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Seasonal Variation in the Diet of Himalayan Grey Langur (Semnopithecus ajax) in Machiara National Park, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan

Seasonal Variation in the Diet of Himalayan Grey Langur (Semnopithecus ajax) in Machiara National Park, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan

Fiza Asif1,*, Muhammad Siddique Awan1, Nasra Ashraf1, Nuzhat Shafi1, Abdul Rauf1, Khizra Bano1, Muhammad Razzaq2 and Naeem Iftikhar Dar2

1Department of Zoology, University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Muzaffarabad
2Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Muzaffarabad

*      Corresponding author: fizaasif830@gmail.com

 

ABSTRACT

Kashmir grey langur (Semnopithecus ajax) (the langur) belongs to family Cercopithecidae and order Primates. Understanding food habits of wild mammals is of great importance to ecology and wildlife management. Present study was designed to determine the diet composition of Kashmir grey langur in Machiara National Park, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan during summer 2015 and winter 2015-16 from fecal material using microhistological technique. Sixty fecal samples were collected from the study area during summer 2015 and winter 2015-16, i.e. thirty samples during each season. These samples were analyzed for the determination of food composition using microhistological technique. A total of 23 plant species were observed during summer and 15 plant species during winter season. During both the seasons Indian or Himalayan Chestnut Aesculus indica was found as the dominant plant species in the diet having relative importance value (RIV) 8.36 and 10.92 in summer and winter, respectively. Diet breadth of all the plant species was also calculated using Levin’s measure of niche breadth (B). Grand viburnum Vibernum foetens showed the greatest value of diet breadth (23.52) during summer season, while during winter season wild Himalayan pear Pyrus pashia showed the greatest value of diet breadth (16.02). Future management of the National Park would require protection of core habitat of the langur in MNP. Wildlife managers should focus on conservation and increasing the number of preferred forage species of Kashmir grey langur i.e. Asculus indica, Cedrus deodara, Vibernum foetens, Pyrus pashia and Eleagnus orientalis in MNP.
 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

December

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

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