Dietary habits of Indian Crested Porcupine (Hystrix indica) were studied in the Pench Tiger Reserve India (dry tropical forest), by the faecal analysis. The results of the study suggest that the porcupines have a diverse diet and the tree barks and seeds were the most consumed items. It was followed by leaves, twigs, flowers and grasses. Seasonally, barks (34.9%), twigs (17.2%), seeds (17.1%), leaves (9.4%), grasses (8.7%), bones (4.9%) and roots (2.6%), stones and others unidentified things (2.2%) and hairs of animals (0.7%) were fed more in winter than summer where as seeds (27.3%), barks (23.1%), leaves (11.7 %), grasses (9.9%), roots (6.8%), twigs (6.7%), bones (6.03%), flowers (1.4%) and stones/other things (0.8%), hairs (0.4%) were fed more in summer than winter season. Only barks and twigs were found to be significantly different seasonally. Furthermore, the Berger-Parker index (d) of each season was calculated to ensure the variation in diet, by the species dominance in each faecal matter group. Through this method, diversity in food items of the porcupine reflected that the diet of porcupine in summer season (2.2) was more diversified as compared to the porcupine diet in the winter season (1.835). Overall the diet of the porcupine comprises 92% vegetative matter and remaining 6.3% comprises of animal matters and 1.5% other materials (stones, threads, etc). Hence, it is considered as a generalist herbivore.
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Published by: National Cave Research and Protection Organization, India
<Environmental Science+Zoology+Geology+Cave Science>AMBIENT SCIENCE