A total of 1884 birds were observed belonging to 41 species, 30 families, and 12 orders of Class Aves. A significant proportion (55.15%) of the bird population belonged to Order Passeriformes making it the most diverse group among all other groups and substantiating the previous findings from the adjacent areas of the study zone as well as from other areas of the country [2,16,17]. For the quantitative analysis of diversity various diversity indices were applied including Shannon Wiener Diversity Index (R=3.41853), Species Evenness index, Simpson’s dominance index (Isimpson=0.039808), Simpson’s dominance index (Dsimpson=0.03980), and Margalef’s index (IMargaled=5.30422) outcomes of these were strongly suggesting a rich avifaunal population in Tehsil Pakpattan. The majority of survey sites are situated in Agri-farming and countryside settings which is why predominantly bird species are insectivores and omnivores relying on grains and other herbaceous and carnivore feed sources. Nutritive habits of bird species suggested that the bird population is predominantly feeding on small insects and other arthropods viz. Insectivores. The observed population is dominantly comprised of resident avifauna as 75.60% (N=31) of the bird species were resident followed by 21.95% (N=9) summer breeders and 2.43% (N=1) winter visitors. As the study site comprised the region with low industrial and urbanization activities the results regarding the status of threat level indicated that the majority of bird population (90.24%, N=37) belongs to the least concerned (LC) category while 2 (4.87%) species were falling in the Near Threatened (NT) and 2 (4.87%) were in the Vulnerable (VU) categories of Red List of International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The findings of our study also ascertained that the conservation status of the avifauna of Tehsil Pakpattan is at a satisfactory level and there are no signs of environmental pressure driving population decline. Meanwhile, the highest number of individual birds and species were observed at (N= 460) birds and (N=7) at Bonga Hayat and Kanipur respectively. The site where the lowest number of birds were observed was Bhaiwal (N=2) while the lowest number of species sighted was N=2 at Islam Colony, Malik Bhaiwal, and Green Town. The lowest species diversity and bird observance in these areas strongly suggested that the anthropogenic activities in urban areas are callously affecting the avifauna due to land use, environmental pollution, and habitat loss [18,19]. Moreover, the availability of plenty of dietary resources, habitat suitability, lower degree of urbanization, and natural habitat exploitation in the other parts of the study area procures a secure and flourishing habitat for the bird populations and results in a rich ornithofaunal glimpse in the study area.


Figure 6: Feeding habits of different bird species


Figure 7: Birds belonging to each respective species


Figure 8: Interface of BirdNET mobile application for sound capture identification of bird


The study concluded that the area of tehsil Pakpattan has a rich avifaunal diversity. A large number of (n=41) species is an unambiguous sign of a healthy and least exploited habitat. While the urban vicinities in the study area embodied the least proportion of bird population indicating a trend of non-ecofriendly anthropogenic activities in the urban setting causing the dwindling of avifauna in the region. Overall, the study suggested the study area is a healthy, less exploited, and stable habitat for the flourishment of bird populations. Furthermore, efforts should be made to the awareness of messes through well-organized strategies through effective channels like social media, mass media, and publicity campaigns for the dispersal of information in rural areas regarding the protection and conservation of avifauna to mitigate the loss of avian diversity in defiance of upcoming environmental challenges in future.


The authors are delighted to acknowledge the Chairman, Department of Wildlife and Ecology, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS), Lahore, Pakistan for their continuous support during this study.