Oral presentation- Open Session 12th International Mammalogical Congress

Ecology of gaur (Bos gaurus) in highlands of Central India: A case study of Pench Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh (India) (#293)

Orus Ilyas 1 , Abdul Haleem 1
  1. Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India

Indian gaur (Bos gaurus) is one among the nine species of wild oxen found in the world. Gaur is listed as endangered in IUCN Red list. The gaur ranges from India to peninsular Malaysia and the population of gaur in India is between 5000-10,000 individuals. Despite gaur’s vast range of distribution, they are listed as endangered species and kept in schedule-I of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act (1972), appendix-I on CITES (2003). Due to habitat loss and illegal killing of the species, the population is declining. In the present study efforts were made to understand abundance, group composition and feeding habits of gaur in Pench Tiger Reserve. Pench Tiger Reserve is the 19th Tiger reserve of India, situated in Seoni and Chhindwara district of M. P. India (21°41′35″N 79°14′54″E). Distance sampling and microhistological techniques were used. The density of gaur was 1.82 ± 0.28 km-2 for the winter season whereas during the summer season the estimated density was 1.54 ± 0.30 km-2. Diet compositions of gaur were studied using micro-histological examination of 32 dung piles collected from 169 sampling plots of 10 m radius established at 200m distance intervals. A total of 88 permanent reference slides of available plants were prepared and used for plant fragment identification from the different dung piles. A total of 36 species (28 browse and 8 grass) were identified from different dung piles of gaur. The results show that gaur are primarily a grazer as its diet constitutes 62.09% grass and 37.90% browse items.