Determination of prey base and prey preference of marsh crocodile (Crocodylus palustris) by scat analysis in selected villages of Anand district, Gujarat, India
- 1V.P. & R.P.T.P. Science College, Vallabh Vidyanagar, Anand, Gujarat, India
- 2V.P. & R.P.T.P. Science College, Vallabh Vidyanagar, Anand, Gujarat, India
Int. Res. J. Biological Sci., Volume 10, Issue (3), Pages 12-18, August,10 (2021)
Crocodylus palustris is distributed throughout Indian subcontinent. Wetlands of Charotar region possess healthy population of marsh crocodiles which are also being utilized by humans. As a result, peaceful coexistence can be seen in the villages of Charotar where villagers are living in the harmony with mugger crocodiles. Understanding the feeding preference and prey base of the threatened species like crocodiles plays a vital role in wildlife conservation for the well-being of wild animals as well as people who share the place with thems. This study was initiated to understand prey base as well as prey preference of the Marsh crocodile by non-invasive method which is scat analysis. Fieldwork was carried out from March 2018 to March 2020. Total 556 faecal samples were taken and identified by direct (presence of animal) and indirect (pug mark and body scale mark) signs as well as with the help of local people from four villages of Anand district. Undigested materials from the scat such as mammalian hair, feathers of the birds, insect remains and scales of fish mounted on slides, observed under microscope and characterized with the help of reference keys. The present study provides details of the food habits of adult and sub-adult crocodiles as well as effects of seasonal changes on the food habit of the animal. Moreover, this study also provides a general picture of predator-prey relationship which is one of the important inter species interactions.
- Kumar, V.V., Chaudhury, B.C. and Soni, V.C. (1995)., Dietary habits of the mugger (Crocodylus palustris) in Andhra Pradesh, South India., Hamadryad, 20, 8-12
- Vyas R. (2010)., The Muggers (Crocodylus palustris) of Vishwamitri River: Past and Present., Herpetology & Environmental Research Project (HERP), Vadodara, Gujarat State, March: 32.
- Vyas R. (2013)., Recent scenario of mugger (Crocodylus palustris) population in three districts of Gujarat State, India., World Crocodile Conference. Proceedings of the 22nd Working Meeting of the IUCN-SSC Crocodile Specialist Group. IUCN: Gland, Switzerland, 220–226.
- Nala, R. R., Bhadesiya, C. M., Solanki, D. P., Jhala, L. S., & Parmar, D. D. (2017)., Elucidation on diagnostic significance of microscopic scat analysis for detection of endoparasites and evaluation of diet composition in free-living marsh crocodile (Crocodylus palustris) population in and around the Gir National Park & Sanctuary of Gujarat (India)., Trends in Biosciences, 10(22), 4485-4494.
- Klare Kamler, J. F. and Macdonald D.W. (2011)., A comparison and critique of different scat analysis methods for determining carnivore diet., Mammal review, 41(4), 294-312.
- Je˛drzejewska, B. & Je˛drzejewski, W. (1998)., Predation in vertebrate communities., Springer Verlag Berlin and Heidelberg Germany, 180-214.
- Madhusudan MD and Mishra C. (2003)., Why big, fierce animals are threatened: conserving large mammals in densely populated landscapes., In Battles over nature: science and the politics of conservation: 31–55. Saberwal, V. & Rangarajan, M. (Eds). New Delhi: Permanent Black.
- Kok O. B., and Nel J. A. J. (2004)., Convergence and divergence in prey of sympatric canids and felids: opportunism or phylogenetic constraint?., Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 83, 527–538.
- Johnsingh, A.J.T. (1983)., Large mammalian prey-predator in Bandipur., Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 80, 1–57.
- Mukherjee, S., S.P. Goyal & R. Chellam (1994)., Standardization of scat analysis techniques for Leopard (Panthera pardus) in Gir National Park, Western India., Mammalia, 58, 139–143.
- Singh, M., P.P. Rawal, N. Dharaiya & V.C. Soni (1999)., Feeding niche of the Asiatic Lion and leopard in the Gir P.A., Tiger paper, 26(2), 12–15.
- Gomez-Ortiz, Y., Monroy-Vilchis, O. and Mendoza-Martinez, G. D. (2015)., Feeding interactions is an assemblage of terrestrial carnivores in central Mexico., Zool. Stud., 54, 16.
- Ciucci, P., Boitani, L., Pelliccioni, E.R., Rocco, M. & Guy, I. (1996)., Acomparison of scat analysis methods to assess the diet of the wolf Canis lupus., Wildlife Biology, 2, 37-48.
- Vijaya Kumar VR, Vyas R and Choudhury BC. (1999)., Status of mugger and its conservation problems in Gujarat., ENVIS (Wildlife & Protected Area), 2(1), Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun; 69-76.
- Jayson, E. A., Sivaperuman, C. and Padmanabhan, P. (2006)., Review of the reintroduction programme of the mugger crocodile (Crocodylus palustris) in Neyyar reservoir, India., Herpetological Journal, 16, 69-76.
- Wings, O. (2007)., A review of gastrolith function with implications for fossil vertebrates and a revised classification., Acta Palaeontol Pol, 52, 1–16.
- William O. Ogara, Nduhiu J. Gitahi1 Samuel A. Andanje, Nicolas Oguge, Dorcas W. Nduati1 and Alfred O. Mainga1 (2010)., Determination of carnivores prey base by scat analysis in Samburu community group ranches in Kenya African., Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, 4(8), 540-546.
- Neill, W. T. (1971)., The Last of the Ruling Reptiles: Alligators, Crocodiles, and their Kin., New York: Columbia University Press
- Jackson, J. F., Campbell, H. W. & Campbell, K. E. (1974)., The feeding habits of crocodilians: validity of the evidence from stomach contents., Journal of Herpetology, 8, 378–381.
- Wolfe, J. L., Bradshaw, D. L. & Chabreck, R. H. (1987)., Alligator feeding habits: New data and a review., Northeast Gulf Science, 9, 1–8.