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Do dholes (Cuon alpinus) live in packs in response to competition with or predation by large cats?

Venkataraman, AB (1995) Do dholes (Cuon alpinus) live in packs in response to competition with or predation by large cats? In: Current Science, 69 (11). pp. 934-936.

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Abstract

Interactions between carnivores during the defence of kills may be one reason why certain carnivores live in groups. This is especially true of lions, hyaenas and the African wild dog, The dhole or the Asiatic wild dog, primarily a pack living animal, has been observed to regularly interact with both tigers and leopards, Such interactions have taken place over kills and otherwise. In this report, five such interactions are described, It was found that the pack's behaviour of surrounding bushes acid trees on which the cat was confined precluded immediate escape. The presence of sentinels, while the pack was resting, warned the pack of the presence of a big cat and the pack grouped when a big cat appeared, Costs to both individuals within the dhole packs and the cats involved in the encounters were found to be slight, The reasons for such potentially costly encounters could be competition for finite food resources or thwarting predation, Dholes have a significant diet overlap with both leopards and tigers and aggressively encounter with leopards but not with tigers, Differences between diet overlaps may not be the basis behind the differences in aggression, It is more likely that, the small size of leopards and the fact that they predate more often on dholes, cause dhole packs to be more aggressive to leopards than to tigers, The size of carnivore groups may thus pose an advantage during competitive interactions among carnivore species.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: copyright of this article belongs to Indian Academy of Sciences.
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2010 09:43
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2010 09:43
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ernet.in/id/eprint/25085

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