Ecology and Conservation of Endangered Hispid Hare Caprolagus hispidus in India
Pp. 179-203 (25)
An ecological study of the hispid hare Caprolagus hispidus was conducted at
Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary, West Bengal. Hispid hare is a shy and reclusive species
found to have living in the tall grassland habitats of Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary in
northern West Bengal, apart from Dudwa and Manas in India. Due to its habit of living
in the places where the height of grasses are more than 3 meters direct sighting was
difficult. Hence, I tried to assess its population in Jaldapara indirectly by enumerating
pellet density. Strip-transects (N=107) were laid randomly in tall grassland patches
where fresh and old pellets of the hispid hare were found. Out of the total of 107
transects laid, 95 (89%) had pellet clusters of hispid hare, and the occurrence of pellet
clusters varied significantly between transects. Pellet density varied from 0.01/m2 to
20.8/m2; tall grassland patches along the Torsa River had the least as well as the greatest
number of pellets per sq.m, and were dominated by Saccharum spontaneum grass and
some weeds. Occurrence of different size class pellets varied significantly within
transects depicting different animals living in different localities. The mean length of
the pellets also fluctuated. The density of hispid hare in Jaldapara was 1/0.115 sq.km.
The short vegetation, ground cover and tall vegetation together determined the
occurrence of hispid hare in Jaldapara WLS. The main aim of this study was to give
recommendations to the authorities in managing the habitats for hispid hare and other
related species in India and Nepal.
Hispid hare, India, density, Caprolagus hispidus, Saccharum
spontaneum, pellets, jaldapara, grasslands, West Bengal, terai, duars, S. munja,
transects, Indian hare, conservation, Mikania sp., ground cover, occurrence,
distribution, River Torsa.
Zoological Survey of India, Arunachal Pradesh Regional Centre, Senki Valley, Itanagar-791 113, Arunachal Pradesh, India.