Open Access Subscription or Fee AccessTotal views : 460
Distribution, Abundance, and Habitat Signature of the Indian Giant Flying Squirrel Petaurista philippensis (Elliot 1839) in the Western Ghats, India
The distribution and abimdance of the Indian Giant Flying Squirrel (IGFS) Petaurista philippensis, with respect to environmental variables, were investigated along the Western Ghats of Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. In Karnataka, a stretch of 1,582 km of forest trails and roads was sampled with spotlight searches between November 2001 and July 2004, while 127 and 133 points were sampled by the audio lure method in Kerala and Tamil Nadu respectively, between Jime 2005 and December 2008. Altogether, 418 individuals were recorded from 35 of the 38 forest stations sampled. The mean abundance of the IGFS was 0.187/km (± 0.234) in Karnataka, and 0.638/point (± 0.281) and 0.308/point (± 0.343) in Kerala and Tamil Nadu respectively. The southern distribution limit of the species in India was recorded as Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary. Overall, the mean abimdance of IGFS was higher in the rainfed, mid-altitude slopes of deciduous and evergreen forests in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Tree density, tree height, GBH (girth at breast height), canopy height and canopy cover were the key factors influencing the distribution of the species on the micro scale, while on the macro scale (home range) were the large extents of wet evergreen and moist deciduous forests. The study indicated that conservation of large trees with large trunk girth and thick canopy cover is necessary for the survival of the species in the Western Ghats.
India, Western Ghats, Indian Giant Flying Squirrel, Petaurista philippensis, Habitat Characteristics.
- AMARNATH, G., M . S . R . MURTHY, S.J. BRITTO, G. RAJASHEKAR & C.B.S. DuTT (2003): Diagnostic analysis of conservation zones using remote sensing and GIS techniques in wet evergreen forests of the Western Ghats - A n ecological hotspot, Tamil Nadu, India. Biodiversity and Conservation 12(12): 2331-2359.
- ANDO, M . & S. SHIRAISHI (1993): Gliding Flight in the Japanese Giant Flying Squirrel Petaurista leucogenys. Journal of the Mammalogical Society of Japan 18: 19-32.
- ASHRAF, N.V.K., A. KUMAR & A.J.T. JOHNSINGH (1993): On the relative abundance of two sympatric flying squirrels of Western Ghats, India. J Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 90(2): 158-160.
- BABU, S. & E.A. JAYSON (2009): Anti-predator behaviour of Large Brown flying squirrels (Petauristaphilippensis): Is this an effective census method to survey the species? Current Science 96(6): lll-lli.
- BAWA, K.S. & S. DAYANANDAN (1997): Socio-economic factors and tropical deforestation. Nature 386: 562-563.
- BORGES, M.R. (1993): Figs, Malabar giant squirrels, and fruit shortages within two tropical Indian forests. Biotropica 25: 183-190.
- DATTA, A. & S. GOYAL (2008): Responses of diurnal tree squirrels to selective logging in western Arunachal Pradesh. Current Science 95(7): 895-902.
- HOLLOWAY, G.L. & J.R. MALCOLM (2007): Nest tree use by northern and southem flying squirrels in central Ontario. Journal ofMammalogy 88: 226-233.
- HUTTON, A.F. (1949): Notes on the snakes and mammals of the High Wavy Mountains, Madura District, South India. Part n. Mammals. J Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 48(4): 681-694.
- JHA, C.S., C.B.S. DuTT & K.S. BAWA (2000): Deforestation and land use changes in Western Ghats, India. Current Science 79 (2): 231-238.
- KAVANAGH, R.P. & K.L. BAMKIN (1995): Distribution of nocturnal forest birds and mammals in relation to the logging mosaic in southeastern New South Wales, Australia. Biological Conservation 71: 41-53.
- KOLi, V.K., C. BHATNAGAR & D. MALI (2011): Gliding behaviour of Indian Giant Flying Squirrel Petaurista philippensis EUoit. Current Science 100(10): 1563-1568.
