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Female tiger Panthera tigris home range size and prey abundance: important metrics for management

  • Achara Simcharoen (a1), Tommaso Savini (a1), George A. Gale (a1), Saksit Simcharoen (a2), Somphot Duangchantrasiri (a2), Somporn Pakpien (a2) and James L.D. Smith (a3)...

Abstract

Tigers Panthera tigris are highly threatened and continue to decline across their entire range. Actions to restore and conserve populations need to be based on science but, in South-east Asia, information on ecology and behaviour of tigers is lacking. This study reports the relationship between the home range size of female tigers and prey abundance, using data from radio-collared tigers in Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary, Thailand, and published data from other studies. A total of 11 tigers, four males and seven females, were fitted with global positioning system collars, to estimate home ranges using 95 and 100% minimum convex polygons (MCP). Prey abundance was estimated by faecal accumulation rates. The mean home range size of male tigers was 267 and 294 km2 based on 95 and 100% MCPs, respectively; the mean female home range size was 70 and 84 km2, respectively. Territories of male and female tigers had little overlap, which indicated both sexes were territorial. Mean densities of the prey species sambar Rusa unicolor, barking deer Muntiacus muntjac and large bovids were 7.5, 3.5 and 3.0 km−2, respectively. When female home range size and prey abundance were compared at six locations in Thailand, and at other sites in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Russia, a significant negative correlation was found between prey abundance and home range size. Monitoring this relationship can provide managers with metrics for setting conservation goals.

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Corresponding author

(Corresponding author) E-mail simtom@windowslive.com

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Oryx
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