Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Population structure, density and biomass of large herbivores in the tropical forests of Nagarahole, India

  • K. Ullas Karanth (a1) and Melvin E. Sunquist (a2)
Abstract

We studied the population structure, density and biomass of seven ungulate and two primate species in the tropical forests of Nagarahole, southern India, using line transect sampling and roadside/platform counts, during 1986–87. The estimated ecological densities of large herbivore species in the study area are: 4.2 muntjac km−2, 50.6 chital km−2, 5.5 sambar km−2, 0.8 four-horned antelope km−2, 9.6 gaur km−2, 4.2 wild pig km−2, 3.3 elephant km−2, 23.8 hanuman langur km−2 and 0.6 bonnet macaque km−2. Most ungulates have female-biased adult sex ratios. Among common ungulate species, yearlings and young of the year comprise about a third of the population, suggesting relatively high turn-over rates. Three species (muntjac, sambar and four-horned antelope) are solitary, while others form groups. The study area supports a wild herbivore biomass density of 14,744 kg km−2. Among the three habitat types within the study area, biomass is lower in dry deciduous forests when compared with moist deciduous or teak plantation dominant forests. Using our results, we have examined the factors that may contribute towards maintenance of high ungulate biomass in tropical forests.

Copyright
Corresponding author
1K. Ullas Karanth, Centre for Wildlife Studies, 499, Chitrabhanu Road, Mysore-570 023, India.
References
Hide All
Barrette, C. 1977. Some aspects of the behaviour of muntjacs in Wilpattu National Park. Mammalia 41:134.
Berwick, S. H. 1976. Gir forest: an endangered ecosystem. American Scientist 64:3840.
Burnham, K. P., Anderson, D. R. & Laake, J. L. 1980. Estimation of density from line transect sampling of biological populations. Wildlife Monographs 72. The Wildlife Society, Washington D.C.202 pp.
Caughley, G. 1977. Analysis of vertebrate populations. John Wiley & Sons, New York, N.Y.234 pp.
Crawley, M. J. 1983. Herbivory: the dynamics of animal-plant interactions. University of California Press. Berkeley. 437 pp.
Dinerstein, E. 1980. An ecological survey of Royal Karnali-Bardia wildlife reserve, Nepal. Biological Conservation 18:538.
Drummer, T. D. 1987. Program documentation and user's guide for SIZETRAN. Michigan Technological University, Houghton. 26 pp.
Drummer, T. D. & McDonald, L. L. 1987. Size bias in line transect sampling. Biometrics 43:1321.
Eberhardt, L. L. 1978. Transect methods for population studies. Journal of Wildlife Management 42:131.
Eisenberg, J. F. 1980. The density and biomass of tropical mammals. Pp. 3455 in Soulé, M. E. & Wileox, B. A. (eds). Conservation biology: an evolutionary ecological perspective. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland.
Eisenberg, J. F. & Lockhart, M. 1972. An ecological reconnaissance of Wilpattu National Park. Ceylon. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 101:1118.
Eisenberg, J. F. & Seidensticker, J. 1976. Ungulates in southern Asia: a consideration of biomass estimates for selected habitats. Biological Conservation 10:293308.
Eltringham, S. K. 1979. The ecology and conservation of large African mammals. University Park Press. Baltimore, 286 pp.
Gee, E. P. 1964. The Wildlife of India. E. P. Dutton & Company, New York. 192 pp.
Hudson, R. J. 1984. Body size, energetics and adaptive radiation. Pp. 124 in Hudson, R. J. & White, R. G. (eds). Bioenergetics of wild herbivores. CRC Press, Boca Raton.
Johnsingh, A. J. T. 1983. Large mammalian prey-predators in Bandipur. Journal of Bombay Natural History Society 80:157
Karanth, K. U. 1987. Analysis of predator-prey balance in Bandipur Tiger Reserve with reference to census reports. Journal of Bombay Natural History Society 85:18.
Karanth, K. U. 1988. Population structure, density and biomass of large herbivores in a south Indian tropical forest. M. S. Thesis, University of Florida, Gainsville. 91 pp.
