Abundance of food plant species and food habits of Rhinoceros unicorns Linn. in Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam, India

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P. Konwar
M.K. Saikia
P.K. Saikia


Food habits and abundance of food plant species of Rhinoceros unicornis in Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary were studied from January 1999 through December 2001. Totally 32 numbers of Rhino food plants were identified, of which 15 were grasses, four shrubs, five aquatic hydrophytes and eight tree species (21 terrestrial and 11 aquatic). During the dry season, the Rhino feeds on almost 90% food items from Hemarthria compressa, Arundo donax, Phragmites karka, Cerex rubro-brumee etc. The other short grasses such as Cynodon dactylon, Andropogon ssp., Cenchrus ciliaris, Chrysopogon aciculatus and tender and young shoots and twigs of Schelristechya fuesche, Saccharum spontaneum, Lagerstroemia flosreginae etc. are consumed in limited portions. The rhino consumes 11 cultivated crops and vegetables, viz., Ricinus communis, Oryza sativa, Solanum melongena, Lycopersicon esculentum, Solanum tuberosum, Brassica nigra, Luffa cylindrica, Luffa acutangula, Cucurbita moschata, Cucumis sativus and Ipomoea batatas etc. Highest density of food plant species observed in the study area were Cynodon dactylon (167.5/m2), Hemarthria compressa (73.75/m2), Vetiveria zizanioides (56/m2), Saccharum ravannae (51.5/m2), Pharagmites karka (50.75/m2), Leersia hexandra (46.75/m2), Brachiarea pseudointerrupta (40/m2) and Eichhornia crassipes (35/m2).

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How to Cite
Konwar, P., Saikia, M. and Saikia, P. 2009. Abundance of food plant species and food habits of Rhinoceros unicorns Linn. in Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 1, 9 (Sep. 2009), 457–460. DOI:https://doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o1640.457-60.
Author Biographies

P. Konwar

Pradip Konwar is a research scholar. His field of Interest is the wildlife biology and conservation works of mammalian fauna in Assam.

M.K. Saikia

Malabika Kakati Saikia teaches the specialized student of animal ecology and wildlife biology. She has obtained her PhD degree on butterfly diversity and ecology and specializes in butterfly taxonomy, wildlife biology and biodiversity conservation.

P.K. Saikia

P.K. Saikia is in charge of animal ecology and wildlife biology special branch of the University. His field of specialization is wildlife biology and wildlife conservation, ornithology and biodiversity conservation including butterflies.