Document Type: Original Article

Authors

Amity Institute of Forestry and Wildlife, Amity University, Noida- 201313, Uttar Pradesh, India

10.22120/jwb.2019.113261.1083

Abstract

Malayan sun bear is the smallest among all bears and the only tropical bear species inhabiting ‎the lowland tropical forest of Southeast Asia. Once abundant, they are now considered as ‎priority species due to excessive poaching and hunting across their home range. Although ‎reported from several parts of Northeast India, the paucity of biological information on the ‎species and its distribution has been a major constrained for conservation efforts. The study in ‎Dampa Tiger Reserve, Mizoram, India determines the ecology, distribution and habitat ‎selection of Sun bear, using foraging signs and invasive camera trapping techniques. A total of ‎‎43 transects were walked with 310 sampling plot. Evidence in forms of claw marks was found ‎to be highest (60.23%) followed by scats (25.81%), nests (3.56%), cavity (6.23%) and footprints ‎‎(4.15%). The mean occurrence of bear signs was 17.2±0.8. Bamboo forest and Tropical semi-evergreen forest with elevation between 501-1000 msl were found to be the most preferred ‎habitat for sun bear. Majority of sun bear signs (74.1%) were observed in undisturbed forest ‎regardless of sites (r2= 0.8291, df= 3, p< 0.2713). With a camera trapping effort of 647 trap-‎nights, 18 independent images of sun bear were obtained. The photo-capture and block wise ‎distribution index was estimated to be 5.26 with a trapping index of 1.89. Deserted areas within ‎the tiger reserve serve as excellent sources of frugivory and fruiting phenology. From the study, ‎it was determined that the population of sun bear in the region is relatively low and restricted to a few ‎patches within the reserve. Habitats of sun bear are also under serious threats due to agricultural ‎expansion and ever-increasing dependency of local communities on forest resources, hence ‎immediate measures are needed for the conservation of sun bear in the region‎.

Keywords

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