Poaching Devestates Bardiya National Park Rhino Population
10 One-Horned Rhinos Are Being Transported To The Bardiya National Park In March To Rebuild Their Dwindling Population.
In The Past Few Years The Bardiya National Park Received 83 Rhinos Unfortunately, Many Of Them Were Killed By Poachers And The Population Has Now Dropped To 34.
you would think competitors on the food chain fighting over the same type of prey would be competiting with each other but a new study had shocking results
Using cameras to track tigers, leopards and dholes (Asian wild dogs) who would usually be in direct competition with each other have found a way to get along and co-exist together.
The researchers found that the carnivores developed adaptations to coexist, even though they all eat the same prey base of deer and pigs.
According to the researchers, the big cats and the wild dogs usually live in different locations to avoid each other, as they’ve been known to attack and kill each other.
The team of researchers for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) set up more than a dozen non-invasive camera traps, originally to measure population numbers, in four nature reserves in the mountainous Western Ghats region of India.
The team recorded 2,500 images of the three predators in action in Bhadra. Nagarahole, Biligiri and Bandipur nature reserves.
They found that in reserves where there was a lot of prey available, dhole wild dogs, which are active during the day, didn’t come into much contact with tigers and leopards, which are more nocturnal.
However, in reserves where less prey was available, such as the Bhadra Reserve, the time that the three species were active overlapped – and yet the dholes still avoided the tigers and leopards.
But it wasn’t just the wild dhole dogs that avoided the other predators.
In Nagarahole reserve, where all three predators are abundant, leopards avoided tigers.
The researchers said that the three predators developed smart adaptations to coeexist – even though they eat the same prey.
‘We were surprised to see how each species has remarkably different adaptations to prey on different prey sizes, use different habitat types and be active at different times.
‘Because of the small and isolated nature of these high prey densities in these reserves, such adaptions are helpful for conservationists trying to save all three.’
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), tigers and dholes are classifed as Endangered, and leopards are considered Vulnerable.
The researchers say that by managing populations of flagship predators, like tigers, carefully overall biodiversity can also be conserved.
The research was published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B – Biological Sciences.
The Western Ghats region of India is a mountain range that’s older than the Himalaya’s.
Spanning 1,600 km from the north of Mumbai to the the southern tip of India, it contains a large proportion of India’s plant and animal species.
The forests in the southwestern Ghats host India’s largest population of Asian elephants, Bengal tiger, sloth bears and more.
But today, a large part of the range has been logged or converted to agricultural land for tea, coffee, rubber and oil palm, livestock grazing, reservoirs and roads.
In addition, the growth of populations around these forests has led to habitat destruction, increased fragmentation, poaching and conflicts between humans and animals.
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