Abundance and Dietary Composition of Indian Crested Porcupine in Western Part of Gir National Park and Sanctuary, Gujarat, India

Rohit Chaudhary, Jamal A. Khan, Sandeep Kumar, R. L. Meena, Nazneen Zehra


Ecological studies were conducted in western part of Gir National Park and Sanctuary from February to June 2013 to assess abundance and dietary composition of Indian crested porcupine (Hystrix indica) by sampling and analysis of pellet groups. Ten line transects, each 3 km in length, were randomly established in the study area to sample the pellet groups. Pellet groups were quantified in circular plots of 10 m radius established at regular interval of 200 m.  Data were analyzed to calculate pellet group density (mean number/ha ± SD), percent frequency of occurrence and percent occurrence of different food items. The mean pellet group density was estimated to be 5.4 ± 1.4 pellet groups/ha while mean individual porcupine density was estimated to be 1.4 individuals km-2. A total of 18 food items were identified in the diet of porcupine with an average of 3.8 food items per pellet group. Seeds contributed maximum to the diet of porcupine along with bark and roots. Seeds of 11 different plant species were found in the diet of Indian porcupine with an average of 9.5 seeds per pellet group.  487 seeds were found in the collected pellet groups with maximum seeds belonging to Cassia fistula (32.2%). The study showed that porcupine acts as a major seed dispersal agent of key browse plant species of different ungulate species in Gir forest ecosystem.


Indian Crested Porcupine; Semi Arid; Pellet Group Density; Seed Dispersal; Regeneration


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