Diel activity pattern of meso-carnivores in the suburban tropical dry evergreen forest of the Coromandel Coast, India

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Kangaraj Muthamizh Selvan
Bawa Mothilal Krishnakumar
Pasiyappazham Ramasamy
Thangadurai Thinesh


Sympatric and similar body-sized species exhibit interspecific competition for resources.  The present study investigated diel activity of five meso-carnivore species (Canis aureus, Felis chaus, Paradoxurus hermaphroditus, Viverricula indica, and Herpestes edwardsii) in a human-dominated region of Auroville and around Pondicherry University using camera-trap survey data.  Diel activity pattern and overlap were estimated using the kernel density method.  The Jungle Cat Felis chaus and the Golden Jackal Canis aureus exhibited cathemeral diel activity with a high overlap between them (Δ̂1 = 0.78).  The Indian Grey Mongoose Herpestes edwardsii displayed a diurnal activity pattern and had low overlap with the Small Indian Civet Viverricula indica (Δ̂1 = 0.34).  Moderate overlap was found between the Small Indian Civet and the Palm Civet Paradoxurus hermaphroditus (Δ̂1 = 0.32).  Therefore, diel activity patterns of mesocarnivores indicate inter- and intra-specific trade-off competition avoidance resulting in successful foraging.  The present camera-trap survey has provided insights into diel activity patterns and more attention is required to be paid to the study of feeding and breeding ecology of these species in human-dominated landscapes. 

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