Proceedings of the Zoological Society

, Volume 71, Issue 1, pp 92–98 | Cite as

Prey Animals of Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) in Dudhwa Landscape, Terai Region, North India

  • Krishnendu Basak
  • Dibyendu Mandal
  • Sanjay Babu
  • Rahul Kaul
  • N. V. K. Ashraf
  • Anil Singh
  • Krishnendu Mondal
Research Article


Livestock depredation by carnivores cause substantial human carnivore conflict and subsequently decreased support for carnivore conservation. Thus, understanding carnivore diet with respect to wild prey availability has major implications to determine the reasons behind livestock depredation. A study was conducted to investigate food habits and prey use of tiger at four study sites (Dudhwa National Park, Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary, Pilibhit Forest Division and Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary) in Dudhwa landscape, Terai Region, North India for further understanding of prey–predator relationship and partial impact of wild prey availability on livestock depredation by tiger through scat analysis. Scat analysis shows that the tigers depend mostly on medium sized prey throughout the study area (74.11, 73.58, 71.79, 47.62%). In Dudhwa National Park and Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary, predation was attempted subsequently on wider prey variety of eleven and nine different available prey species where livestock depredation were only 3.77 and 5.36% respectively. While, in absence of wider prey variety, large sized livestock (21.91, 16.55%) and nilgai (24.41, 5.57%) contributed much higher in tiger diet in Pilibhit Forest Division and Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary respectively. Our study suggested that availability of prey variety has an important role in reduced livestock depredation. Medium sized preys were mostly contributing in tiger diet and seems to be a significant parameter for sustaining tiger population where abundance of large sized prey is rare. Conservation of medium sized preys is important but along with natural restoration of the population of large sized prey species like sambar and swamp deer is essential in order to reduce livestock depredation.


Panthera tigris Prey selection Scat analysis 



We thank Mr. Vivek Menon, ED and CEO, Wildlife Trust of India for his kind guidance and support. We thank Dr. Rupak De, PCCF (Wildlife), UP and Mr. B.K. Patnaik Ex-PCCF (Wildlife), UP for their permission and support for the present study. We also thank Mr. Sailesh Prasad, Field Director, Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Mr. Ganesh Bhatt, Dy. Director, Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Mr. Sanjay Kumar, Ex-Dy. Director, Dudhwa Tiger Reserve for their help and support in field. We are thankful to Tapajit Bhattacharya for his consistent scientific input during data analysis and writing. We are thankful to Smita Bodhankar and Sreeparna Sen for their help in mapping. We are grateful to Mr. Ramendra Kumar, Mr. Shashank Kasare and Subrat Kumar Behera for their extended help in data collection. We also thank our assistant Mr. Karam Singh.


