Distribution and conservation of slender lorises (Loris tardigradus lydekkerianus) in Southern Andhra Pradesh, South India

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Slender lorises live in forests of southern India and Sri Lanka. Little is known about their distribution patterns and relative densities. We report the results of a survey conducted in 6 forest divisions in the southern parts of the state of Andhra
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   International Journal of Primatology, Vol. 21, No. 4, 2000 Distribution and Conservation of Slender Lorises(  Loris tardigradus lydekkerianus ) in SouthernAndhra Pradesh, South India Mewa Singh, 1,3 M. Anand Kumar, 1 H. N. Kumara, 1 and S. M. Mohnot 2 Recei v ed September 7, 1999; accepted February 15, 2000 Slender lorises li v ein forests ofsouthern India and SriLanka. Little is knownabout their distribution patterns and relati v e densities. We report the resultsof a sur  v ey conducted in 6 forest di v isions in the southern parts of the stateof Andhra Pradesh, South India. Relati v ely high densities of lorises occurredin mixed deciduous forests and in adjoining farm lands interspersed withtrees. Three distinct populations inhabit the study area. We recommendconser  v ation measures for Loris tardigradus. KEY WORDS: Loris tardigradus lydekkerianus; Andhra Pradesh; South India; conservation;Eastern Ghats. INTRODUCTION Loris tardigradus is a vulnerable primate species (IUCN, 1996). Be-cause of their nocturnal and solitary nature, little is documented regardingtheir distribution, ecology, or behavior. Of the six subspecies of slenderloris (Ellerman and Morrison-Scott, 1951), four occur in Sri Lanka (Hill,1953; Petter and Hladik, 1970) and two live in India, south of Tapti andGodavari rivers. As per the available documentation, Loris tardigradusmalabaricus Wroughton 1917 occurs in the wet forests of Western Ghats, 1 Biopsychology Laboratory, University of Mysore, Mysore–570006. India. 2 Department of Zoology, J.N.V. University, Jodhpur–342 001. India. 3 Correspondence to Mewa Singh: Phone: 91 821 518772; Fax: 91 821 514239; email: mewa@vsnl.com 721 0164-0291/00/0800-0721$18.00/0  2000 Plenum Publishing Corporation  722 Singh, Kumar, Kumara, and Mohnot and L.t. lydekkerianus Cabrera 1908 occurs in the dry forests of EasternGhats (Roonwal and Mohnot, 1977). It is only recently that a concertedeffort was made to systematically survey them (Singh et al., 1999).Singh et al. (1999) assessed the status of slender lorises in the Dindigulregion of the Eastern Ghats. They found very high densities of lorises (1.1sighting per kilometer) in forests dominated by Acacia planifrons in theDindigul Forest Division. Morphological measurements from several sub- jects confirmed the subspecies to be Loris tardigradus lydekkerianus. TheEastern Ghats run in the northeasterly direction from Dindigul. Therefore,we conducted a similar systematic survey in the other parts of the EasternGhats. Since the largest area of Eastern Ghats lies in the state of AndhraPradesh, we worked in the six forest divisions there. Study Area The 6 focal forest divisions are Rajampet, Chittor East, Chittor West,Cuddapah, Nellore, and Tirupati (Sri Venkateswara National Park), cov-ering 25 forest ranges (Table I) in the southern districts of Andhra Pradesh(Fig. 1). The surveyed areas include one National Park (Sri VenkateswaraNational Park),two Wildlife Sanctuaries (SriLankamaleswar Wildlife Sanc-tuary and Kaundinya Wildlife Sanctuary), one proposed Wildlife Sanctuary(Sri Penchalanarasimhaswamy Wildlife Sanctuary), Reserved Forests andcultivatedlands.Thestudyarealiesroughlybetween78  and800  E and12  5  and 14  5  N. The altitude ranges from 500 to 1100 m asl. Although most of the vegetation in this region is characteristic of Eastern Ghats, a variety of forest types occurred in different parts of the study area (Table II). Mostof the rain in this part of southern India comes from the stormy northeastmonsoons during October–November. The rainfall is relatively low and theregion is drier than the Western Ghats in southern India. The temperaturethroughout the year is hot, ranging between 22  and 42  C. METHOD The purpose of the survey was to establish (a) presence or absence of lorises in surveyed areas, (b) their relative densities determined by sightings,and (c) continuity or discontinuity of the populations. The areas we selectedfor survey are based on (a) the National Parks/Wildlife Sanctuaries and Re-served Forests, (b) other areas where lorises had been sighted by forest offi-cials or other local informants, and (c) scrub jungle, which is a characteristichabitat of loris (Singh etal., 1999).We used the method of Singh etal. (1999).  