Zehidul Hussain

and 5 more

Conservation of wide-ranging species is a challenge owing to their movement in an increasingly fragmented world. Long-distance dispersal has significant implications for ecosystem functioning, and such movement becomes challenging while navigating through a heterogeneous and human-dominated landscape. Here, we describe one of the longest dispersal journey by a sub-adult male tiger through GPS telemetry in Central India. We analyzed movement metrics, directionality, and space use during three behavioural stages of dispersal. We also used the clustering method to identify resting and kill sites (n = 89). T1-C1 dispersed a straight-line distance of 315 km over 225 days, moving an average 8.4 km/day and covering a cumulative displacement of ̵̴ 3000 km. Movement during post-dispersal was higher (mean = 465.6 m/h) than those during dispersal (mean = 376.6 m/h) and pre-dispersal (mean = 132.2 m/h), respectively. Moreover, movement during the night was significantly faster than during the day in all three phases. Likewise, during dispersal, the movement was faster (mean = 518.2 m/h) and more directional (knight = 0.19) at night than day. The average size of clusters was 1.68 ha and primarily away from human habitation (mean = 1875.6 m). The mean cluster duration (46.31 hr) was higher in the non-forested area but was smaller in size than inside the forest (p< 0.05). The individual crossed roads faster (mean= 1880.9 m/hr) than it travelled during other times. During the post-dispersal phase, T1-C1 established its home range with an area of 319.48 sq. km. (95% dBBMM). The dispersal event highlights the long-distance and multiscale movement behaviour in a heterogeneous landscape. Moreover, small forest patches play a key role in maintaining large carnivore connectivity while dispersing through a human-dominated landscape. Our study underlines how documenting the long-distance movement and integrating it with modern technology can improve conservation management decisions.

Bilal Habib

and 4 more

1.Large carnivore conservation is complex and remains a massive challenge across the world. Owing to their wide-ranging habits, large carnivores encounter various anthropogenic pressures which may potentially lead to conflict. Animal movement is linked with individual fitness as it is important for various biological processes. Therefore, studying how large carnivores adapt their movement to dynamic landscape conditions is vital for management and conservation policy. 2.We first quantified the movement parameters of four large carnivores in and outside protected-areas in India (tiger, leopard, dhole and wolf). We then tested the effects of human pressures like human density, road density and land use types on the movement of the species. Finally, we examined the configuration of core areas as a strategy to exploit human-dominated landscape. 3.Our findings suggest that the mean hourly displacement of 4 large carnivores differed across habitats. Mean displacement of large carnivores varied from 77.58m/h for leopards to 665.3m/h for wolves. Tigers outside PAs exhibited higher displacement as compared to tigers inside PAs. Displacement during day and night were significantly different for tigers inside and outside PAs (P=0.03), and wolf whereas no difference was found for leopard and dholes. The movement and ranging patterns of species outside PAs were influenced by anthropogenic factors such as human population, road network density, and landuse. All carnivores showed multiple areas of intensive use or cores in their home ranges. The range of the core area sizes was greater for species outside PAs (tiger and wolf) in human-altered landscapes. 4.Movement ecology of large carnivores has not been explored using such an exhaustive dataset in India. Our study attempts to extend theoretical concepts to applied management problems. This study can be a starting point for rigorous studies on interlinking animal movement and landscape management for large carnivore conservation and policy-making in the Anthropocene.