- KopRowsKi, J.L. &N. RAJAMANI (2008): Global hotspots and knowledge gaps for tree and flying sqviirrels. Current Science 95(7): 851-856.
- KxjMAR, M.A., M. SINGH, S.K. SRIVASTAVA, A. UDHAYAN, H.N. KXJMARA & A.K. SHARMA (2002): Distribution patterns, relative abundance and management of mammals in Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary, Tamil Nadu, India./. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 99(2): 184-210.
- KuMARA, H.N. (2007): Impact of local himting on abundance of large mammals in three protected areas of the Western Ghats, Kamataka. Final Technical Report submitted to Rufford Maurice Laing Foundation, UK. National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, India.
- KUMARA, H.N. & M. SINGH (2004): The influence of differing hunting practices on the relative abundance of mammals in two rainforest areas of the Western Ghats, India. Oryx 38: 321-327.
- KUMARA, H.N. & M. SINGH (2006): Distribution and relative abundance of giant squirrels and flying squirrels in Kamataka, India. Mammalia 70(1-2): 40^7.
- Kuo, CO. & L.L. LEE (2012): Home range and activity of the Indian Giant Flying Squirrel (Petaurista philippensis) in Taiwan: influence of diet, temperature, and rainfall. Acta Theriologica 57: 269-276.
- MADHUSUDAN, M . D . & K.U. KARANTH (2002): Local hunting and the conservation of large mammals in India. Ambio 31: 49-54.
- MENON, V. (2009): Mammals of India. Princeton University Press. 200 pp.
- MUELLER-DOMBOIS, D . & H. ELLENBERG (1974): Aims and Methods of Vegetation Ecology. John Wiley, London. 547 pp.
- MYERS, N . , R.A. MITTERMEIER, C.G. MITTERMEIER, G.A.B. DA FONSECA & J. KENT (2000): Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature 403: 853-858.
- NAIR, S.C. (1991): The southem Western Ghats: A biodiversity conservation plan. Studies in Ecology and Sustainable Development - 4. Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, Delhi.
- PASCAL, J.P. (1988): Wet evergreen forests of the Westem Ghats of India: ecology, structure, floristic composition and succession. Institut Francais de Pondicherry, Pondicherry, India.
- PRASAD, S.N. (1998): Conservation plarming for the Westem Ghats of Kerala: II. Assessment of habitat loss and degradation. Current Science 75(3): 228-235.
- PRATER, S.H. (1980): The Book of Indian Animals. 3rd edn. Bombay Natural History Society, Bombay, India. 428 pp.
- RAJAMANI, N . , R M . BORGES, & A. KUMAR (2001): Status and distribution of the Small Travancore Flying Squirrel (Petinomysfuscocapillus) and the Large Brown Flying Squirrel (Petaurista philippensis) in the Westem Ghats. Technical Report submitted to SACON, Coimbatore, India.
- RAMACHANDRAN, K.K. (1988): Ecology and behaviour of Malabar Giant Squirrel, Ratufa indica maxima (Schreber). KFRI Research Report: 55. Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi, Kerala, India.
- RAMESH, B.R., S. MENON & K.S. BAWA (1997): A vegetation-based approach to biodiversity gap analysis in the Agasthyamalai region, Westem Ghats, India. Ambio 26: 529-539.
- SRINIVASULU, C , S. CHAKRABORTY & M.S. PRADHAN (2004): Checklist of sciurids (Mammalia: Rodentia: Sciuridae) of South Asia. Zoos' Print Journal 19(2): 1351-1360.
- UMAPATHY, G. & A. KUMAR (2000): The occurrence of arboreal mammals in the rainforest fragments in the Anamalai hills, south India. Biological Conservation 92: 311-319.
- WALSTON, J., J.W. DUCKWORTH & S. MOLUR (2008): Petaurista philippensis. In: lUCN 2009. lUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.2.
. Downloaded on December 01, 2009.