Distribution and Conservation of Slender Lorises 723       T    a      b      l    e      I  .     S    l   e   n    d   e   r    l   o   r    i   s   s    i   g    h    t    i   n   g   s    i   n    d    i    f    f   e   r   e   n    t    f   o   r   e   s    t    d    i   v    i   s    i   o   n   s   a   n    d   r   a   n   g   e   s    L   o   c   a    t    i   o   n    K   m    N   o .   o    f    S    i   g    h    t    i   n   g   s    O    t    h   e   r    L   a   n    d    D    i   v    i   s    i   o   n    R   a   n   g   e    i   n    F    i   g .    1   c   o   v   e   r   e    d   a   n    i   m   a    l   s   p   e   r    k   m   p   r    i   m   a    t   e   s   s    t   a    t   u   s    C   u    d    d   a   p   a    h    V   e   m   p   a    l    l    i    1    2    9    0    0    Y   e   s    R    F    /    C    L    S    i    d    d   a   v   a    t   a   m    2    5    7    0    0    Y   e   s    R    F    /    C    L    /    W    S    C   u    d    d   a   p   a    h    3    2    5    0    0    Y   e   s    R    F    /    C    L    R   a    i   c    h   o    t    i    4    2    1    0    0    Y   e   s    R    F    /    C    L    V   o   n    t    i   m    i    t    t   a    5    5    7    0    0    N   o    R    F    /    C    L    R   a    j   a   m   p   e    t    C    h    i    t   v   e    l    6    7    3    0 .    4    0    N   o    R    F    R   a    j   a   m   p   e    t    7    1    6    0    0    Y   e   s    R    F    S   a   n    i   p   a   y   a    8    1    8    0    0    Y   e   s    R    F    K   o    d   u   r    9    3    4    2    0 .    0    6    Y   e   s    R    F    N   e    l    l   o   r   e    V   e   n    k   a    t   a   g    i   r    i    1    0    9    1    0 .    1    0    Y   e   s    R    F    R   a   p   u   r    1    1    1    0    2    0 .    2    0    Y   e   s    R    F    U    d   a   y   a   g    i   r    i    1    2    3    0    1    0 .    0    3    Y   e   s    R    F    A    t   m   a    k   u   r    1    3    4    9    0    0    Y   e   s    R    F    T    i   r   u   p   a    t    i    (    W    S    )    T    i   r   u   p   a    t    i    1    4    1    0    4    1    6    0 .    1    5    Y   e   s    N    P    /    R    F    /    W    S    C    h   a   m   a    l   a    1    5    2    8    7    0 .    3    0    Y   e   s    N    P    /    R    F    /    W    S    B   a    l   a   p   a    l    l    i    1    6    3    6    1    0 .    0    3    Y   e   s    N    P    /    R    F    /    C    L    /    W    S    C    h    i    t    t   o   r    (    E   a   s    t    )    S   r    i    K   a    l   a    h   a   s    t    i    1    7    1    9    1    1    0 .    0    6    N   o    R    F    S   a    t    h    i   v   e    d   u    1    8    2    1    4    0 .    2    0    N   o    R    F    P   u    t    t   u   r    1    9    1    4    6    0 .    4    0    N   o    R    F    K .    N   a   g   a   r   a   m    2    0    3    1    0 .    4    0    N   o    R    F    B   a    k   r   a   p   e    t    2    1    2    6    3    0 .    1    2    N   o    R    F    C    h    i    t    t   o   r    (    W   e   s    t    )    P   a    l   a   m   a   n   e   r   u    2    2    6    1    1    5    0 .    2    0    Y   e   s    R    F    /    C    L    /    R    S    T    /    W    S    K   u   p   p   a   m    2    3    5    3    1    9    0 .    4    0    Y   e   s    R    F    /    C    L    /    R    S    T    /    W    S    P   u   n   g   a   n   u   r    2    4    4    4    1 .    0    0    Y   e   s    R    F    M   a    d   n   a   p   a    l    l    i    2    5    3    3    1 .    0    0    Y   e   s    R    F    T   o    t   a    l    7    3    4    9    8    0 .    