5. ACTIVITY BUDGET OF NILGIRI TAHR (Nilgiri tragushylocrius) IN DIFFERENT SEASONS IN THE WESTERN GHATS LANDSCAPE IN KERALA
S. Biju, P.C. Saseendran, K.S. Anil, Joseph Mathew, Lucy Sabu and K.M. Syam Mohan
The Nilgiri tahr is the caprine ungulate endemic to Western Ghats and the species is endangered due to isolated small population and fragmented habitats.The specialized habitat requirementfor an anti-predator strategy makes the species fragmented reducing the viability of the population. The study was conducted in three habitats in the Western Ghats on the behavior of these gregarious ungulates which provide insights into the management of the species. The activity budget observations were recorded in the time period between 7.00 and 17.00 h and the scans were recorded. Taking all scans together grazing (37.4 %) was observed as the predominant activity followed by resting (23.3 %). Walking (13 %), standing (11.8 %) and maintenance activities (11.4 %) occupied medium time shares, and browsing activity (0.8 %) was the lowest. A seasonal difference was observed in the activities with browsing and walking more in summer period. The differencein ctivity budget was observed with sex of animals also with more browsing (1.7 %) and walking (17 %) in adult males.
Keywords: Nilgiri tahr, Activity budget, Behaviour