Kortlandt, A. 1984. Vegetation research and the ‘bull dozer’ herbivores of tropical Africa. Pp. 205226 in Chadwick, A. C. & Sutton, S. L. (eds). Tropical rainforest: the Leeds symposium. Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society, Leeds.
Laake, J. L., Burnham, K. P. & Anderson, D. R. 1979. Users manual for program TRANSECT. Utah State University Press, Logan. 26 pp.
Leopold, A. 1961. Game management. (2nd edition). Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 481 pp.
McNaughton, S. J. & Georgiadis, N. J. 1986. Ecology of African grazing and browsing mammals. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 17:3965.
Mishra, H. R. 1982. The ecology and behaviour of ehital (Axis axis) in Royal Chitwan National Park. Nepal. PhD Dissertation, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh. 240 pp.
Nair, S. S., Nair, P. V. K., Sharathchandra, H. C. & Gadgil, M. 1977. An ecological reconnaissance of the proposed Jawahar National Park. Journal of Bombay Natural History Society 74:401435.
Newton, P. 1987. The social organization of forest hanuman langurs (Presbytis entellus). International Journal of Primalology 8:199232.
Norton-Griffiths, M. 1979. The influence of grazing, browsing, and fire on the vegetation dynamics of Serengeti. Pp. 310352 in Sinclair, A. R. E. & Norton-Griffiths, M. (eds). Serengeli: dynamics of an ecosystem. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Owen-Smith, N. 1987. Pleistocene extinctions: the pivotal role of megaherbivores. Paleobiology 13:351362.
Pandey, R. K., Kandya, A. K. & Kotwal, P. C. 1987. Ecological studies of Kanha Wildlife National Park. Journal of Tropical Forestry 3:4866.
Panwar, H. S. 1987. Project Tiger: The reserves, the tigers and their future. Pp. 110117 in Tilson, R. L. & Seal, U. S. (eds). Tigers of the world. Noyes Publications, Park Ridge.
Pascal, J. P. 1982. Bioclimates of the Western Ghats. French Institute, Pondicherry. Maps 1–2.
Prater, S. H. 1971. The book of Indian animals. (3rd edition). Bombay Natural History Society, Bombay. 324 pp.
Prins, H. H. & Reitsma, J. M. 1989. Mammalian biomass in an African equatorial rain forest. Journal of Animal Ecology 58:851861
Puri, G. S., Meher-Homji, V. M., Gupta, R. K. & Puri, S. 1983. Forest ecology. Vol. 1. (2nd edition). Oxford & IBH Publishers. New Delhi. 549 pp.
Rodgers, W. A. 1979. The implications of woodland burning for wildlife management. Pp. 151154 in Ajayi, S. S. & Halstead, L. B. (eds). Wildlife management in savanna woodland. Taylor & Francis Limited. London.
Russel, C. E. M. 1900. Bullet and shot in Indian forest, plain and hill. W. Thackcr & Company, London. 522 pp.
Sanderson, G. P. 1878. Thirteen years among the wild beasts of India. W. H. Allen, London, U.K.387 pp.
Schaller, G. B. 1967. The deer and the tiger. University of Chicago Press, Chicago. 370 pp.
Schaller, G. B. 1983. Mammals and their biomass on a Brazilian ranch. Arquivos de Zoologia. 31:136.
Sokal, R. R. & Rohlf, F. J. 1981. Biometry. (2nd edition). W. H. Freeman & Company, New York. 859 pp.
Stelfox, J. G., Peden, D. G., Epp, H., Hudson, R. J., Mbugua, S. W., Agatsiva, J. L. & Amuyunzu, C. L. 1986. Herbivore dynamics in southern Narok, Kenya. Journal of Wildlife Management 50:339347.
Sukumar, R. 1990. Ecology of the Asian elephant in southern India. Journal of Tropical Ecology 6:3353.
Tamang, K. M. 1982. The status of the tiger (Panthera tigris) and its impact on principal prey populations in the Royal Chitawan National Park, Nepal. PhD Dissertation, Michigan State University, East Lansing. 184 pp.
Terborgh, J., Emmons, L. H. & Freese, C. 1986, La fauna silvestre de la Amazonia: El despilfarro de un Recurso de un renovable. Boletin de Lima 46:7785.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Tropical Ecology
  • ISSN: 0266-4674
  • EISSN: 1469-7831
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-tropical-ecology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed