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Distribution, Dietary Breadth and Niche Overlap between Two Sympatric Mongoose Species Inhabiting Pir Lasura National Park, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan

Distribution, Dietary Breadth and Niche Overlap between Two Sympatric Mongoose Species Inhabiting Pir Lasura National Park, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan

Faraz Akrim1,2, Tariq Mahmood1,*, Muhammad Sajid Nadeem3, Siddiqa Qasim1, Shaista Andleeb1 and Hira Fatima1

1Department of Wildlife Management, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi
2Department of Zoology, University of Kotli, Azad Jammu and Kashmir
3Department of Zoology, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi

*      Corresponding author: tariqjanjua75@uaar.edu.pk

 

ABSTRACT

Knowledge of a predator’s diet and distribution is vital for its conservation and management. We investigated dietary breadth of two carnivore species; Indian grey mongoose (Herpestes edwardsii) and small Indian mongoose (Herpestes javanicus) occurring in the north-eastern Himalayan region (Azad Jammu and Kashmir) of Pakistan with a view to compute the niche overlap between the two species. The Indian grey mongoose was recorded at 15 different sampling sites within the elevation range 699-1559 m above mean sea level (AMSL). The small Indian mongoose was found distributed at 30 different sites in the study area, having an elevation range 691-1624 m AMSL. The diet of Indian grey mongoose consisted of 16 prey species (15 wild and one domestic), and six plant species. The consumption of wild prey was 60%, while domestic prey contributed 19%, plants 14%, grits 2%, and anthropogenic matter (plastic bags, and threads) 5%. In comparison, 17 dietary items were recorded in the diet of small Indian mongoose, including 10 wild, 1 (one) domestic and 6 plant species. Consumption of wild prey was 60%, domestic prey 17% plant matter 11%, grits 2% and anthropogenic matter ~10%. Dietary niche breadth of Indian grey mongoose was found broad (0.83) during autumn season but narrow (0.36) during winter season. On the other hand, the dietary niche breadth of small Indian mongoose was found broad during summer season 0.59 but narrow during spring season 0.46. The two sympatric mongoose species overlapped (0.89) in their dietary niche breadth in the study area.
 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

December

Vol. 51, Iss. 6, Pages 1999-2399

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