Behavior of post released translocated greater one-horned rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) at Manas National Park, Assam, India

Deba Kumar Dutta, Amit Sharma, Rita Mahanta, Anindya Swargowari

Abstract


A post-release study of the behaviour of 10 greater one-horned rhinoceros’ (Rhinoceros unicornis) translocated to Manas National Park, Assam, India was carried out to understand how each individual rhino behaves in a new environement. Distinct seasonal variation in activity was observed among the released rhinos. Maximum grazing activity was observed in the monsoon (June–September) and retreating monsoon (October–November) seasons while it was observed that the grazing rate decreased during the dry winter season (December–February). In the winter season, browsing activity was observed to increase. Resting activity was maximum during the winter and pre-monsoon (March–May) seasons. Walking activity of adult females and calves increased in the monsoon season, and was higher than that of adult males. It was observed that adult males wallowed more frequently during the monsoon season than adult females and calves. It was further observed that rhinos not only wallow for thermoregulatory purposes, but also readily eat aquatic plants. There was no drastic difference between behaviour patterns of translocated rhinos at Manas National Park and those of resident rhinos in Assam and Nepal. The rhinos’ overall behaviour in the different seasons indicated that the translocated rhino population has adapted well at Manas National Park.

Keywords


Translocation, Greater One Horned Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis), Behaviour, Manas National Park

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