Conservation Genetics

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 779–787 | Cite as

Tiger presence in a hitherto unsurveyed jungle of India–the Sathyamangalam forests

  • P. Anuradha Reddy
  • A. Kumaraguru
  • Jyotsna Bhagavatula
  • Digpal Singh Gour
  • M. Bhavanishankar
  • M. Shekhar Sarkar
  • K. Harika
  • Sk. Md. Hussain
  • S. Shivaji
Research Article

Abstract

Tiger, being a solitary and territorial animal, often tends to move out of protected areas into the surrounding forests. This is especially true in the case of sub-adult animals leading to escalating conflicts and deaths in the surrounding human-dominated landscapes. Unless adequately protected against various human activities, such corridors and surrounding forests will soon disappear, trapping the animals within protected areas with resultant local extinctions. In this paper we ascertain tiger presence, occupancy and numbers in one such partially protected area, the Sathyamangalam forest, located close to better known tiger reserves in India, through non-invasive faecal DNA analysis. Here we highlight the potential of Sathyamangalam as a tiger habitat. Tiger positive faecal samples were considered as evidence to establish occupancy in two different parts of Sathyamangalam, reserve forest and wildlife sanctuary. We collected 103 faecal samples out of which 69 were tiger positive. Species occupancy (psi), was 0.672 (±0.197) with a detection probability of 0.2 (±0.06) in the wildlife sanctuary area; while psi was 0.72 (±0.2) with detection probability of 0.212 (±0.6) in the reserve forest. Further, number of males and females, as determined in our study, was close to the ideal sex ratio in a healthy forest with good prey abundance. This study also highlights the presence of more females in the reserve forest (n = 10) than the wildlife sanctuary (n = 3) possibly indicating lesser disturbance and more prey availability. We recommend that the reserve forest to the north of Sathyamangalam wildlife sanctuary be declared as a tiger reserve. The wildlife sanctuary could serve as a buffer zone between this reserve and Sathyamangalam town which lies to the south of the forest. Proper protection of Sathyamangalam will go a long way in saving the entire landscape and tigers of the Western Ghats of India.

