Ecological determinants of occupancy and abundance of chinkara (Gazella bennettii) in Yadahalli Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka, India

Kumar, Dinesh and Velankar, Avadhoot D. and Rao, Nitin Venkatesh Ranga and Kumara, Honnavalli N. and Mishra, Partha Sarathi and Bhattacharya, Prodyut and Raj, Vijay Mohan (2020) Ecological determinants of occupancy and abundance of chinkara (Gazella bennettii) in Yadahalli Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka, India. Current Science, 118 (2). pp. 264-270. ISSN 0011-3891

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Official URL: 10.18520/cs/v118/i2/264-270

Abstract

Chinkara (Gazella bennettii), the Indian gazelle, is a widespread antelope in the arid and semi-arid regions of the Indian subcontinent; however, the species has been relatively unexplored to the south of its distribution range. In 2016, with indefinite evidence of chinkara presence in Yadahalli Reserved Forest, Karnataka, India, the Forest Department notified the area as a Wildlife Sanctuary (WLS). We conducted a study to explore their possible existence and population status at Yadahalli WLS using a novel approach. We laid 2 sq. km grid cells in the Yadahalli WLS and divided it into four replicated sub-grids using GPS. We walked the grid cells and recorded the chinkara midden and deployed camera traps for direct detection and individual identity. We recorded site covariates, i.e. tree density, tree diversity, basal area, food tree density, cattle dung, goat and sheep droppings and distance from the boundary, and detection covariates, i.e. trail length. We performed occupancy modelling based on midden recordings using PRESENCE ver. 5.3. Through the effort of 62 grids with four spatial replicates, the detection probability of chinkara was found to be 0.68 +/- 0.03(SE), and the estimated averaged occupancy was 0.51 +/- 0.37(SE). The present study reveals a potential population of similar to 85 individuals in the Yadahalli WLS, which is the known southernmost population of the species in India. This study establishes the use of novel methods for monitoring of chinkara populations which will help in the development of a conservation action plan for the species and its habitat.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Abundance; detection probability; Gazella bennettii; occupancy
Subjects: A Arts and Humanities > Psychology
Divisions: Department of > Institution of Excellence
Depositing User: Mr Umendra uom
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2021 09:39
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2021 09:39
URI: http://eprints.uni-mysore.ac.in/id/eprint/15649

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