Tuesday, June 1, 2010

THE CHITAL | Axis axis Erxleben | SPOTTED DEER

Occur in open areas mostly in dry zones of the state. It is not found in the southern part of the State strating from Periyar Tiger Reserve. Common in Parambikulam, Wayanad, Chinnar and in Peechi – Vazhani wildlife sanctuaries. Seen in groups of up to 50 animals.

Scientific name : Axis axis Erxeleben
Domain: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Classis: Mammalia
Subclassis: Theria
Infraclassis: Eutheria
Ordo: Artiodactyla
Subordo: Ruminantia
Familia: Cervidae
Subfamilia: Cervinae
Genus: Axis
Species: Axis axis

Local names : Pulliman, Maan.

Habitat : Dry open area with grasslands and moist and dry deciduous forests.

Distribution : All the forest areas of Kerala north of Periyar Tiger Reserve.
Indirect evidences : Pellets, hoof prints, shed antlers, feeding signs, antler rubbing marks on tree, alarm calls and remains of body parts fed by carnivores.

Faecal matters : Spotted deer pellets are smaller in size than that of sambar and rough in texture. Colour varies from black to green. Mean length of the pellets is 13.43 mm and mean diameter 8.86 mm.

Hoof marks : Similar to sambar but small in size.

Where to look for the indirect evidences : Open areas with grass.

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