1    3    R    F  –   r   e   s   e   r   v   e    d    f   o   r   e   s    t ,    C    L  –   c   u    l    t    i   v   a    t   e    d    l   a   n    d ,    W    S  –   w    i    l    d    l    i    f   e   s   a   n   c    t   u   a   r   y ,    N    P  –   n   a    t    i   o   n   a    l   p   a   r    k ,    R    S    T  –   r   o   a    d   s    i    d   e    t   r   e   e   s .  724 Singh, Kumar, Kumara, and MohnotFig. 1. Map of the surveyed areas in the state of Andhra Pradesh and the locations whereslender lorises were sighted. (Numbers on the map refer to range locations listed in Table I.) Mostoftheareaswereaccessiblebymotorableroads.ThispartoftheEasternGhatsischaracterizedbygentlehillsandvalleys.AresearchersatatopaJeepmoving at 5–10 km per hour and flashed powerful lights in all directions.Lorises could be spotted by reflection in the tapetum lucidum by our light at  300m.Unlikeothernocturnalmammalswhoseeyecolorvariesinresponseto light when the pupils move, loris eyes are orange-red from any direction.Sympatric arboreal animals in similar habitats are civets and flying squirrels.Flying squirrels do not occur in our study area. Civets can be differentiatedfrom lorises by their smaller eyes and varying eye color. If the identity of a subject was unclear, we walked to the location and confirmed its specificidentity. We also located lorises via their characteristic calls. In areas thatwere not accessible by road, we walked along preexisting trails and searchedforlorisesvia hand-held halogen spotlightsand maglights.Since ourpurposewas to establish only the prevalence of lorises and not their exact densities,        T    a      b      l    e      I      I  .     F   o   r   e   s    t    t   y   p   e   s   a   n    d   s    l   e   n    d   e   r    l   o   r    i   s   s    i   g    h    t    i   n   g   s    A   n    i   m   a    l   s    K   m    S    i   g    h    t    i   n   g   s    F   o   r   e   s    t    t   y   p   e   s    i   g    h    t   e    d   c   o   v   e   r   e    d   p   e   r    K   m    F   o   r   e   s    t   r   a   n   g   e   s   w    h   e   r   e   a   n    i   m   a    l   w   a   s   s    i   g    h    t   e    d    M    i   x   e    d    d   e   c    i    d   u   o   u   s    5    0    2    1    1    0 .    2    4    C    h    i    t   v   e    l   ;    S   r    i    K   a    l   a    h   a   s    t    i   ;    P   a    l   a   m   a   n   e   r   u   ;    K   o    d   u   r   ;    M   a    d   n   a   p   a    l    l    i    K   u   p   p   a   m   ;    P   u   n   g   a   n   u   r   ;    T    i   r   u   p   a    t    i   ;    C    h   a   m   a    l   a   ;    B   a    l   a   p   a    l    l    i   ;    U    d   a   y   a   g    i   r    i    D   e   c    i    d   u   o   u   s    /   s   p   a   r   s   e   u   n    d   e   r   g   r   o   w    t    h    7    1    0    8    0 .    0    6    P   u    t    t   u   r   ;    B   a    k   r   a   p   e    t   ;    K   u   p   p   a   m    S   c   r   u    b    j   u   n   g    l   e    /   s    t   u   n    t   e    d   v   e   g   e    t   a    t    i   o   n    3    1    9    6    0 .    0    1    P   u    t    t   u   r    T    h    i   c    k   u   n    d   e   r   g   r   o   w    t    h    /   s   p   a   r   s   e    t   r   e   e   s    1    9    1    0 .    0    1    R   a   p   u   r    R    i   v   e   r    i   n   e    /    t    h    i   c    k   u   n    d   e   r   g   r   o   w    t    h    8    3    6    0 .    2    2    S   a    t    h    i   v   e    d   u   ;    P   u    t    t   u   r   ;    K .    N   a   g   a   r   a   m   ;    V   e   n    k   a    t   a   g    i   r    i   ;    T    i   r   u   p   a    t    i    C   u    l    t    i   v   a    t   e    d    l   a   n    d    /    f   r   u    i    t    t   r   e   e   s    1    6    6    5    0 .    2    5    P   a    l   a   m   a   n   e   r   u   ;    K   u   p   p   a   m   ;    P   u   n   g   a   n   u   r    C   u    l    t    i   v   a    t   e    d    l   a   n    d    f   e   n   c   e   s    /   r   o   a    d   s    i    d   e    1    3    2    7    0 .    4    8    P   a    l   a   m   a   n   e   r   u   ;    K   u   p   p   a   m    t   r   e   e   s
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