Chital (Axis axis Erxleben, 1977) as prey base in Mukandra Hills Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan, India
Keywords:Captive, Wild, CUngulate, Diet
Chital (Axis axis) is one of the most important prey species of top carnivores as is evident from studies in wild. The national animal Tiger (Panthera tigris) is restricted to the Tiger Reserves in India, which are the only safe site for survival of the wild population of this big cat. Mukandra Hills Tiger Reserve (MHTR) in southeast Rajasthan was notified in 2013 as the site to establish a third home for the tiger in Rajasthan. Thirty villages were to be rehabilitated outside the tiger reserve to create a large natural habitat free from anthropogenic disturbance for the tigers. Chital was found as the most abundant wild prey species in this tiger reserve. The study was carried out during 2017-18. In most of the sightings, Chital was observed in small groups of 4-10 individuals of mixed age and sex in a herd. It was found that the total available wild ungulates prey base was less than the wild prey population reported in other studies in most of the tiger reserves of India. While this prey base can support a small reintroduced population of 6-10 Tigers. it is recommended that efforts to develop a sufficient wild prey base be given the highest management priority. In a bid to improve its prey base, at least 500 chitals were translocated during the study period from different captive sites in India. Hence, the Chital population is continuously increasing in MHTR and has been proved a bulk of the diet for already reintroduced four tigers in this fascinating forest.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 Scientific Reports in Life Sciences
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.