Monitoring Spatial and Seasonal Abundance of Indian Wild Ass (Equus hemionus khur) in Little Rann of Kutch Landscape, Western India


Affiliations

  • Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, 248001, India
  • Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai, Maharashtra, 400001, India
  • Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata, West Bengal, 700016, India
  • Van Chetna Kendra, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, 380015, India

Abstract

The present study was conducted in Little Rann of Kutch (LRK) landscape in the Gujarat state of western India. It is a vast saline mud-plain holding the last remaining source population of Indian wild ass (Equus hemionus khur) or Khur after its population from other parts of the world got locally extinct. Khur occupy fringes of the Sanctuary and bets (islands) having grassland and scrubland vegetation. Taking adequate and effective management decisions and monitoring would be difficult in absence of reliable information. Line transect sampling will ensure robust population estimate of Khur. By bridging this gap with adequate information, meaningful and effective management decisions can be taken. We have conducted line transect surveys using foot and vehicle transect following distance sampling in southern fringe as intensive study site. The density estimates (No./km2 ± SE) in southern fringe of LRK during two surveys were 5.76 ± 0.91, 6.08 ± 1.39 in winter and 2.29 ± 0.55 in summer from foot transect and 5.2 ± 0.73, 6.72 ± 1.12 in winter and 4.29 ± 0.87 in summer from vehicle transect, respectively. The study will help managers to evaluate long term monitoring method and make adaptive management decisions.


Keywords

Khur, Line Transect, Population Density, Semi-arid Landscape, Surra

Subject Discipline

Ecology; Wildlife; Conservation

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