Daily and seasonal Variations in Ranging behaviour of Eastern Hoolock gibbon (Hoolock leuconedys) in two different habitat types in Arunachal Pradesh, India. (#869)
We studied the daily and seasonal ranging behaviour of four selected groups of eastern hoolock gibbon (Hoolock leuconedys) in two different habitats with different disturbance gradient around Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh, India for 12 months. The four habituated groups of H. leuconedys in fragmented and contiguous forest areas, two groups in each of the forest types, showed considerable variation in their DPL ranging from 6.59 m to 1019.01 m with mean distance of 192.75 m (SE=±26.48) in 73 full day observations. Although, the mean DPL was recorded with very little variation across the seasons in both the habitats, but it was significantly different in fragmented forest. Similarly, home range size was also varied among the groups and estimated maximum for Group D (24.62 ha) followed by Group E (16.28 ha) in contiguous forest and Group B (2.49 ha) and Group A (1.09 ha) in fragmented forest. Also, there is a distinct seasonal pattern of home range used by all of the study groups with highest contribution by monsoon and pre-monsoon season in fragmented and contiguous forest respectively. The DPL and home range of H. leuconedys in Arunachal Pradesh has been highly affected by forest fragmentation or canopy discontinuity which makes species vulnerable to easy hunting, predation by feral dogs and hawks and ultimately leading the population towards local extinction. Thus, the findings of the present research evoke the question of long term survival of the species in fragmented forests.