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Habitat of the Musant


This tree hummingbird is a fairly tame creature. In fact, it was surprisingly easy to pick one out of a herd of about 50. Typical habitats include shady forest edge, grassy plains and drier uplands. The requisite breeding season is typically from October to May, but that’s not a bad thing for these tame little fliers. The most impressive occupants are typically young frolicking females and their mates, but it’s still a hive of testosterone for the males.


The habitat that a species uses must be able to provide the right amount of food, water, shelter, and space. A good habitat will have the right mixture of these elements to allow an organism to thrive (Dasmann 1981; Best 1984).

The correct arrangement of food, shelter, and water is called a “habitat.” It also provides the right amount of space for an organism to move around, acquire and digest food, and respond to stimuli such as heat or movement of predators. Almost all animals, plants, and other organisms need some kind of habitat to survive.

Habitats can include a wide variety of types, including forest, grassland, or bare land. They can be created through the actions of living organisms and by natural processes.

Several species of mammals and birds are dependent on habitats for their survival. For example, the red-eyed tree frog, which is native to tropical areas from southern Mexico to northern South America, needs rainforests to thrive. However, if the rainforests are destroyed by human activities, the frog’s habitat will shrink and it will not be able to live there any longer.

A habitat map can help us understand the environment better and may even contribute to determining an effective conservation plan for a species (Mongkolsawat and Thirangoon 1999). It can be based on satellite data or Geographical Information Systems (GIS) technology, which can provide a high-resolution view of land cover and its relationship to wildlife populations.

For this study, we used remote sensing techniques to classify the land cover of kiang habitat in Upper Mustang (UM). Six land cover classes were selected for the kiang’s use: grassland, shrubland, bare land, ponds, snow, and agriculture and settlement.

We also used the Quality Habitat Evaluation Index (QHEI), which rated habitat characteristics, such as substrate type and quality, instream cover, channel quality, riparian/erosion, pool/riffle, and gradient. The resulting suitability indices were then applied to the kiang’s distribution area and a region was delineated as suitable habitat for the species.

The kiang’s habitat needs to be conserved as much as possible, and this was the main reason for conducting this research. The kiang is a highly endangered species and its habitat has been reduced significantly in recent years. It is therefore critical to study its habitat and prepare a suitable habitat map for the kiang in UM.


Breeding behaviour of musant is complex and depends on habitat (Collins 1981; Gordon 1983). During the breeding season, males take up nests in mussel shells, kelp leaves, or crevices (Gordon 1983; Amundsen and Forsgren 2001; Svensson 2006). Females deposit clutches of 1000-1500 eggs in the nest and may successively lay several batches over the breeding season.

At the start of the breeding season, males are more active in search for mates than females; however, as the season progresses, mating competition becomes stronger for both sexes. During their mate search, ready-to-mate females actively seek out and visit several males (Myhre et al. 2012).

A study of the breeding behaviour of musant in a complex environment found that the degree of habitat complexity strongly affected a number of behaviors related to breeding, including foraging behavior and reproductive success. In the complex environment, females generally moved around less, experienced fewer male encounters and courtship events, and took longer to mate.

The study also found that the degree of niche-interaction between sexes and breeding stages was more important than the extent of niche overlap during sexual selection. Specifically, the greater the level of niche-interaction between sexes, the more likely it was for males to find a mate, and vice versa. In addition, a more complex environment made it harder for females to detect searching males, and to recognise other potential mates engaged in courtship.



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