Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol.17, Issue 1, 2011 ; Page No.(111-115)

SELECTION OF FOOD PLANTS UNDER CAPTIVITY BY KASHMIR MUSK DEER, MOSCHUS CUPREUS: A BRIEF EXPERIMENT AND COMMENT

Mudasir-Ali and G.A. Bhat

Abstract

This study is a result of opportunistic direct observation when the musk deer fawn was offered forbs from the enclosure. The animal exhibited wittiness of high degree and sniffed every plant carefully before accepting or rejecting it. The food plants accepted by the musk deer comprised Alchemilla vulgaris L. (Rosaceae), Agrimonia pilosa (Rosaceae), Achillea millefolium (Asteraceae), Bellis perennis (Asteraceae), Clinopodium vulgare (Boraginaceae), Erigeron alpinus (Asteraceae), Fragaria nubicola (Rosaceae), Geranium wallichianum (Geraniaceae), Hypericum perforatum (Hyperiaceae), Indigofera heterantha (Fabaceae), Oxalis corniculata (Oxalidaceae), Plantago lanceolata (Plantaginaceae), Ranunculus laetus (Ranunculaceae), Solidago virga-aurea (Asteraceae), Taraxacum officinale (Asteraceae), Trifolium pretense (Leguminosae), Trifolium repens (Leguminosae) and Viburnum grandiflorum (Caprifoliaceae). While as the plants rejected by the musk deer included Bothriochloa pertusa (Gramineae), Capillipedium parviflorum (Gramineae), Cynodon dactylon (Gramineae), Cirsium wallichii (Asteraceae), Oryzopsis munroi (Gramineae), Poa annua (Gramineae), Poa sp. (Gramineae), Themeda anathera (Gramineae) and Urtica dioica (Urticaceae). The relevance of the present study is that tentatively 17 species of food plants have been added to the available literature on the food plants of musk deer listed in different studies carried out in Indian Himalaya, and demarcates 8 species of plants (mostly graminoids) avoided by the musk deer.

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