Seasonal diet of dholes (Cuon alpinus) in northwestern Bhutan
We determined the seasonal diet of dholes (Cuon alpinus) in northwestern Bhutan in 2009. Results showed that large (>75 kg) ungulate species, primarily sambar (Cervus unicolor), were main part of the diet in both the wet and dry seasons. In contrast, small (20–30 kg) ungulate species comprised only 10% of the biomass consumed in both seasons. Cattle were consumed only during the wet season, probably because herding practices reduced their availability in the dry season. Although seasonal consumption of wild pigs (Sus scrofa) was relatively low (2–8% of biomass consumed), dholes consumed twice as many individual wild pigs than individual cattle. Because wild pigs caused severe damage to cropfields in Bhutan, we conclude dholes may be more helpful than harmful to local farmers, especially if farmers reduce the livestock available to dholes by changing their herding practices.
KeywordsBhutan Dhole Cuon alpinus Diet Predation
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