  1. Ackerman, B.B., F.G. Lindzey, and T.P. Hemker. 1984. Cougar food habits in southern Utah. Journal of Wildlife Management 48: 147–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Andheria, A.P., K.U. Karanth, and N.S. Kumar. 2007. Diet and prey profiles of three sympatric large carnivores in Bandipur Tiger Reserve, India. Journal of Zoology 273: 169–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bista, A. 2011. Proximate determinants of ungulate distribution and abundance in Pilibhit Forest Division, Uttar Pradesh, India. Masters of Science, Dissertation, Saurashtra University.Google Scholar
  4. Biswas, S., and K. Sankar. 2002. Prey abundance and food habit of tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) in Pench National Park, Madhya Pradesh, India. Journal of Zoology 256: 411–422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Gilpin, M.E., and M.E. Soule. 1986. Minimum viable populations: process of species extinction. In Conservation biology: The science of scarcity and diversity, ed. M.E. Soule, 19–34. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer.Google Scholar
  6. Griffiths, D. 1975. Prey availability and the food of predators. Ecology 56: 1209–1214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Harihar, A. 2005. Population, food habits and prey densities of tiger in Chilla Range, Rajaji National Park, Uttaranchal, India. Masters of Science, Dissertation, Saurashtra University.Google Scholar
  8. Hayward, M.W., W. Jedrzejewski, and B. Jedrzewska. 2009. Prey preferences of the tiger Panthera tigris. Journal of Zoology 286: 221–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Jhala, Y.V., Q. Qureshi, and P.R. Sinha (eds.). 2010. Status of tigers, co-predators and prey in India. New Delhi: National Tiger Conservation Authority, Government of India and Dehradun: Wildlife Institute of India.Google Scholar
  10. Johnsingh, A.J.T. 1983. Large mammalian prey–predator in Bandipur. Journal of Bombay Natural History Society 80: 1–57.Google Scholar
  11. Karanth, K.U., and M.E. Sunquist. 1995. Prey selection by tiger, leopard and dhole in tropical forests. Journal of Animal Ecology 64: 439–450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Karanth, K.U., and M.E. Sunquist. 2000. Behavioural correlates of predation by tiger (Panthera tigris), leopard (Panthera pardus) and dhole (Cuon alpinus) in Nagarahole, India. Journal of Zoology 250: 255–265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Leete, F.A. 1902. Working plan of 1902 for the Trans-Sarda Forests, Kheri Division, Oudh Circle United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, (1903-04–1932-33).Google Scholar
  14. Majumdar, A., S. Basu, S. Sankar, Q. Qureshi, Y.V. Jhala, and R. Gopal. 2012. Prey selection, food habits and temporal activity patterns of sympatric carnivores in Pench Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, Central India. Journal of Scientific Transaction Environmental Technovation 5: 110–120.Google Scholar
  15. Melville, H.I.A.S. 2004. Behavioral ecology of the caracal in the Kaglagadi Transfrontier Park, and its impact on adjacent small stock production units. M.Sc. Dissertation. Pretoria: University of Pretoria.Google Scholar
  16. Midha, N., and P.K. Mathur. 2008. Mapping of National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries, Volume IV, Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Uttar Pradesh. Final Technical Report. Dehradun: Wildlife Institute of India.Google Scholar
  17. Mondal, K., S. Bhattacharjee, S. Gupta, K. Sankar, and Q. Qureshi. 2013. Home range and resource selection of ‘problem’ leopards trans-located to forested habitat. Current Science 105(3): 338–345.Google Scholar
  18. Mondal, K., S. Gupta, Q. Oureshi, and K. Sankar. 2012. Prey selection and food habit and dietary overlap between leopard Panthera pardus (Mammalia: Carnivora) and re-introduced tiger Panthera tigris (Mammalia: Carnivora) in semi-arid forest of Sariska Tiger Reserve, Western India. Italian Journal of Zoology 79(4): 607–616.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mukherjee, S., S.P. Goyal, and R. Chellam. 1994a. Refined techniques for the analysis of Asiatic lion Panthera leo persica scats. Acta Theriologica 39: 425–430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Mukherjee, S., S.P. Goyal, and R. Chellam. 1994b. Standardization of scat analysis techniques for leopard (Panthera pardus) in Gir National Park, Western India. Mammalia 58: 139–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Reddy, H.S., C. Srinivasulu, and K.T. Rao. 2004. Prey selection by the Indian tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) in Nagarjunsagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve, India. Mammalian Biology 69: 384–391.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Rodger, W.A., H.S. Panwar, and V.B. Mathur. 1988. Wildlife protected area network in India: A review. Dehradun: Wildlife Institute of India.Google Scholar
  23. Sankar, K., Q. Qureshi, P. Nigam, P.K. Malik, P.R. Sinha, R.N. Mehrotra, R. Gopal, S. Bhattacharjee, K. Mondal, and S. Gupta. 2010. Monitoring of reintroduced tigers in Sariska Tiger Reserve, Western India: Preliminary findings on home range, prey selection and food habits. Tropical Conservation Science 3: 301–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Sankhala, K. 1978. Tiger! The story of Indian tiger. London: Collins.Google Scholar
  25. Schaller, G.B. 1967. The deer and the tiger: A study of wildlife in India. Chicago: University Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  26. Smith, J.L.D., S.C. Ahearn, and C. Mcdougal. 1998. A landscape analysis of tiger distribution and habitat quality in Nepal. Conservation Biology 1: 1338–1346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Sunquist, M.E. 1981. The social organization of tigers (Panthera tigris) in Royal Chitwan National Park. Smithsonian Contribution to Zoology 336: 1–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sunquist, M.E., K.U. Karanth, and F. Sunquist. 1999. Ecology, behavior and resilience of the tiger and its conservation needs. In. Riding the tiger: Tiger conservation in human dominated landscapes, eds. J. Seidensticker, S. Christie and P. Jackson, 5–18. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Wegge, P., M. Odden, C.P. Pokharel, and T. Storaas. 2009. Predator–prey relationships and responses of ungulates and their predators to the establishment of protected areas: a case study of tigers, leopards and their prey in Bardia National Park. Nepal. Biological Conservation 142: 189–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Zoological Society, Kolkata, India 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wildlife Trust of IndiaNoidaIndia

Personalised recommendations