Prabakaran Girikaran, Mammalogy and Forest Ecology Lab of the Department of Zoology and Wildlife Biology in the Government Arts College (Udhagamandalam, The Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, India).
Arockianathan Samson, Mammalogy and Forest Ecology Lab of the Department of Zoology and Wildlife Biology in the Government Arts College (Udhagamandalam, The Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, India); e-mail: email@example.com
Balasundaram Ramakrishnan, Mammalogy and Forest Ecology Lab of the Department of Zoology and Wildlife Biology in the Government Arts College (Udhagamandalam, The Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, India).
Subramanian Ramasubramanian, Conservator of Forests in the Coimbatore Forest Circle (Tamil Nadu Forest Department, India).
The Malabar Pied Hornbill (MPH) (Anthracoceros coronatus) is a Near Threatened taxon. This species is endemic to the low elevation moist forests of Western Ghats, a few locations in central India, Eastern Ghats and Sri Lanka. The present study, from November 2017 to March 2018, was aimed to understand the nesting tree preference of A. coronatus in the Pillur Valley, Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu, and Southern India. A total of five tree species were identified as nesting tree preference by the MPH in the Pillur Valley, Western Ghats. Four of these five tree species were identified as belonging to the hard wood category. The nesting tree Madhuca longifolia counted six nests (n = 6) in five nesting trees (n = 5). Overall seventeen nest site characters were calculated in order to understand the nesting tree preference of the MPH. The location of nests on the nesting trees shows that 55% of the nests were located on the primary branch. The location of the nest direction shows that most of the nests (n = 7) were located on the north east direction. The overall nest cavity length and width shows 31.38 cm and 18.06 cm respectively. The shape of the nest cavity shows that most of them, 70%, have got an oval shape and 30% of the nests were having a round shape, irrespectively of the nesting trees. The potential nest tree and nest cavity availability in the 0.025 km2 study plots show that the overall availability of tree GBH ≥ 250 cm was 9.43 per 0.01 km2 (23.57 trees) and the availability of nest holes 4.57 per 0.01 km2 in 13 tree species.
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