Authors: RIAZ HUSSAIN, TARIQ MAHMOOD, FARAZ AKRIM, HIRA FATIMA, MUHAMMAD SAJID NADEEM
Abstract: Ecologically and morphologically similar species living in sympatry are predicted to partition their resources, although the resources themselves may vary in time and space and in relation to extrinsic factors. We studied two sympatric species of carnivores that vary in their distribution along a gradient of human activity, and one species exploits a wider range of food sources. We recorded the distribution of the small Indian mongoose (Herpestes javanicus) and the gray mongoose (Herpestes edwardsii) through reconnaissance surveys within high, medium, and low human activity areas of the Pothwar Plateau from November 2011 to June 2013. We found that the distribution of the two mongoose species interacted significantly with human activity levels; the small Indian mongoose was highly distributed where human activity level was high and vice versa for the gray mongoose. The gray mongoose showed a wider food niche breadth compared to the small Indian mongoose, while the food niche measured by Pianka's index overlapped between the two species at 0.95. Thus it is concluded that human-induced changes in the landscape impact on the habitat selection of mongooses on the Pothwar Plateau.
Keywords: Carnivore, sympatric, population, human activity, food niche
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