Food habits and prey selection of tiger and leopard in Mudumalai Tiger Re-serve, Tamil Nadu, India

J. Sci. Trans. Environ. Technov. J. Sci. Trans. Environ. Technov 01/2009; 2(2):170-181.

ABSTRACT Food habits and prey selection of tiger (Panthera tigris) and leopard (Panthera pardus) in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu were assessed from January to August 2008. Chital, Axis axis was the most common prey species in the study area with a density of 55.3 ± 6.28 animals/km 2 followed by common langur Presbytis entellus with 25.9 ± 3.59 animals/ km 2 and gaur Bos gaurus with 11.4 ± 2.14 animals/km 2 .The estimated mean biomass of the potential prey species was 8365.02 kg/km 2 . A total of 179 tiger scats and 108 leopard scats were collected and the prey remains were analyzed. Sambar and chital were the principle prey species for tiger and leopard, respectively, as inferred from the relative biomass con-sumption of prey remains in tiger and leopard scats. The preferred prey species of leopard and tiger were sambar, common langur, wild pig and cattle. The dietary overlap between these two predators was 82% in terms of percentage frequency of occurrence of prey remains in the scats. In terms of biomass consumed, the estimated dietary overlap between tiger and leopard was 72%.

  • Source
    • "Available studies in India reported high dietary overlap amongst leopard, wild dog and tiger (Johnsingh 1983; Karanth & Sunquist 1995; Ramesh et al. 2008). Similar to present study, the dietary overlap between leopard and tiger was observed 94% in Nagarhole Tiger Reserve (Karanth & Sunquist 1995) and 82% in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (Ramesh et al. 2008). Evidences suggest that among large sympatric carnivores, the larger carnivores can prey on broader size ranges of prey classes due to Figure 8. Age and sex classes of large herbivores observed by kill records of leopard (n=29) and tiger (n=40) in Sariska Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan, India. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: After the extermination of tigers in Sariska Tiger Reserve, Western India in 2004, three tigers were re-introduced in Sariska during 2008–2009. The present study examined the prey selection and dietary overlap between leopard and tiger after re-introduction of tiger in the study area. Scat analysis revealed the presence of nine prey species in leopard scat (n = 90 scats) and five prey species in tiger scats (n = 103 scats). Percentage frequency of occurrence of sambar (45.5%) was found to be the highest followed by chital (15.2%) > nilgai (8.9%) > cattle (7.1%) > common langur (6.3%) > peafowl (6.3%) > rodent (5.4%) > wild pig (2.7%) and hare (2.7%) in leopard diet. In the diet of tiger, sambar contributed maximum (41.7%) followed by chital (26.2%), cattle (19.4%), nilgai (10.7%) and common langur (1.9%). The present study revealed that both the predator utilized and preferred prey species in similar way, though there was difference in selection of prey species in terms of sex and age class as observed by kill records. The dietary overlap between leopard and tiger was found to be 94%. The results suggested considerable overlap between the two carnivores along diet axis.
    Italian Journal of Zoology 12/2012; DOI:10.1080/11250003.2012.687402 · 0.87 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "They were stored in paper bags, individually labelled with date, location and species for further analysis. Hair of prey often remained undamaged in carnivore scats and hair identification became useful to determine the diet of carnivorous species (Ramesh et al. 2009) where, a combination of hair characteristics like hair width, medullary and cuticular structure was observed microscopically and later compared to reference slides using hair samples from kills of large carnivores and reference collection present at the Research Laboratory of Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun. Data was recorded in terms of frequency of occurrence of individual prey species in scats by examining 20 hairs at random in each scat (Mukherjee et al. 1994). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: BioOne ( is a nonprofit, online aggregation of core research in the biological, ecological, and environmental sciences. BioOne provides a sustainable online platform for over 170 journals and books published by nonprofit societies, associations, museums, institutions, and presses. Abstract. We investigated dietary partitioning among tiger Panthera tigris, leopard Panthera pardus and dhole Cuon alpinus in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, India between January 2008 and April 2010 based on scat analyses and prey surveys. Scat analysis revealed that though the diet of the three predators consisted of 15 to 21 prey species, wild ungulates formed a major portion of their diet (88.4 to 96.7%). The three predators exhibited high diet overlap (> 61%). Prey availability, estimated from an effort of 473 km of line transects (n = 33) revealed high density of chital Axis axis (43.8 ± 10.7 (mean ± SE) individuals/km 2), followed by langur Semnopithecus entellus (31.0 ± 3.8), gaur Bos gaurus (6.7 ± 1.5), giant squirrel Ratufa indica (6.4 ± 1.3), sambar Rusa unicolor (4.9 ± 0.96) and elephant Elephas maximus (4.9 ± 0.75). Mean biomass (kg/km 2) of chital, gaur and sambar was 2058.6, 3015 and 656.6 respectively. In terms of biomass, tiger consumed mostly large sized prey (> 50 kg). Although leopard and dhole selected mostly medium-sized (11–50 kg) prey (chital), the second most important prey was sambar for dhole and langur for leopard. The results suggest that high density of different-sized prey in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve helped facilitate coexistence of tiger, leopard and dhole, despite the high dietary overlap, although some dietary partitioning was apparent when considering prey size and prey selection.
    Mammal Study 12/2012; 37(4):313-321. DOI:10.3106/041.037.0405 · 0.43 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "). Leopard density is fairly high in spite of good tiger density and this trend (Qureshi, unpublished data) seems to be due to high prey biomass of cervids (Ramesh et al. 2009) and heterogeneous landscape, which provide opportunity for coexistence of these two large predators at higher densities. Mudumalai TR is a part of Bandipur–Nagarahole– Mudumalai–Wynad landscape unit with an estimated tiger population of 267 (207–327) individuals occupying 9,087 km 2 (Jhala et al. 2008) and harbors probably the largest continuous tiger population in the world. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Density of tiger Panthera tigris and leopard Panthera pardus was estimated using photographic capture–recapture sampling in a tropical deciduous forest of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, southern India, from November 2008 to February 2009. A total of 2,000 camera trap nights for 100days yielded 19 tigers and 29 leopards within an intensive sampling area of 107km2. Population size of tiger from closed population estimator model Mb Zippin was 19 tigers (SE = ±0.9) and for leopards Mh Jackknife estimated 53 (SE = ±11) individuals. Spatially explicit maximum likelihood and Bayesian model estimates were 8.31 (SE = ±2.73) and 8.9 (SE = ±2.56) per 100km2 for tigers and 13.17 (SE = ±3.15) and 13.01 (SE = ±2.31) per 100km2 for leopards, respectively. Tiger density for MMDM models ranged from 6.07 (SE = ±1.74) to 9.72 (SE = ±2.94) per 100km2 and leopard density ranged from 13.41 (SE = ±2.67) to 28.91 (SE = ±7.22) per 100km2. Spatially explicit models were more appropriate as they handle information at capture locations in a more specific manner than some generalizations assumed in the classical approach. Results revealed high density of tiger and leopard in Mudumalai which is unusual for other high density tiger areas. The tiger population in Mudumalai is a part of the largest population at present in India and a source for the surrounding Reserved Forest. KeywordsLarge felids–Camera traps–Spatially explicit capture–recapture models–Mudumalai Tiger Reserve
    Acta theriologica 10/2011; 56(4):335-342. DOI:10.1007/s13364-011-0038-9 · 1.16 Impact Factor
Show more