Stand structure of a primate rich rainforest region in the central Western Ghats of southern India

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K. Roy
M. Singh
H.S. Sushma
M. Singh

Abstract

The Western Ghats of southern India are one of the most important biodiversity regions in the world, not only due to their faunal diversity and abundance but also due to different habitat types, floral diversity and the presence of several endemic plant species. The rainforests in the central Western Ghats are inhabited by several primate species. We investigated the vegetation pattern and tree species occupancy of one of the prime primate habitats in the central Western Ghats. Lion-tailed Macaque (Macaca silenus), Bonnet Macaque (Macaca radiata), Hanuman Langur (Semnopithecus entellus achates) and Malabar Slender Loris (Loris lydekkerianus malabaricus) inhabit the study area. We studied the density, dominance, frequency and Importance Value Index (IVI) of different tree species, using the belt transect method on randomly selected plots covering 4.1ha. We found that all the plant species that emerged to be the most dominant species with high IVI in the forest were also used by the diurnal primates for foraging. Knema attenuata and Syzygium gardneri were found to be the ‘keystone’ species. Since the forests of the study area do not come under the ‘protected area network’ for wildlife, the data obtained during this study will be helpful in the forestry management practices with a view for wildlife conservation of the region.

Article Details

How to Cite
[1]
Roy, K., Singh, M., Sushma, H. and Singh, M. 2010. Stand structure of a primate rich rainforest region in the central Western Ghats of southern India. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 2, 6 (Jun. 2010), 930–939. DOI:https://doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o2415.930-9.
Section
Communications
Author Biographies

K. Roy

Kuladeep Roy is a research scholar in the Department of Psychology, University of Mysore. He works on niche differentiation among sympatric primates. He collected major part of the data for this article.

M. Singh

Prof. Mewa Singh is a Professor at the University of Mysore. He has been involved in research on wildlife, especially primates, for over three decades. His current interests are the study of ecology and animal behavior. He is the Principal Investigator of the project during which this article was prepared.

H.S. Sushma

Dr. H.S. Sushma is a free lancer wildlife researcher. She worked on resource utilization and niche separation among arboreal mammals in the Western Ghats. She is currently working on mammalian distribution and conservation education. She was involved in sampling and data collection for this article in the earlier stages of research.

M. Singh

Dr. Mridula Singh teaches at Maharaja’s College of University of Mysore. She has been involved in research on primates for over 15 years, and her current interest is in the study of ecology and behavior of primates of southern India. She is the Co-Principal Investigator in the present project.