Tigers predominantly prey on large ungulate species, such as sambar (Cervus unicolor), red deer (Cervus elaphus), gaur (Bos gaurus), banteng (Bos javanicus), chital (Axis axis), muntjac (Muntiacus muntjak), wild pig (Sus scrofa), and bearded pig (Sus barbatus). The density of a tiger population is strongly correlated with the density of such prey species (Karanth et al. 2004). In the absence of direct hunting of tigers, abundance of prey in an area is the key determinant of the “carrying capacity” of that area for tigers (Chap. 2). Accurate estimates of prey abundance are often needed to assess the potential number of tigers a conservation area can support.
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Concepts and practices: Estimating abundance of prey species using hierarchical model-based approaches