Prey selection by Bengal Tiger Panthera tigris tigris (Mammalia: Carnivora: Felidae) of Chitwan National Park, Nepal

Main Article Content

Saneer Lamichhane
http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2073-3864
Bibhuti Ranjan Jha
http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7219-2441

Abstract

Prey selection by tiger in Chitwan National Park, Nepal was studied from 77 tiger scats that contained the remains of principal prey species.  The scats were collected from January to March 2010.  Government reports on herbivore population in Chitwan provided the base data on density of principal prey species.  In order to understand prey selectivity, the observed proportion of prey species in the scats were compared with the expected proportion derived from density estimates.  The observed scat frequency of Sambar, Hog Deer and Wild Boar was found to be greater than the estimated frequency, and the reverse was true for Chital and Muntjac.  The average weight of the principal prey species killed was 84 kg. According to our results, Chital and Sambar constituted the bulk (82.07%), and Hog Deer, Wild Boar, and Muntjac constituted 17.93% of the tiger diet.  Sambar contributed the largest bulk (43.75%) of prey composition, but Chital constituted the relatively most killed (50.36%) prey species.  The present study makes a contribution to an understanding of the status of prey composition in tiger scat in Chitwan during the year 2010.  The study also highlights that both large and medium sized prey are important for the conservation of tiger in Chitwan National Park.

 

Article Details

How to Cite
[1]
Lamichhane, S. and Jha, B.R. 2015. Prey selection by Bengal Tiger Panthera tigris tigris (Mammalia: Carnivora: Felidae) of Chitwan National Park, Nepal. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 7, 14 (Nov. 2015), 8081–8088. DOI:https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.2424.7.14.8081-8088.
Section
Communications
Author Biographies

Saneer Lamichhane, MSc in Environmental Science, Kathmandu University, Dhulikel, Nepal Environmental Safeguard Consultant, District Technical Office, Udayapur, Strengthening the National Rural Transport Program (SNRTP), Department of Local Infrastructure Development and Agricultural Roads (DoLIDAR) Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD), Nepal

Saneer Lamichhane is working as an Environmental Safeguard Consultant at Strengthening the National Rural Transportation Program. His research interest are in the field of threatened and endangered species conservation.

 

Bibhuti Ranjan Jha, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Kathmandu University, Dhulikel, Nepal

Dr. Bibhuti Ranjan Jha is a post-doc from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA, USA. PhD under collaboration between Kathmandu University, Dhulikhel, Nepal and University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna. Academic-Research: ecology, wildlife, fish, river etc.

 

References

Ackerman, B.B., F.G. Lindzey & T.P. Hemker (1984). Cougar food habits in southern Utah. Journal of Wildlife Management 48(1): 147–155.

Adheria, A.P., K.U. Karanth & N.S. Kumar (2007). Diet and prey profiles of three sympatric large carnivores in the Bandipur Tiger Reserve, India. Journal of Zoology 273(2): 169–175.

Bagchi, S., S.P. Goyal, & K. Sankar (2003). Prey abundance and prey selection by Tiger (Panthera tigris) in semi–arid, dry deciduous forest in western India. Journal of Zoology 260(3): 285–290.

Banks, D., N. Mole & P. Shah (eds.) (2003). Undermined: Destruction of Tiger Habitat in India. Environmental Investigation Agency, London / Washington DC, 18pp.

Bhattarai, B.P. (2011). Challenges of Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) conservation in the tropics: lessons learned from the Chitwan National Park of Nepal. PhD Thesis, in English. Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice, Czech Republic, 51pp+Appendices 255pp.

Bhattarai, B.P. & P. Kindlmann (2012). Habitat heterogeneity as the key determinant of the abundance and habitat preference of prey species of tiger in the Chitwan National Park, Nepal. Acta Theriologica http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13364–011–0047–8

Bista, R.B. (1979). Status of Tiger in Nepal, pp. 17–20. In: International Symposium on Tiger, India, February 22–24, 1979. Papers, Proceedings and Resolutions. Project Tiger, Government of India, Department of Environment, New Delhi 1979, ix+417pp.

Biswas, S. & K. Sankar (2002). Prey abundance and food habitat of Tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) in Pench National Park, Madhya Pradesh, India. Journal of Zoology 256(3): 411–420.

