Characterisation of breeding habitat of Grizzled Giant Squirrel Ratufa macroura (Mammalia: Sciuridae) in Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Western Ghats, India

Main Article Content

Kiran Thomas
P.O. Nameer
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7110-6740

Abstract

The Grizzled Giant Squirrel (GGS) Ratufa macroura (Pennant, 1769) is a ‘Near Threatened’ and endemic giant squirrel distributed in southern India and Sri Lanka. In India, the species is distributed in more than 10 locations between Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary in Karnataka in the north and Srivilliputhur Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu in the south. A study was conducted in the riparian habitats of Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala to understand the habitat characteristics, including the drey site use of GGS. The vegetation of the GGS habitat was studied using the quadrat method, and the dreys were counted using the transects.  A total of 95 species of trees were identified from the riverine vegetation, and the GGS used 36 species of trees for drey construction. Most of the dreys were found on Mangifera indica, Terminalia arjuna, Ficus microcarpa, Diospyros ebenum, and Pongamia pinnata. However, the GGS may prefer trees such as Mitragyna parviflora, Diospyros ebenum, Ficus microcarpa, Albizia procera, Acacia nilotica, and Acacia leucophloea for drey construction. The study also highlights the usage of large trees with extensive crown by the GGS for various activities such as feeding, resting, moving, and nesting, thus signifying the necessity for protecting the remaining riverine habitat at Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary to ensure the long-term conservation of GGS. We recommend an urgent restoration by restocking with already existing, native tree species of the riverine habitat due to the extremely poor regeneration of trees in the riverine habitat that support the only population of the GGS in Kerala.

Article Details

How to Cite
[1]
Thomas, K. and Nameer, P. 2021. Characterisation of breeding habitat of Grizzled Giant Squirrel Ratufa macroura (Mammalia: Sciuridae) in Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Western Ghats, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 13, 8 (Jul. 2021), 18993–19001. DOI:https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.7371.13.8.18993-19001.
Section
Communications

References

Babu, S. & A. Kalaimani (2014). New site record of Grizzled Giant Squirrel Ratufa macroura from Thiruvannamalai Forest Division, Eastern Ghats, Tamil Nadu, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 6(2): 5492–5493. https://doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o3680.5492-3

Babu, S., G. Srinivas, H.N. Kumara, K. Tamilarasu & S. Molur (2013). CEPF Western Ghats Special Series: Mammals of the Meghamalai landscape, southern Western Ghats, India - a review. Journal of Threatened Taxa 5(15): 4945–4952. https://doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o3596.4945-52

Baskaran, N., K. Senthilkumar & M. Saravanan (2011). A new site record of the Grizzled Giant Squirrel Ratufa macroura (Pennant, 1769) in the Hosur forest division, Eastern Ghats, India and its conservation significance. Journal of Threatened Taxa 3(6): 1837–1841. https://doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o2632.1837-41

Borges, R.M. (2015). Indian Giant Squirrel (Ratufa indica), pp 483–500. In: Johnsingh, A.J.T & N. Manjrekar (eds.). Mammals of South Asia- Vol. II. The University Press, India, 799pp.

Champion, H.G. & S.K. Seth (1968). A Revised Survey of the Forest Types of India. Government of India Press, Delhi, 404pp.

Corbet, G.B. & J.E. Hill (1992). The Mammals of the Indo-Malayan region: A systematic review. Natural History Museum Publications, Oxford University Press, Oxford. 496 pp.

Davidar, P. (1989). Grizzled Giant Squirrel, Ratufa macroura – distribution in Kudirayar. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 86(3): 437.

Ellerman, J.R. (1961). The fauna of India including Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon. Mammalia –2nd Edition, Vol. 3. Rodentia. The Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta, 884pp.

Goonatilake, de A. (2019). Ratufa macroura. In The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species2019:e.T19381A22261644. Downloaded on 13 July 2019. https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019.1.RLTS.T19381A22261644.en

Hammer, Ø., D.A.T. Harper & P.D. Ryan (2001). Past: Paleontological Statistics Software Package for education and data analysis. Paleontologia Electronica 4: 1–9.

Joshua, J. (1992). Ecology of the endangered Grizzled Giant Squirrel (Ratufa macroura) in Tamil Nadu, South India. Ph.D. Thesis. Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, 191pp.

Joshua, J. & A.J.T. Johnsingh. (1994). Impact of biotic disturbances on the habitat and population of the endangered Grizzled Giant Squirrel, Ratufa macroura in South India. Biological Conservation 68: 29–34.

Joshua, J., W.L.D.P.T.S. de A. Goonatilake & S. Molur (2008). Ratufa macroura. In IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 06 June 2018.

