Impact of shifting cultivation on mammalian diversity and distribution in fringe areas of Dampa tiger reserve, Mizoram, India

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Sushanto Gouda
Ht. Decemson
Abinash Parida
G.S. Solanki

Abstract

Shifting cultivation is a largely practiced agricultural technique in the north-eastern part of India. This has led the fragmentation of natural habitat for wildlife species. Impact of jhum cultivation on distribution of mammalian species was studied through transect survey for scat, camera trapping, and burrow counting. Barking deer (27%) and wild boar (24%) were most frequent visitors. Among the carnivores highest abundance (3-5 scat samples per jhum field) was recorded for leopard cat and Indian Palm civet. 2-5 years old abandoned jhum fields were recorded to be suitable habitat for movement of large herbivores. The frequency of scat   decreased with age of the jhum >5 yrs. Road sides, trails and primary forest near the active jhum forest were actively visited by clouded leopard. The encounter rate for active and old burrows of rodents were highest in 1-2 years old/ recently abandoned jhum fields with a rate of 3.56 km2 and 2.68 km2 respectively. Camera trapping also resulted in 36 images of different animal species. Increased spatial heterogeneity promotes mammalian distribution.

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How to Cite
Sushanto Gouda, Ht. Decemson, Abinash Parida, & Solanki, G. (2020). Impact of shifting cultivation on mammalian diversity and distribution in fringe areas of Dampa tiger reserve, Mizoram, India. Environment Conservation Journal, 21(1&2), 103-115. https://doi.org/10.36953/ECJ.2020.211212

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