Coimbatore

Striped hyenas increasingly sighted in Sirumugai, Mettupalayam ranges

A striped hyena photographed using camera trap in Coimbatore Forest Division.  

Coimbatore Forest Division, which has tiger presence in three of its forest ranges, is now home to more number of striped hyenas (Hyaena hyaena).

Camera trap monitoring of the wild animals by the Forest Department found that the striped hyena is present in more numbers in Sirumugai and Mettupalayam forest ranges.

These are the two forest ranges that lie close to the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR) and the eastern slopes of the Nilgiris which link them to the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR), both hyena habitats. The two forest ranges also have tiger presence.

According to District Forest Officer D. Venkatesh, Mettupalayam and Sirumugai forest ranges are abundant with prey base for carnivores.

Though hyenas are primarily scavengers, they also hunt small animals as a pack. Hyenas also scavenge animals that die of natural causes

“Like other animals, population of hyenas have also increased. STR and MTR are the closest landscapes with more number of hyenas. When the population increases, lesser dominant ones move to the buffers and adjoining forests with good prey base and predators. Mettupalayam and Sirumugai ranges have more number of spotted deer, a main prey of predators like tiger and leopard,” said. I. Anwardeen, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Coimbatore Circle.

The camera traps fixed by the WWF India for monitoring of elephants showed the movement of hyenas near Kallar in Mettupalayam forest range.

“The two forest ranges are linked to Moyar valley and Sigur plateau which have hyena population. Presence of hyenas have been recorded in Coimbatore Forest Division from 2016 when camera traps were first installed to monitor animal movements. More sighting of hyenas indicate that the forests in Coimbatore Forest Division are healthy to become habitat for them. If the Kallar region did not have obstructions such as the traffic movement and human interferences, the would have moved to other forest ranges of Coimbatore Forest Division,” he said.


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Printable version | Sep 25, 2021 11:58:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/striped-hyenas-increasingly-sighted-in-sirumugai-mettupalayam-ranges/article35388493.ece

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