Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Amity Institute of Forestry and Wildlife, Amity University

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

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

4 North Orissa University, Takatpur, Baripada, Mayurbhanj, Odisha

10.22120/jwb.2020.117400.1103

Abstract

The Sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) is the smallest bear species and remains the least known bear among the ursids. Reliable information on population and activity pattern of Sun bear has been lacking, thereby creating difficulties for field managers and conservationist to develop a management plan for their conservation. This study was an attempt to determine the habitat preference and daily activity of the Sun bear through camera trapping and other signs survey methods. In the study, we had a combined trapping effort of 647 trap-nights with a total of 18 independent images of Sun bears recorded between May 2014 and March, 2016. Distribution of bear signs per hectare was found to be highest in the Bamboo forest (0.398), owing to large numbers of termite’s mounds. The photo-capture rate of the Sun bear in Dampa Tiger Reserve was found to vary by different habitats with high numbers in the degraded forest landscape within the reserve. The variation was also influenced by the disturbance of human in the region and other feeding opportunities. The relative abundance index shows that Old Chikha has the highest index of 1.89 from the mean value of 4.75 ± 0.670 among all blocks in Dampa Tiger reserve. The daily activity index suggests that Malayan Sun bears are more active during the crepuscular period than diurnal. Highest activity was recorded between 1800- 2200 with 14.89% detection probability. No activity was recorded during noon time. Primary forests and degraded forest with their large fruiting trees were represented as important habitats due to availability of fruits, termites and invertebrates. This study will hopefully be an important step towards acquiring more knowledge on ecology of the species and provide valuable information for conservation of the species and their habitat.

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