Keny J Newport1,*, Somesh2 Supraja Dharini3
1State Coordinator, Turtle Conservation Project, Tree Foundation, Tree Foundation, Turtle Conservation Project, 5/25, Blue Beach Road, Neelankarai, Chennai
2Field Executive, Turtle Conservation Project, Tree Foundation, Turtle Conservation Project, 5/25, Blue Beach Road, Neelankarai, Chennai
3Director, Tree Foundation, Turtle Conservation Project, 5/25, Blue Beach Road, Neelankarai, Chennai
*Corresponding Author: Keny J Newport, State Coordinator, Turtle Conservation Project, Tree Foundation, Tree Foundation, Turtle Conservation Project, 5/25, Blue Beach Road, Neelankarai, Chennai – 600115; Email: [email protected]
Received Date: April 7, 2023
Publication Date: May 16, 2023
Citation: Newport KJ, et al. (2023). Seasonal Food Habit Variation of Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) in Feeding Turtle Eggs in Kasibugga Range of Srikakulam District, of Andhra Pradesh. Mathews J Vet Sci. 7(2) :21.
Copyright: Newport KJ, et al. © (2023)
In India, the sloth bears are found from the foothills of Himalayas to the southern end of Western Ghats. Although widely distributed, the population of Sloth Bear is declining due to habitat loss and diminished food resources. There is a distinct seasonal variation in the food habits of the sloth bears in many parts of India due to scarcity of food. Insects, mainly the termites and ants are the most important food source for sloth bears, along with fruits are consumed in proportion to availability. In Southern India, it is interesting as Sloth Bears are found in the coastal habitat of Kasibugga range of Srikakulam District of Andhra Pradesh feeding on the eggs of Olive Ridley turtles that are laid on the sea shore from December to March during the winter seasons and on fruits of cashew plantations from March to June, the summer months. Sloth Bear has an excellent sense of smell in finding the turtle eggs. Our field observational study revealed, even though Sloth Bear is an omnivore; their diets vary seasonally and geographically as the eggs of turtles serve as protein rich food supplement in this particular coastal region. In our discussions, the villagers, told that sloth bears invade the coastal areas of Kasibugga range during turtle breeding season as the eggs and seedlings serve as seasonal diets which is a unique phenomenon reported only in this part of the world.
Keywords: Coastal Habitat, Sloth Bear, Turtle Eggs, Olive ridley, Kasibugga Range, Seasonal Food