Thekke Thumbath Shameer, Anant Shankar, Nandani Salaria, Sreehari Raman, Raveendranathanpillai Sanil

Temporal segregation of small feline predators and canids in the estuarine mangrove delta of Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary, India

Abstract A camera trap study was conducted in the mangrove of Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary, the eastern coast of India, to understand the assemblage, temporal segregation and dial activity pattern of small and medium-sized mammals. Forty-one pairs of passive infrared camera traps were deployed and monitored for 30 consecutive days, making a total of 1,230 trap days effort. The study reveals that the jackals accounted for 40.5%, while fishing cats and jungle cats accounted for 6.09% and 2.42% of all recorded animals, respectively. The analysis of the relative abundance index shows that the jackal is the most abundant mammal in the sanctuary (36.74). Free-ranging dogs, humans and cattle were recorded mostly during the daytime. The jackal showed a higher temporal overlap with the fishing cat (0.76, 95% CI (0.59–0.93)) and the jungle cat (0.72, 95% CI (0.62–0.82)). The jungle cat showed peak activity at dawn, while fishing cats showed peak activity at dusk. Both species temporally overlapped with the bimodal activity of the jackal. Moreover, the available prey may be shared between the three dominant predatory species by minimising the competition (effective resource partitioning). The anthropogenic threats can be a reason for a comparatively lower abundance of the fishing cat, and necessary steps are sought to protect this ecosystem.


Keywords Activity pattern; fishing cat; jackal; mangroves; temporal overlap

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