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  • Title
    Conservation status of wild mammals in Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary, the Western Ghats, India
    For proper management of a wildlife reserve, it is essential to get estimates of occurrence, abundance, density and biomass of herbivores that in turn determine the density of carnivores. The Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary (BRT WLS) is a critical conservation region as it is a living bridge between the Eastern and the Western Ghats of southern India. We made repeated walks of 795.5 km on 33 random line transects covering a total distance of 93 km in the sanctuary. During these walks, we recorded the sightings of herbivores using rangefinder, compass and GPS. We also surveyed the sanctuary driving a jeep during nights to detect typically nocturnal mammals. We analysed the data using DISTANCE software. We recorded 31 species of herbivores and the density of these species differed among habitats that included evergreen, moist deciduous, dry deciduous and scrub forests. Several nocturnal species, including elusive small cats were sighted. We found that leaving out elephants, the herbivore biomass in BRT WLS was 4,127.82 kg/km2. This places BRT among some of the herbivore-rich wildlife reserves in the country. We recommend that BRT be notified as a Tiger Reserve.
    Honnavalli N. Kumara, S. Rathnakumar, R. Sasi and M. Singh