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Food of Grey Francolin Francolinus pondicerianus interpositus with Remarks on Competition with Black Francolin Francolinus francolinus henrici in Lal Suhanra National Park Pakistan

Food of Grey Francolin Francolinus pondicerianus interpositus with Remarks on Competition with Black Francolin Francolinus francolinus henrici in Lal Suhanra National Park Pakistan

Pakistan Journal of Zoology 44(4): 1099-1109

Analyses of 31 crop contents of grey francolin (Francolinus pondicerianus interpositus) collected from Lal Suhanra National Park (Punjab, Pakistan) during different seasons (spring 7, summer 9, autumn 7, winter 8) contained 51 (35 plants, 16 insects) taxa, demonstrating the omnivorous and food generalist character of this species. The food was comprised of seeds (44%), leaves (7%), insects (34%), grit (11%) and unidentified material (5%). Relative representation of all food taxa remained low (>7%). Seeds were more frequent in autumn (49%) and winter (51 %) compared to spring (37%) and summer 40%), insects were in lower proportions in autumn (27%) and winter (28%) than in spring (40%) and summer (38%), and leaves were slightly higher in spring (9%) and summer (10%) than in autumn (5%) and winter (4%). Grit formed 11% of average content and exhibited significant positive regression with seed and significant negative regression with leaves and insects. Comparison of food of grey and black (F. francolinus henrici) francolins suggested similarity in types of food consumed with a group of 29 (22 plant, 7 animal) taxa consumed by both. However, 17 taxa (12 plants, 5 animals) were consumed exclusively by black francolin; and 23 (14 plants, 9 animals) were exclusively consumed by grey francolin, suggesting that these sympatric species avoid food competition under the Gause Principle.

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