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  • Title
    Does indigestible food remains in the scats of Sloth Bear Melursus ursinus (Carnivora: Ursidae) represent actual contribution of various diet items?
    Type
    Journal Article
    Description
    The contribution of diet items in the food of sloth bears is estimated solely based on the dry weight or volume of indigestible food remains found in the scats, assuming that the ratio of digestible versus indigestible matters is equal in all diet items. However, this is not true in reality. The implication of this assumption is that the species that contribute a larger bulk of digestible matters are underestimated, while that of less digestible parts get overestimated and consequently are portrayed as important food sources. This study experimentally converts the percent contribution of important fruit items estimated using ‘indigestible fruit remains’ in the scats into percent contribution by ‘digestible fruit content’ using known dry weight of digestible fruit contents per volume of indigestible items (estimated using fresh fruit samples from the field). The percent composition of various fruit items obtained using digestible fruit content is significantly different from that derived using indigestible fruit remains in the scats. Future studies could adopt the dry weight of digestible matter as this method estimates the contribution of various food items to the diet of bears more accurately.
    Attribution
    Baskaran N., Desai A.A. (2010). Journal of Threatened Taxa 13(2) pp. 1387-1389; doi:10.11609/JoTT.o2358.1387-9