Dahl, S. (2012). Contribution of small mammals to the diet of tiger: a case study of Chitwan National Park. A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Zoology, Central Department of Zoology - Ecology Program Institute of Science and Technology, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal, xiv+77pp.

Dinerstein, E., C. Loucks, A. Heydlauff, E. Wikramanayake, G. Bryja, J. Forrest, J. Ginsberg, S. Klenzendorf, P. Leimgruber, T.

O’Brien, E. Sanderson, J. Seidensticker & M. Songer (2006). Setting Priorities for the Conservation and Recovery of Wild Tigers: 2005–2015. A User’s Guide. 1–50. Washington, D.C. - New York, WWF, WCS, Smithsonian, and NFWF-STF.

Dinerstein, E., C. Loucks, E. Wikramanayake, J. Ginsberg, E. Sanderso, J. Seidensticker, J. Forrest, G. Bryja, A. Heydlauff, S. Klenzendorf, P. Leimgruber, J. Mills, T. O’Brien, M. Shrestha, R. Simons & M. Songer (2007). The fate of Wild Tigers. Bioscience 57(6): 508–514.

DNPWC (2011). <http://www.dnpwc.gov.np/protected–areas/national–parks/8–chitwan–national–park.html>. Downloaded on 4 January 2011.

DNPWC/MoFSC/GoN (2009). Tiger and their prey base abundance in Terai Arc Landscape. Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation, Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation, Government of Nepal.

Eisenberg, J.F. (1976). Ungulates in southern Asia. A consideration of biomass estimates for selected habitats. Biological Conservation 10(4): 293–308.

Grey, J. (2009). Prey selection by Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) in the Karnali Floodplain of Bardia National Park, Nepal. MSc Thesis. Imperial College, London.

Gurung, M.K. (2004). Human Dimensions in One-horned Rhinoceros Conservation in Royal Chitwan National Park, Nepal. MSc Thesis. University of Boku, Vienna, Austria.

Hines, J.E. & W.A. Link (1994). Scatman Software. <http://search.nasa.gov/search/search.jsp?nasaInclude=Scatman>. Downloaded on 2 January 2011.

Kapfer, P., H.M. Streby, B. Gurung, A. Simcharoen, C.C. McDougal & J.L.D. Smith (2011). Fine-scale spatio-temporal variation in Tiger Panthera tigris diet: effect of study duration and extent on estimates of tiger diet in Chitwan National Park,Nepal. Wildlife. Biology 17(3): 277–285.

Karanth, K.U & M.E. Sunquist (1995). Prey Selection by Tiger, Leopard and Dhole in Tropical Forests. Journal of Animal Ecology 64(4): 439–450.

Karanth, K.U. & B.M. Stith (1999). Prey depletion as a critical determinant of tiger population viability, pp. 100–113. In: Seidensticker, J., S. Christie & P. Jackson (eds.). Riding the Tiger: Tiger Conservation in Human-dominated Landscapes. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Karanth, K.U. & M.E. Sunquist (2000). Behavioural correlates of predation by Tiger (Panthera tigris), Leopard (Panthera pardus) and Dhole (Cuon alpinus) in Nagahole, India. Journal of Zoology 250(2): 255–265.

Karanth, K.U. & M.D. Madhusudan(2002). Mitigating human - wildlife conflicts in southern Asia, pp. 250–264. In: Terburgh, J., C.V. Schaik, L. Davenport & M. Rao (eds.). Making Parks Work, Strategies for Preserving Tropical Nature. Island Press, Washinton, USA.

Karanth, K.U. (2003). Tiger Ecology and Conservation in Indian sub-continent. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 100(2&3): 169–189.

Karanth, K.U., J.D. Nicholas, N.S. Kumar, W.A. Link & J.E. Hines (2004). Tigers and their prey: predicting carnivores densities from prey abundance. PNAS 101(14): 4854–4858.

Katz, D.A. (2005). Hair Analysis. www.chemist.com/HAIR%20ANALYSIS.Pdf (accessed 3 Dec, 2010).

Link, W.A. & K.U. Karanth (1994). Correcting for overdispersion in tests of prey selectivity. Ecology 75(8): 2456–2459.

McDougal, C. (1977). The Face of The Tiger. Rivington Books, London,UK.

