Predators of Bhadra Tiger Reserve & Their Kills
This article lists and describes predators of Bhadra Tiger reserve. This article is written by the naturalist himself who works for Bhadra Tiger reserve.
Some of the main and important predators are Tiger, Leopard and the wild dogs. The main dominate carnivore of Bhadra tiger reserve is the tiger, which is the most important animal in the eco system to keep herbivorous in control, also keeping forest healthy and it’s the Apex predator of the food chain.
Bhadra become Tiger reserve in 1998 and it was the 25th tiger reserve of India, and it is the India’s most complete successful relocation program of human habitation, the relocation completely implemented in the year of 2002. The western side part of Bhadra reserve is surrounded by the Bhadra River and Reservoir, Construction of Bhadra reservoir made animals population to be healthy and this is also the very large and permanent water source in all seasons for Mammals and reptiles like crocodiles and good food source for birds.
The elevation is 615m to 1875m, the highest point being is kallatgiri. The average temperatures in summer are 35c and winter is 10c. The annual rain falls various from 1200mm to 2600mm.
The forest has verities of ecotype, shola (mountains) forest, the bamboos being very common, grassland, plantation, weeds like lantana, eupatorium, the weeds are unnatural and growing in the forest, some years back in most of the part of Bhadra reserve areas bamboos had flowered after flowering the life of bamboo will get over and seeds speeded into all over the forest after the rain young bamboos are taken places and made thick under growth habitat, these Bamboo habitat makes very helpful to the forest and make animas to be very healthy in all seasons. Bamboo are very important food source in the jungle during summer, the forest gets dries less grass patches in most of the reserve so for herbivores animals its very tuff time and the food source will be less, they need migrate to the different areas in search of food in this kind of crucial period of summer. Bamboo plays imported role to the herbivores animals and keep them in their areas not be long migration and it makes less computation between the territories overlapping of predators, on this blog i just wanted to share the few moments of predators with their kill.
Tiger with the Kill – complete sequence with pictures
The Tiger in Bhadra are very well built, the habitat and terrain makes them to be very strong, the forest is more of hill and mountains, Tigers are territorial animals, frequently mark their territory by scent marking, dropping, scratching on tree trunks so they patrol their areas. They move in all these terrain habitat and this makes them physically well build.
The huge male Tiger sitting next to a Water body and staring.
Once I got opportunity to see the tiger with wild boar kill. It was an evening jeep safari we sighted elephants, gaur, wild boar, spotted deer, giant squirrel, and few birds almost the safari was getting over, we were heading towards the main gate just 300 meters before the gate just beside the track we saw one beautiful tiger sitting in water whole and seeing us. It was just sitting calmly in water.
After some time it got up and started moving in the water the head was almost touching a water surface seems like drinking water. It came till the edge of the water and trying to pick something, we were wondering what it’s trying do. Later it picked up a wilds boar kill with its powerful jaw and heading towards the bund.
It dragged that kill on bund and gave some time for the photographers to take pictures.
And took into the bushes
Leopard on a Hunt – complete sequence with pictures
Other than tiger the second largest predators of Bhadra is leopard, usually leopards get to see on trees, resting, sleeping, sometimes with the kill, for their safety most of the time they prefer to stay on trees. Sometimes they come to ground and does the territory marks and hunts and will take that to the trees tops and hang that to tree branches. Most of the Leopard sightings in Bhadra are seen on ground.
Leopard is lying down and yawing
Leopard just sitting and staring at us.
Again in one of the evening safaris I got to see a leopard hunting on spotted deer, but this time was boat safari, just beginning of the safari we heard spotted deer alarm calls and running on banks, we switched off the boat engine and very quietly we were observing on banks with the binocular, after some time we saw leopard walking on the banks,
After seeing leopard we did not see those deer’s we thought they gone and safe, but the leopard was walked on a bank for a while where deer’s were there.
After sometime it climbed a tree and lying down on tree branch.
It was noticed something and Observing from the tree top for some time.
And got down and went a bit and sat down on fallen tree.
And immediately got down from that and disappeared into the bushes and came out with a speed and stopped, it was so quick and it was standing with this deer kill.
Leopard co-exists with tiger territory by attacking small mammals and rarely leopards feed on grounds, they Choose the prey size if they are capable to lift the prey on trees they go for that. Leopards hang their prey on tree branches, for keeping prey safe from the other predators.
The sambar deer fawn carcass hanging on tree branch which was killed by a leopard. The leopard starts eats up the prey from the belly as opposed to the tiger, tigers tend to eat the prey from the back. In the picture we can see the leopard was eaten the prey from belly side.
The Wild Dogs and their Hunting!!
The Third large predator of Bhadra tiger reserve is wild dogs, these are really dangerous dogs ,they be in a pack and these makes them more success for hunting and fight back with other predators and with enemies . Leopards are get scared of wild dogs and if presence of wild dogs leopard will be preferred to stay on the trees.
The wild dogs do not bark, makes whistle to communicate with each other, during safari we have seen Individual pack of 2,3,4,5.
Pack of 3 wild dogs walking along the road.
Generally alpha male hunts, the others member of the pack surrounds the prey,
A Pack of wild dogs killed spotted deer and feeding on it, already kill has done, we were bit late but the kill was very fresh, just they were eating and some of the pack members taking their share and going away from each other’s with their share. The Brahmini kites also want to scavenge the spotted deer carcass but they were chased away by the dogs.
The carcass of spotted deer head is taking as its share and running away from the others.
Another predator of reserve is jackals, these are mainly scavengers other than hunts on rodents and sometimes small mammals and birds as well. Jackals are found through India except high altitude of himachal.
The wild boar is the more comparable for jackals when they are scavenging the carcass, sometimes jackals are chased by the wild dogs, tigers and leopards.
Sometimes they move alone.
Some other time moves together.
The Boat safari does on banks of Bhadra back water, during boat safari also can expect to see animals and more Birds, the water predator of Bhadra is a Crocodile, this is well known as mugger or marsh crocodiles, its a very large water predator, the length of mugger is 3 to 4 meters and weights 180kg, these crocodile huts in a shallow water, feeds on verities of food such as fish, frogs, Snails, water birds and sometimes hunts on small mammals.
Crocodile basking on bank of Bhadra back water. Usually crocodiles spend the day basking on the banks and Rocks. While basking they open the mouth is a method of heat control.
After the sun basking heading back to water.
One more huge crocodile heading towards water.
Other than big predators Bhadra forest also has some small carnivores animals, they are leopard cat, rusty spotted cat, ruddy mongoose and stripe necked mongoose and in some part of Bhadra reservoirs otters are reported.
The Accommodation, The jeep Safari, The Boat Safari
Kishore Venky is a Naturalist with Bhadra Tiger Reserve, in the State of Karnataka, located in the southern part of India, approx. 280 kms north west of city of Bangalore.
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