Fine-scale spatio-temporal variation in tiger Panthera tigris diet: Effect of study duration and extent on estimates of tiger diet in Chitwan National Park, Nepal

Wildlife Biology
By: , and 

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Abstract

Attempts to conserve declining tiger Panthera tigris populations and distributions have experienced limited success. The poaching of tiger prey is a key threat to tiger persistence; a clear understanding of tiger diet is a prerequisite to conserve dwindling populations. We used unpublished data on tiger diet in combination with two previously published studies to examine fine-scale spatio-temporal changes in tiger diet relative to prey abundance in Chitwan National Park, Nepal, and aggregated data from the three studies to examine the effect that study duration and the size of the study area have on estimates of tiger diet. Our results correspond with those of previous studies: in all three studies, tiger diet was dominated by members of Cervidae; small to medium-sized prey was important in one study. Tiger diet was unrelated to prey abundance, and the aggregation of studies indicates that increasing study duration and study area size both result in increased dietary diversity in terms of prey categories consumed, and increasing study duration changed which prey species contributed most to tiger diet. Based on our results, we suggest that managers focus their efforts on minimizing the poaching of all tiger prey, and that future studies of tiger diet be of long duration and large spatial extent to improve our understanding of spatio-temporal variation in estimates of tiger diet. ?? 2011 Wildlife Biology, NKV.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Fine-scale spatio-temporal variation in tiger Panthera tigris diet: Effect of study duration and extent on estimates of tiger diet in Chitwan National Park, Nepal
Series title Wildlife Biology
DOI 10.2981/10-127
Volume 17
Issue 3
Year Published 2011
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Wildlife Biology
First page 277
Last page 285