Mukherjee, S., S.P. Goyal & R. Chellam (1994a). Refined techniques for the analysis of Asiatic Lion Panthera leo persica scats. Acta Theologica 39(3): 425–430.

Mukherjee, S., S.P. Goyal & R. Chellam (1994b). Standardisation of scat analysis techniques for Leopards (Panthera pardus) in Gir National Park, Western India. Mammalia 58(1): 139–143.

Odden, M., P. Wegge & T. Fredriksen (2010). Do tigers displace leopards? If so, why? Ecological Research 25(4): 875–881.

Paudel, K.C., B.J. Karki & R.S. Bhatta (2008). Trans-boundary conservation initiatives in Nepal, pp 29–33. In: Bajracharya, S.B. & N. Dahal (eds.). Shifting Paradigms in Protected Area Management. National Trust for Nature Conservation, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Paquet, P.C. & C.T. Darimont (2010). Wildlife Conservation and Animal Welfare: two sides of the same coin? Animal Welfare 19(2): 177–190.

Ranganathan, J., K.M.A. Chan. & J.L.D Smith (2008). Where can tiger persist in the future? A land scape-scale, density-based population model for the Indian sub-continent. Biological Conservation 141(1): 67–77.

Reddy, H.S., C. Srinivasulu & K.T. Rao (2004). Prey selection by Indian Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) in Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve, India. Mammalian Biology 69(6): 384–39.

Schaller, G.B. (1967). The Deer and The Tiger. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, London, 370pp.

Seidensticker, J. & C. McDougal (1993): Tiger predatory behaviour, ecology and conservation. Symp. Zool. Soc. London, 65: 105–125.

Seidensticker, J. (1976a). On the ecological separation between tigers and leopards. Biotropica 8(4): 225–234.

Seidensticker, J. (1976b). Ungulate populations in Chitwan Valley, Nepal. Biological Conservation 11/1976: 10(3): 183–210.

Shrestha M.K. (2004). Relative Ungulate Abundance in a Fragmented Landscape: Implication for Tiger conservation. PhD Thesis. University of Minnesota, USA.

Smith, J.L.D., C. Mc Dougal, S.C. Ahearn, A. Joshi & K. Conforti (1999). Metapopulation structure of tigers in Nepal, pp 176–192. In: Seidensticker, J., S. Christie & P. Jackson (eds.). Riding the Tiger: Tiger Conservation in Human Dominated Landscapes. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Stoen, O.G. & P. Wegge (1996). Prey selection and removal by Tiger (Panthera tigris) during the dry season in lowland Nepal. Mammalia 1996: 363–373.

Sunquist, M.E. (1981). The social organization of Tigers (Panthera tigris) in Royal Chitwan National Park. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 336: 1–98.

Sunquist, M.E., K.U. Karanth & F.C. Sunquist (1999). Ecology, behavior and resilience of the tiger and its conservation needs, pp. 5–18. In: Seidensticker, J., S. Christie & P. Jackson (eds.). Riding the Tiger: Tiger Conservation in Human-dominated Landscapes. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Tamang, K.M. (1979). Population characteristics of the Tiger and its prey, pp. 236–244. In: International Symposium on Tiger, India, February 22–24, 1979. Papers, Proceedings and Resolutions. Project Tiger, Government of India, Department of Environment, New Delhi 1979, ix+417pages.

UNEP/ WCMC (2008). Royal Chitwan National Park, Nepal. United Nations Environment Programme, World Conservation Monitoring Centre. <http://www.unep–wcmc.org/medialibrary/2011/06/13/e26c7182/Royal%20 Chitwan.pdf> . Downloaded on 4 January 2011.

Wang, S.W. & D.W. Macdonald (2010). Feeding habits and niche partitioning in a predator guild composed of tigers, leopards and dholes in a temperate ecosystem in Central Bhutan. Journal of Zoology [April 2009] 277(4): 275–283.

Wegge, P., M. Odden, C.P. Pokharel & T. Storass (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(1): 189–202.

Wikramanayake, E., M. McKnight, E. Dinerstein, A. Joshi, B. Gurung & D. Smith (2004). Designing a conservation landscape for tigers in human-dominated environments. Conservation Biology 18(3): 839–844.

Most read articles by the same author(s)