Kanoje, R.S. (2008). Nesting sites of Indian giant squirrels in Sitanadi Wildlife Sanctuary, India. Current Science 95: 882–884.

Karthikeyan, S., J.N. Prasad & B. Arun (1992). Grizzled Giant Squirrel Ratufa macroura Thomas and Wroughton at Cauvery valley in Karnataka. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 89(3): 360–361.

Kumar, M.A., M. Singh, S.K. Srivastava, A. Udhayan, H.N. Kumara & A.K. Sharma (2002). Distribution patterns, relative abundance and management of mammals in Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary, Tamil Nadu, India. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 99(2): 184–210.

Kumara, H.N. & M. Singh (2006). Distribution and relative abundance of giant squirrel and flying squirrel in Karnataka, India. Mammalia 70: 40–47.

Menon, V. (2014). Indian Mammals: A Field Guide. Hachette book publishing India Pvt. Ltd., Gurgaon, Haryana, 528pp.

Moore, J.C. & G.H.H. Tate (1965). A study of diurnal squirrels, Sciurinae of the Indian and Indo – Chinese subregion. Fieldiana Zoology 48: 1–351.

Nagarajan, B., S. Venkatesan, J. Mani, S.K. Srivastava & A.A. Desai (2011). Some aspects of the ecology of the Indian Giant Squirrel Ratufa indica (Erxleben, 1777) in the tropical forests of Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, southern India and their conservation implications. Journal of Threatened Taxa 3: 1899–1908. https://doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o2593.1899-908

Pascal, J.P. (1988). Wet Evergreen Forests of Western Ghats of India: Ecology, Structure, Floristic composition and Succession. French Institute, Pondicherry, 337pp.

Paulraj, S. (1991). Grizzled Giant Squirrel in the final throes of extinction process. Zoos’ Print 6(10): 1–2.

Paulraj, S. & N. Kasinathan (1993). Scanty known Grizzled Giant Squirrel (Ratufa macroura) of India: status and conservation. Indian Forester 119: 828–833.

Phillips, W.W.A. (1984). Manual of the Mammals of Sri Lanka. 3rd Edition. Wildlife and Nature Protection Society of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka.

Prater, S.H. (1971). The book of Indian animals. Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai, 324 pp.

Ramachandran, K.K. (1989). Endangered Grizzled Giant Squirrel habitat. Journal of Bombay, Natural History Society 86 (1): 94–95.

Ramachandran, K.K. (1993). Status survey and distribution of endangered Grizzled Giant Squirrel in Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala, India. Indian Journal of Forestry 16(3): 226–231.

Sathasivam, K., V. Santharam, K.V. Sudhakar & T.B. Narayanan (2008). An unreported population of the Grizzled Giant Squirrel Ratufa macroura. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 105(2): 213.

Senthilkumar, K., G. Agoramoorthy & M.J. Hsu. (2007). Population size, density and conservation status of Grizzled Giant Squirrel in Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, India. Mammalia 71: 89–94pp.

Srinivas, V., P.D. Venugopal & S. Ram (2008). Site occupancy of the Indian Giant Squirrel Ratufa indica (Erxleben) in Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu, India. Current Science 95(7): 889–894.

Thomas, K. & P.O. Nameer (2018). Alarming population status of the Grizzled Giant Squirrel (Ratufa macroura) (Mammalia: Rodentia: Sciuridae) in Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Western Ghats. Journal of Threatened Taxa 10(10): 12350–12356. https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.3536.10.10.12350-12356.

Thomas, K., A.A. Das & P.O. Nameer (2017). A report on the predation of Grizzled Giant Squirrel (Ratufa macroura) by Changeable Hawk-Eagle (Nisaetus cirrhatus), from Western Ghats, South India. Zoo’s Print 32(4): 11–14.

Thomas, K., D.K. Vinodkumar, J. Mathews, M. Shaji & P.O. Nameer (2018). A report on the possible interbreeding between Grizzled Giant Squirrel Ratufa macroura and Malabar Giant Squirrel Ratufa indica from Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala, southern Western Ghats. Journal of Threatened Taxa 10(15): 13024–13028. https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.3995.10.15.13024-13028

Vimalraj, S., K. Raman, D.A. Reddy, B. Harikrishnan, B.M. Krishnakumar & K.M. Selvan (2018). A new sight record and range extension of the Grizzled Giant Squirrel Ratufa macroura dandolena (Mammalia: Rodentia: Sciuridae) in the Eastern Ghats of southern peninsular India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 10(1): 11240–11242. https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.3932.10.1.11240-11242

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>