Keywords

Tiger Sathyamangalam Non-invasive sampling Occupancy 

References

  1. Arandjelovic M, Guschanski K, Schubert G, Harris TR, Thalmann O, Siedel H, Vigilant L (2009) Two-step multiplex polymerase chain reaction improves the speed and accuracy of genotyping using DNA from noninvasive and museum samples. Mol Ecol Res 9:28–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bhagavatula J, Singh L (2006) Genotyping faecal samples of Bengal tiger Panthera tigris tigris for population estimation: a pilot study. BMC Genet 7:48PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Borthakur U, Barman RD, Das C, Basumatary A, Talukdar A, Ahmed MF, Talukdar BK, Bharali R (2010) Noninvasive genetic monitoring of tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) population of Orang National Park, in the Brahmaputra floodplain, Assam, India. Eur J Wild Res. doi:10.1007/s10344-010-0471-0 Google Scholar
  4. Burnham KP, Anderson DR (2002) Model selection and multi-model inference. Springer-Verlag, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  5. Cornuet JM, Luikart G (1996) Description and power analysis of two tests for detecting recent population bottlenecks from allele frequency data. Genetics 144:2001–2014PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Cristescu R, Sherwin WB, Handasyde K, Cahill V, Cooper DW (2010) Detecting bottlenecks using bottleneck 1.2.02 in wild populations: the importance of the microsatellite structure. Conserv Genet 11:1043–1049CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Di Rienzo A, Peterson AC, Garza JC, Valdes AM, Slatkin M, Freimer NB (1994) Mutational process of simple-sequence repeat loci in human populations. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 91:3166–3170PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Evanno G, Regnaut S, Goudet J (2005) Detecting the number of clusters of individuals using the software structure: a simulation study. Mol Ecol 14:2611–2620PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hines JE (2006) PRESENCE2- Software to estimate patch occupancy and related parameters.USGS-PWRC http://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/software/presence.html
  10. Jhala YV, Gopal R, Qureshi Q (eds.) (2008) Status of the tigers, co-predators, and prey in India. National tiger conservation authority, Govt. of India: New Delhi, and Wildlife Institute of India: Dehradun. TR 08/001 pp 151Google Scholar
  11. Jhala YV, Qureshi Q, Gopal R, Sinha PR (eds.) (2011) Status of the tigers, co-predators, and prey in India, 2010. National tiger conservation authority, Govt. of India: New Delhi, and Wildlife Institute of India: Dehradun. TR 2011/003 pp 302Google Scholar
  12. Kalinowski ST, Taper ML, Marshall TC (2007) Revising how the computer program CERVUS accommodates genotyping error and increases success in paternity assignment. Mol Ecol 16:1006–1099CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Karanth KU (2003) Tiger ecology and conservation in the Indian Subcontinent. J Bom Nat Hist Soc 100(2 and 3):169–189Google Scholar
  14. Kimura M, Crow JF (1964) The number of alleles that can be maintained in a finite population. Genetics 49:725–738PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Luikart G, Cornuet JM (1998) Empirical evaluation of a test for identifying recently bottlenecked population form allele frequency data. Conserv Biol 12:228–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Luo SJ, Kim JH, Johnson WE, van der Walt J, Martenson J et al (2004) Phylogeography and genetic ancestry of tigers (Panthera tigris). PLoS Biol 2(12):e442PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. MacKenzie DI (2005) What are the issues with presence-absence data for wildlife managers? J Wild Manage 69(3):849–860CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. MacKenzie DI, Nichols JD, Lachman GB, Droege S, Royle JA, Langtimm CA (2002) Estimating site occupancy rates when detection probabilities are less than one. Ecology 83(8):2248–2255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Marshall TC, Slate J, Kruuk LEB, Pemberton JM (1998) Statistical confidence for likelihood-based paternity inference in natural populations. Mol Ecol 7:639–655PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Menotti-Raymond M, David VA, Lyons LA, Schaffer AA, Tomlin JL, Hutton MK, O’Brien SJ (1999) A genetic linkage map of microsatellites of the domestic cat (Felis catus). Genomics 57:9–23PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mondol S, Karanth KU, Kumar NS, Gopalaswamy AM, Andheris A, Ramakrishnan U (2009) Evaluation of non-invasive genetic sampling methods for estimating tiger population size. Biol Conserv 242(10):2350–2360CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Morin PA, Chambers KE, Boesch C, Vigilant L (2001) Quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis of DNA from noninvasive samples for accurate microsatellite genotyping of wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus). Mol Ecol 10:1835–1844PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Nichols JD, Karanth KU (2002) Statistical concepts: assessing spatial distributions. In: Karanth KU, Nichols JD (eds) Monitoring tigers and their prey. Centre for Wildlife Studies, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  24. Ohta T, Kimura M (1973) A model of mutation appropriate to estimate the number of electrophoretically detectable alleles in a finite population. Genet Res 22:201–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Pilgrim KL, Mckelvey KS, Riddle AE, Schwartz MK (2005) Felid sex-identification based on noninvasive genetic samples. Mol Ecol Notes 5:60–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Piry S, Luikart G, Cornuet JM (1999) Bottleneck: a computer program for detecting recent reductions in the effective population size using allele frequency data. J Hered 90(4):502–503CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Pritchard JK, Stephens M, Donnelly P (2000) Inference of population structure using multilocus genotype data. Genetics 155:945–959PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Reddy PA, Kumaraguru A, Yadav PR, Ramyashree A, Bhagavatula J, Shivaji S (2010) Studies to determine the presence or absence of the Indian Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) in Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary, India. Eur J Wild Res. doi:10.1007/s10344-010-0460-3 Google Scholar
  29. Reed JZ, Tollit DJ, Thompson P, Amos W (1997) Molecular scatology: the use of molecular genetic analysis to assign species, sex and individual identity to seal faeces. Mol Ecol 6:225–234PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Wikramanayake ED, Dinerstein E, Robinson JG, Karanth KU, Rabinowitz A, Olson D, Mathew T, Hedao P, Connor M, Hemley G, Bolze D (1999) Where can tigers live in the future? A framework for identifying high priority areas for conservation of tigers in the wild. In: Seidensticker J, Christie S, Jackson P (eds) Riding the Tiger. Cambridge University Press, UKGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Anuradha Reddy
    • 1
  • A. Kumaraguru
    • 1
  • Jyotsna Bhagavatula
    • 1
  • Digpal Singh Gour
    • 1
  • M. Bhavanishankar
    • 1
  • M. Shekhar Sarkar
    • 1
  • K. Harika
    • 1
  • Sk. Md. Hussain
    • 1
  • S. Shivaji
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Cellular and Molecular BiologyHyderabadIndia

Personalised recommendations