Diet of Bengal Tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) in Chitwan National Park, Nepal

Open access

Abstract

We studied the diet of the Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) in Chitwan National Park, Nepal, by identifying 109 prey items from 85 tiger scats. Tigers in this region fed upon eight different mammal species. Chital (Axis axis) was the major prey with a frequency of 45% of the Tigers’ diet. The occurrence of other prey species included sambar (Cervus unicolor, 23%), wild pig (Sus scrofa, 15%), hog deer (Axis porcinus, 9%), barking deer (Muntiacus muntjak, 4%), and gaur (Bos gaurus, 2%). Tigers also hunted livestock, but this prey comprised a small component of the relative biomass (buffalo 5% and cow 2%). Our study suggests that the tiger depends mostly upon wild prey for its subsistence in the Chitwan National Park, but will also sporadically hunt livestock.

Ackerman, B.B., Lindzey, F.G. & Hernker, T.P. (1984) Cougar food habit in southern Utah. Journal of Wildlife Management, 48, 147-155.

Andheria, A.P., Karanth, K.U. & Kumar, N.S. (2007) Diet and prey profiles of three sympatric large carnivores in Bandipur Tiger Reserve, India. Journal of Zoology, 273, 169-175.

Bagchi, S., Goyal, S.P. & Sankar, K. (2003) Prey abundance and Prey selection by tigers (Panthera tigris) in a semi - arid, dry forest in western India. Journal of Zoology, 260, 285-290.

Baker, P.J., Boitani, L., Harris, S., Saunders, G. & White, P.C.L. (2008) Terrestrial carnivores and human food production: impact and management. Mammal Review, 38, 123-166.

Bhattarai, B.P. & Kindlmann, P. (2012) Interactions between Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris) and leopard (Panthera pardus): implications for their conservation. Biodiversity and Conservation, 21, 2075-2094.

Biswas, S. & Sankar, K. (2002) Prey abundance and food habit of tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) in Pench National Park, Madhya Pradesh, India. Journal of Zoology, 256, 411-420.

Dhakal, M., Karki, M., Jnawali, S.R., Subedi, N., Pradhan, N.M.B., Malla, S., et al. (2014) Status of tiger and prey in Nepal. Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation, Kathmandu, Nepal. Dinerstein, E. (1980) An ecological survey of the Royal Karnali-Bardia Wildlife Reserve, Nepal. Part III: Ungulate populations. Biological Conservation, 18, 5-38.

Grey, J. (2009) Prey selection by tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) in the Karnali floodplain of Bardia National Park. MSc thesis, Diploma of Imperial College, UK.

Hayward, M.W., Jedrzejewski, W. & Jedrzewska, B. (2012) Prey preferences of the tiger Panthera tigris. Journal of Zoology, 286, 221-231.

Karanth, K.U. & Sunquist, M. (1995) Prey selection by tiger, leopard and dhole in tropical forests. Journal of Animal Ecology, 64, 439-450.

Karki, J.B. (2011) Occupancy and abundance of Tigers and their prey in the Terai Arc Landscape, Nepal. PhD thesis, Forest Research Institute University, India.

Karki, J.B., Pandav, B., Jnawali, S.R., Shrestha, R., Pradhan, N.M.B., Lamichane, et al. (2013) Estimating the abundance of Nepal’s largest population of tigers Panthera tigris. Oryx, 49, 1-7.

Khorozyan, I., Ghoddousi, A., Soofi, M. & Waltert, M. (2015) Big cats kill more livestock when wild prey reaches a minimum threshold. Biological Conservation, 192, 268-275.

Kumaraguru, A., Saravanamuthu, R., Brinda K. & Asokan, S. (2011) Prey preference of large carnivores in Anamalai Tiger reserve, India. European Journal of Wildlife Research, 57, 627-637.

Lamichhane, S. & Jha, B.R. (2015) Prey selection by Bengal tiger Panthera tigris tigris (Mammalia: Carnivora: Felidae) of Chitwan National Park, Nepal. Journal of Threatened Taxa, 7, 8081-8088.

Link, W.A. & Karanth, K.U. (1994) Correcting for over dispersion in tests of prey selectivity. Ecology, 75, 2456-2459.

Maharjan, A. (2011). Principal diet analysis and habitat suitability mapping of Royal Bengal tiger Panthera tigris tigris in Parsa Wildlife Reserve. M.Sc. thesis, Tribhuvan University, Nepal.

Moore, T.D., Spence, L.E. & Dugnolle, C.E. (1974) Identification of the dorsal guard hairs of some mammals of Wyoming. Hepworth, WG (ed.). Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Wyoming 177pp.

McDougal C. (1977) The face of the tiger. Rivington Books, London, UK. Ramakrishnan, U., Coss, R.G. & Pelkey, N.W. (1999) Tiger decline caused by the reduction of large ungulate prey: evidence from a study of leopard diets in southern India. Biological Conservation, 89, 113-120.

Ramesh, T., Snehalatha, V., Sankar, K. & Qureshi, Q. (2009) Food habits and prey selection of tiger and leopard in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu, India. J Sci Trans Environ Technov, 2, 170-181.

Reddy, C.S. & Yosef, R. (2016) Living on the Edge: Attitudes of Rural Communities toward Bengal Tigers (Panthera tigris) in Central India. Anthrozoos, 29, 311-322.

Reddy, H.S., Srinivasulu, C. & Rao, K.T. (2004) Prey selection by the Indian tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) in Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve, India. Mammalian Biology, 69,384-391.

Seidensticker, J. (1976a) Ungulates populations in Chitwan Valley, Nepal. Biological Conservation, 10, 183-210.

Seidensticker, J. (1976b) On the Ecological Separation between Tigers and Leopards. Biotropica, 8, 225-234.

Sekhar, N.U. (2003) Local people’s attitudes towards conservation and wildlife tourism around Sariska Tiger Reserve, India. Journal of Environmental Management, 69, 339-347.

Smith, J.L.D., Ahearn, S.C. & McDougal, C. (1998) Landscape analysis of tiger distribution and habitat quality in Nepal. Conservation Biology, 12, 1338-1346.

Sharma, S., Jhala, Y. & Sawarkar, V.B. (2005) Identification of individual tigers (Panthera tigris) from their pugmarks. Journal of Zoology, 267, 9-18.

Stoen, O. & Wegge, P. (1996) Prey selection and prey removal by tiger (Panthera tigris) during the dry season in lowland Nepal. Mammalia, 60, 363-373.

Sunquist, M.E. (1981) The social organization of tigers (Panthera tigris ) in Royal Chitwan National Park. Smithsonian contribution to Zoology, 336, 1-98.

Wegge, P., Odden, M., Pokharel, C.P. & Storaas, T. (2009) Predator-prey relationship and responses of ungulates and their predators to the establishment of protected areas: a case study of tigers, leopards and their prey in Bardia National Park, Nepal. Biological Conservation, 142, 189-202.

Zhang, C., Zhang, M. & Stott, P. (2013) Does prey density limit Amur tiger Panthera tigris altaica recovery in northeastern China? Wildlife Biology, 19, 452-461.

Journal Information

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 231 231 20
PDF Downloads 50 50 11