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Journal of Forestry Research

, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 1959–1965 | Cite as

Feeding patterns of Indian giant flying squirrel (Petaurista philippensis, Elliot 1839) with reference to seasonal variation in central Gujarat, India

  • Singh NishaEmail author
  • Dharaiya Nishith
Original Paper

Abstract

Indian Giant Flying Squirrel (Petaurista philippensis Elliot 1839) is widely distributed in South Asia and the only species of flying squirrel found in Gujarat. We studied the seasonal variation in its feeding behaviour at selected sites of Central Gujarat. Focal sampling was employed to study the behaviours and mainly feeding behaviours. Feeding analyses were consistent with other studies and indicated Madhuca longifolia as an important food resource. The diet of the species mainly consisted of pith, twig, seed, bark, petiole, young to mature leaves, flower and fruits of 20 species of plants of 15 families along with lichens, Vanda tessellata and Dendrophthoe falcata. Madhuca longifolia (25%) contributed most to the squirrel diet, followed by Diospyros melanoxylon (10%) and Terminalia tomentosa (9%). Among the plant parts consumed, pith formed the highest bulk as a food at 23%, followed by fruits (21%), bark (16%), twig (14%), flower (10%), seed (6%), leaf (6%), and bud (4%). The findings reveal the high dependency of flying squirrel on certain tree species. These tree species are well represented and distributed throughout central Gujarat, indicating that this area is important for the survival of this species and that the area should be conserved for protection and future management of this species.

Keywords

Arboreal rodent Behaviour Madhuca longifolia Phenology Western India 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors are thankful to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Gandhinagar for permission to carryout field work. Thanks are also due to Chief Conservator of Forest Vadodara Circle, Deputy Conservator of Forests and local forest staff for logistic support during the field work. We are also thankful to Mr. Ashish Jangid for helping in the lab work. Head, Department of Life Sciences, HNG University is also acknowledged for providing laboratory and infrastructural facilities.

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Copyright information

© Northeast Forestry University and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wildlife and Conservation Biology Lab, Department of Life SciencesHemchandracharya North Gujarat UniversityPatanIndia

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