The food habits of the Himalayan Brown Bear Ursus arctos (Mammalia: Carnivora: Ursidae) in Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary, Himachal Pradesh, India

Bipan C. Rathore, N.P.S. Chauhan


We documented the food habits of the Himalayan Brown Bear Ursus arctos in Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary, Himachal Pradesh, India, between 2002 and 2004 using scat analysis (n=222), direct observation (n=57), and feeding sign observations (n=57).  We concluded that Himalayan Brown Bears lead a predominantly herbivorous life style as plant matter occurred more frequently in scats (79%) than animal matter (21%).  During summer, monsoon and fall, the frequency occurrence of plant matter was 72.2%, 77% and 91% respectively.  During early summer, brown bears foraged primarily on green vegetation such as Rumex nepalensis followed by Chaerophyllum reflexum.  Based on direct feeding observations, brown bears were observed to be feeding on 29 species of plants including agricultural crops and one fungi, Morchella esculenta.  The overuse by livestock, decline in local herbs and excessive extraction of high altitudinal medicinal plants in this habitat may pose a threat to the fragmented brown bear population.



Fagopyrum emarginatum, Fagopyrum esculentum, Got, Himalayan Brown Bear, Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary, Morchella esculenta.

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