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Summer diets of wolves (Canis lupus, Linnaeus1758) in the Trans-Himalaya of Humla, Nepal

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The wolves are top but data deficient predator of the Trans-Himalaya region. Diet information is important for understanding a predator’s ecology, potential competition with other carnivores, impact on prey populations, and initiating any conservation measures. We examined the characteristics of scats and diet composition of Wolves in the Limi valley of Humla, Nepal. Scat samples were collected by line transects method and opportunistic survey. Diets were determined by micro-histological analysis of hair remains in sixty scats collected elevations between 4600 masl and 4799 masl. The scats were characterized by 20gm to 80gm in weights, 5cm to 12cm in lengths and 2.5 cm- 4cm in diameter. A minimum of 10 taxa including wild ungulates, small mammals and livestock were consumed by the Wolf. Kiang (Equus kiang) and Tibetan Argal (Ovis ammon) were recorded first time in diets of wolves. The Blue Sheep (Psedois nayur) was the main prey species (42 %, frequency of occurrence) followed by Himalayan Marmot (Marmota himalayensis) (19%), Horse (Equus ferus) (17.3%) and remaining others. In term of biomass consumption, Horse was the dominant prey. Like elsewhere, in Limi valley, the large ungulates contributed higher proportion in the diet compositions of wolves. The domestic animals in the diet of Wolves supports that fact that an intense Wolf-human conflicts. To understand entire food spectrum, a detail study cover whole year is suggested.

Document: Abstract-Summer-diets-of-wolves.pdf  PDF icon

Author(s): Binod Kunwar and Tej Bahadur Thapa

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