Distribution of Nilgai antelope (Boselaphus tragocamelus) and its interaction with local communities in the Abohar wildlife sanctuary, Northwestern India

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

Amity Institute of Forestry and Wildlife, Amity University, Noida, India

10.22120/jwb.2019.111565.1076

Abstract

The information regarding animal distribution and perceptiveness of local communities play an essential role in designing and planning protected areas, and their management policies as well. To this aim, we mapped the distribution of our focal species, Nilgai antelope (Boselaphus tragocamelus) in and around the Abohar wildlife sanctuary from December 2017 to November 2018. Mapping the species density helped in identifying the critical spots regarding animal density. Our data indicated Nilgai density ranging from 0.0654 to 6.946 individuals/km2. The seasonal group size of males and females was observed to be significantly different throughout (p<0.01) the study period. The mean female group size ranged from 3.91 individuals to 6.26 individuals, whereas, in comparison, the average male group size varied less from 4.00 individuals to 4.76 individuals. Concurrently, the attitude of local people towards Nilgai and its related attributes including crop damage, vehicle collisions and conservation was recorded through the semi-structured survey of local individuals (n = 139) working in the farming or allied practices. The results showed that 37% of the respondents considered Nilgai to be responsible for crop depredation, while more than 50% perceived negative Human-Nilgai through vehicle collisions in the sanctuary. Considering the expansive views of the respondents on other related animals and environmental factors, the 3D perceptual maps were prepared to exhibit a holistic sight of their opinion which can help strengthen the management of wild animals in the sanctuary.

Keywords


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