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Volume 81, Issue 3 (May 2017)

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Seasonal variation in the diet of the grey goral (Naemorhedus goral) in Machiara National Park (MNP), Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan

Nasra Ashraf
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Wildlife Management, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, 46300 Rawalpindi, Pakistan
  • Department of Zoology, University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Muzaffarabad, 13100 Pakistan
  • Email:
/ Maqsood Anwar
  • Department of Wildlife Management, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, 46300 Rawalpindi, Pakistan
/ Madan K. Oli
  • Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, 110 Newins-Ziegler Hall, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0430, USA
/ William E. Pine
  • Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, 110 Newins-Ziegler Hall, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0430, USA
/ Misbah Sarwar
  • Department of Wildlife Management, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, 46300 Rawalpindi, Pakistan
/ Iftikhar Hussain
  • Department of Wildlife Management, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, 46300 Rawalpindi, Pakistan
/ Muhammad Siddique Awan
  • Department of Zoology, University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Muzaffarabad, 13100 Pakistan
Published Online: 2016-04-20 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mammalia-2015-0075

Abstract

Understanding food habits of wild ungulates is of paramount importance to ecology and wildlife management. We studied the food habits of grey gorals (Naemorhedus goral) using microhistological techniques at two sites (Machiara and Serli Sacha) that differed in livestock grazing pressure in the Machiara National Park (MNP), Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan during 2012–2013. Serli Sacha had 53 livestock units/km2 while Machiara had 27 livestock units/km2 in the habitat of grey gorals. Dietary diversity was higher in Machiara (21 plant species) than at Serli Sacha (15 plant species) but the frequency of plant species consumed by grey goral varied seasonally (p<0.05). Grey gorals consumed mostly forbs (75.57%) during summer (dominated by Poa annua, Geranium wallichianum and Rheum australe) and mostly browse (38.19%) during winter (dominated by Berberis vulgaris, Skimmia laureola and Viburnum nervosum). Grey gorals strongly preferred G. wallichianum in both sites during summer season. Wildlife managers at MNP should focus on increasing diversity of plant species and on reducing livestock grazing as it generally reduces plant diversity and also directly compete with N. goral for limited forage.

Keywords: diet composition; food habits; Naemorhedus goral; seasonal variation; threatened species

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About the article

Received: 2015-05-02

Accepted: 2016-02-25

Published Online: 2016-04-20

Published in Print: 2017-05-01



Citation Information: Mammalia, ISSN (Online) 1864-1547, ISSN (Print) 0025-1461, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mammalia-2015-0075. Export Citation

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