Post-release monitoring of translocated Eastern Hoolock Gibbons in Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh: A preliminary study

Post-release monitoring of translocated Eastern Hoolock Gibbons in Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh: A preliminary study

Presented by
Himani Nautiyal
A.V.C College, Mayiladuthurai,Tamil Nadu.Authors
Kuladeep Roy, Himani Nautiyal & Soumya Dasgupta

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Introduction: What conservation problem or question does your study address?
Families of Eastern Hoolock Gibbons (Hoolock leuconedys) have been translocated from disturbed habitats in the Dello region of Arunachal Pradesh. The present study quantified differences in post-release habitat selection, resource utilization and activity patterns of gibbons in two distinct habitat types. This preliminary study will help identify future release sites for translocation of gibbon families.

Methods: What were the main research methods you used?
The study was carried out between February 2012 and May 2012. Data were collected from two families of gibbons released at Sally lake and one family released at 20 Kilo. The post-release monitoring was done throughout the day using Instantaneous/Scan sampling method done at 10 minute intervals. A total of 396, 465, and 843 scans were made on Group-1, Group-2, and Group-3 respectively. The observed behaviors were categorized into six major activities for analysis: locomotion, feeding, passivity, social activities, other activities and suckling milk by infant. The food resources consumed were categorized into leaves, flowers, fruits and insects. SPSS and Microsoft Excel were used for data analysis. Time activity budgets were made and resource use quantified for each age-sex class. Chi-square test was used to test for significant differences between the behavior observed at the two sites.

Results: What are your most important results?
The gibbon families translocated to Sally Lake spent more time feeding and ranged over a larger area than the 20 Kilo family, while the latter spent time engaged in other activities. There was also a significant difference in resource consumption between the two habitats with the Sally lake gibbon family consuming more fruits and flower while the 20 kilo family consumed more leaves. Faunal components were only observed in the feeding of the 20 Kilo gibbon family.

Discussion: What are your important discussion points and what is the relevance of your results to conservation (if any)?
The study showed that the gibbon families in the different habitats showed a significant difference in the selection of resource types, consuming resources that were most readily available. This could be a result of the difference in availability of fruits and flowers due to the physiognomic differences between the two habitats. A more rigorous study of the vegetation parameters and co-species associations would enable a better selection of translocation sites.

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