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The Clarion- International Multidisciplinary Journal
Year : 2012, Volume : 1, Issue : 1
First page : ( 70) Last page : ( 79)
Print ISSN : 2277-1697.

Food selection by Asian elephant (Elephus maximus) in Kameng elephant reserve in Northeast India.

Sarkar P.1,*, Verma S.2, Menon V.1

1Wildlife Trust of India, India

2AERC, Centre for Ecological Sciences, IISc, Bangalore, India

*Corresponding author: prabal@wti.org.in

Online published on 5 April, 2012.

Abstract

A study was conducted to find out the food selection by Asian Elephant (Elephus maximus) in Kameng Elephant Reserve (KER) during 2001–05. For this, two methods were followed viz (i) twelve trails were surveyed 42 times covering different seasons to record the feeding sign of elephant and (ii) another six trails were laid for vegetation sampling to know the abundance and distribution of different food plant on the habitat. A total of 36 quadrats each with lOx 10m were plotted at every 500 meter interval of each trail. The vegetation data (food plants) was processed using computer programs Biodiversity Pro and EstimateS 8.0. Species diversity, evenness, spatial distribution, and similarity matrix were calculated.

The study found that the Asian elephant selected 46 species of plant as food belonging to 26 families. Plant family Arecacea (Calamus sp.) was selected more as food followed by Moracea (Artocarpus, Ficus species). Although only 18% food plants show significant random distribution (out of 77% species random distribution) and most of the food plants seem to have scattered distribution. The relative abundance of the food species consumed by elephant appeared to be on an average only 0.8% (SE = 0.3) of the total number of tree species found in the sampled region. This random distribution and relatively low abundance of food species may result in wider movement or distribution of elephants in search of food plants.

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Keywords

Asian elephant, Kameng Elephant Reserve, Pakke WLS, Plant diversity and relative abundance.

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