Volume : 8, Issue : 3, MAR 2022
TIGER, CO-PREDATORS- COMPLEXITY, PREDATION OF WILD UNGULATES FACILITATING VULTURE SURVIVAL IN PANNA TIGER RESERVE, MADHYA PRADESH, CENTRAL INDIA.
UDAYA KUMAR DAS*, VIBHAV SHRIVASTAV
The vulture population is still in threat in Indian subcontinent as the population is threatened due to the effect of diclofenac compound from food chain and affecting breeding. Populations of three species of Gyps vulture's namely G. bengalensis (White-rumped vulture), G. tenuirostris (Slender-billed vulture) and G. indicus (Indian Vulture) in Central India have declined precipitously over the last decade as a result of their feeding on diclofenac contaminated livestock carcasses. In the Panna Tiger reserve, it is studied that the wild ungulate prey base provides pure form of food chain without diclofenac and other toxic chemicals imbedded in the muscle tissue for predators like vultures and tiger and its co-predators. This is the only reason the west central part of the country has still existed vulture population in wild. The tiger prey facilitates sustainable food cycle for the existing vulture population in the west central Indian landscape. On the other hand, consumption of tiger kill carcass flesh by vulture triggers more frequent kill of prey for tiger. It will help in co-existence both tiger and vulture in the same landscape. Panna Tiger Reserve has suitable habitat for vultures and tiger and its co-predators like leopard and stripped hyena, wild dog, Mostly Sambar kill was scavenged by the vulture as it is bigger and tiger could not consume in a single day, then chital. The kill presence was noticed even from hiding bushes by crows and kites and it act as a communication to vultures to locate and feed by the vultures. Places like Dhundva, Kemasan and Gahri Ghati are supposed to be the best site including other nine roosting, resting and breeding sites of vultures in Panna during the study of 2005-2006 and 2018-19.
VULTURE POPULATION, UNGULATE PREY-BASE, DICLOFENAC CONTAMINATION, PANNA TIGER RESERVE, TIGER KILL.
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