Status of large carnivores and their prey in tropical rainforests of South-western Ghats, India

Ramesh, Tharmalingam; Sridharan, Natarajan; Sankar, Kalyanasundaram; Qureshi, Qamar; Selvan, Kanagaraj Muthamizh; Gokulakkannan, Neduncheran; Francis, Pichaiyan; Narasimmarajan, Kannadasan; Jhala, Yadvendradev V.; Gopal, Rajesh
May 2012
Tropical Ecology;May2012, Vol. 53 Issue 2, p137
Academic Journal
Information on large carnivores and their prey is generally lacking in many tropical rainforest habitats of the world. During March to October 2006, 2(0.67 and 2010, we conducted sign and automated camera trap surveys for tiger (Panthera tigris), leopard (Panthercz pardus) and dhole (Cuon alpinus) in Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR), Western Ghats. Line transect sampling was carried out to estimate prey species density (total effort 353.2 km). Highest sign encounter rate per km walk was observed for leopard (1.26), followed by dhole (0.67) and tiger (0.18). Spatially explicit maximum likelihood and Bayesian model estimateé (individuals 100 km2) were 2.2 ± 1.6 and 2.9 ±1.4 for tigers and 2.8 ± 2.0 and 2.4 ± 1.3 for leopards, respectively. Photographic encounter rate of dhole was 1.9 in 2006 and 0.6 in 2010 y 100 trap-nights. Leopards exhibited peak activity at night while, tigers were active during early mornings and late evenings. Dholes appeared to be mostly diurnal. Overall ungulate density was 11.9 ± 3.7 individuals km2. The ungulate biomass was 26 14' kg km-2. This study provides baseline information on prey - predator population in Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve.


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