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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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Panthera tigris Prey selection Scat analysis 

Notes

Acknowledgements

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.

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Copyright information

© Zoological Society, Kolkata, India 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wildlife Trust of IndiaNoidaIndia

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