Role of vegetation characteristics on the distribution of three hornbill species in and around Pakke Tiger Reserve, Arunachal Pradesh
Wildlife Trust Of India And Assam University, Silchar
Fragmentation of forest patches in Arunachal Pradesh can have an impact on the population and distribution of potential seed dispersers such as hornbills. We studied the relationship between various vegetation characteristics and the relative abundance of three hornbill species to know whether there is effect of different vegetation parameters on distribution of hornbill species.
We walked transect (n=11; 22 walks) in three study sites to detect three hornbill species [great pied hornbill (Buceros bicornis), wreathed hornbill (Aceros undulatus) and Oriental pied hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris)] in and around Pakke Tiger Reserve. Vegetation sampling was done using circular plots (n=33; 10 m radius) at every 400m interval along each transect.
Encounter rate (1.5± 0.188/km) of great pied hornbill was highest in the protected and undisturbed forest area. Encounter rates of great pied hornbill and wreathed hornbill were positively correlated to the tree density (r= 0.40 and r= 0.57 respectively) and the average height of the tree species (r=0.57 and r= 0.59 respectively) whereas the encounter rate of Oriental pied hornbill was positively correlated only with tree density (r=0.29).
The study shows that protection of the forest patches to keep the diversity and density of the tree species intact are crucial for the survival and distribution of the hornbills in that landscape.