Overview

Distribution

Range Description

The nilgiri marten is endemic to the Western Ghats of India (Balakrishnan 2005). The species is habitat specific and localized within its distribution. This species has been recorded across a wide range of elevations from 300 to 1,400 m with an average of around 990 m for preferred habitat (Mudappa 1999; Balakrishnan 2005). Most of the records known for this species are from protected areas (Muddapa pers. comm.).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
The nilgiri marten has been reported from moist tropical rainforests (Mudappa 1999), montane evergreen forests (Yoganand and Kumar 1999), and moist deciduous forests adjoining wet evergreen forests (J. Joshua pers. comm.), as well as somealtered habitats such as coffee and cardamom plantations (Schreiber et al. 1989) and acacia plantations (Yoganand and Kumar 1999). The majority of sightings have come from areas with little canopy and sub-canopy cover, far from human paths and in relative proximity to water (Balakrishnan 2005).

This species is partly frugivorous and insectivorous (Balakrishnan 2005), but will prey opportunistically on almost any small bird or mammal (Pocock 1941), including Indian chevrotain and monitor lizards (Varanus bengalensis; Mudappa 1999), mouse deer (Moschiola memmina; Mudappa 2002), and it occasionally even feeds on nectar (Hutton, 1944).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
VU
Vulnerable

Red List Criteria
B1ab(iii,iv)

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Choudhury, A., Wozencraft, C., Muddapa, D. & Yonzon, P.

Reviewer/s
Duckworth, J.W. (Small Carnivore Red List Authority) & Schipper, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)

Contributor/s

Justification
This species is listed as Vulnerable because its entire extent of occurrence is less than 20,000 km², its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its forest habitat in the six discontinuous national parks where is occurs. In addition, remaining populations are severely fragmented due to a continuing decline in the extent and quality of habitat.

History
  • 2000
    Vulnerable
  • 1996
    Vulnerable
    (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
  • 1996
    Vulnerable
  • 1994
    Vulnerable
    (Groombridge 1994)
  • 1990
    Indeterminate
    (IUCN 1990)
  • 1988
    Indeterminate
    (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
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Population

Population
The population trend for the nilgiri marten is unknown, but it is thought to naturally occur at low densities, or indeed lower densities than the closely related yellow throated marten (Duckworth pers. comm.). This species was considered rare by Pocock (1941), but more recently was seen regularly (12 sightings) in Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR) in India between May 1996 and December 1999 (Mudappa 2002).

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
The nilgiri marten is threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation throughout its area of occupancy. These threats, as well as hunting, are all detrimental to this species, especially in the lower altitudes of its range (Balakrishnan 2005).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
The nilgiri marten is listed in Schedule II part II of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and Appendix III of CITES (India).

This species occurs in several protected areas. Some of these include Rajamala Eravikulam National Park (Madhusudan 1995), Mukkurthi National Park (Yoganand and Kumar 1995, 1999), Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary and Silent Valley National Park (Christopher and Jayson 1996), Sholayar (Vijayan 1979), Upper Bhavani (Gokula and Ramachandran 1996), Brahmagiri (Schreiber et al. 1989), Kalakkadu-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (Mudappa, 2001), Periyar Tiger Reserve (Kurup and Joseph, 2001), and Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary (Balakrishnan, 2005). It was also sighted in Silent Valley National Park, Attappadi Reserve Forest, Muthikkulam South Reserve Forest, and Nilambur South Reserve Forest by Balakrishnan (2005).

Schreiber et al. (1989) recommended field surveys to locate remaining populations and determine if existing reserves give adequate protection. Accordingly, a systematic survey has been conducted following the recommendation of the action plan. Although poaching incidents are not frequent in protected areas, measures to regulate hunting outside of these areas are ineffective, especially in lowland forests (Balakrishnan 2005). There is a need for more survey work, and more protected areas, especially in the lower altitudes of its range, and in particular the forests contiguous to Silent Valley National Park (Balakrishnan 2005).
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Wikipedia

Nilgiri marten

The Nilgiri marten (Martes gwatkinsii) is the only species of marten found in southern India. It occurs in the hills of the Nilgiris and parts of the Western Ghats.

Description[edit]

The Nilgiri marten is similar to the yellow-throated marten, but is larger and essentially different in the structure of the skull - it has a prominent frontal concavity. It is unmistakable in the field as it is dark above with a bright throat ranging in colour from yellow to orange. which is the deep brown from head to rump, the forequarters being almost reddish.[2][3]

It is about 55 to 65 cm long from head to vent and has a tail of 40 to 45 cm. It weighs about 2.1 kg.[3]

Local names include the generic Tamil names of NeerNaai (and also suitable Tamil name in Nilgiri Neer Naai) and in Malayalam as Karumvernku and Koduvalli.[3][4]

Distribution[edit]

The species is reported from the Nilgiris, parts of southern Kodagu and Travancore Kerala, up to the Charmadi ghats.[5][6][7][8][9][10]

Ecology and Behaviour[edit]

Very little is known about the Nilgiri marten. It is diurnal, and though arboreal, descends to the ground occasionally. It is reported to prey on birds, small mammals and insects such as cicadas.[11][12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Choudhury, A., Wozencraft, C., Muddapa, D. & Yonzon, P. (2008). Martes gwatkinsii. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 21 March 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of vulnerable
  2. ^ "The Book Of Indian Animals,S.H.PRATER Bombay Natural History Society, Oxford University Press, 2005". 
  3. ^ a b c "Zoological Survey of India, Pune". Archived from the original on March 11, 2007. Retrieved August 26, 2011. 
  4. ^ Template:A.M.Amsa naturalist (2001) Sighting of the Nilgiri marten (''Martes gwatkinsii'') at Mukurthi National Park (MNP)" The Nilgiris, Tamilnadu India
  5. ^ Christopher, G. & Jayson, E.A. (1996) Sightings of Nilgiri marten (Martes gwatkinsii Horsfield) at Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary and Silent Valley National Park, Kerala, India. Small Carnivore Conservation, 15, 3-4.
  6. ^ Madhusudan, M.D. (1995) Sighting of the Nilgiri marten (Martes gwatkinsii) at Eravikulam National Park, Kerala, India. Small Carnivore Conservation, 13, 6-7.
  7. ^ Gokula, V. & Ramachandran, N.K. (1996) A record of the Nilgiri marten (Martes gwatkinsii Horsfield). J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc., 93, 82.
  8. ^ Mudappa, D. 1999 Lesser known carnivores of the Western Ghats IN ENVIS Bulletin : Wildlife, Protected areas: Mustelids, Viverrids and Herpestides of India 2(2): 65-70 Publisher: Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun, Editor: S. A. Hussain.
  9. ^ Balakrishnan, P. (2005) Recent sightings and habitat characteristics of the endemic Nilgiri Marten Martes gwatkinsii in Western Ghats, India.
  10. ^ Krishna, K. & Karnad, D. (2010) New records of the Nilgiri marten Martes gwatkinsii in the Western Ghats, India. Small Carnivore Conservation, 43, 23-27.
  11. ^ Hutton, A.F. (1944) Feeding habits of the Nilgiri marten. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc., 48, 374-375
  12. ^ "Nilgiri marten Martes gwatkinsii Horsfield, 1851". Archived from the original on September 15, 2007. Retrieved August 26, 2011. 

13.The book of Indian Animals S.H.Prater, Bombay Natural History Society, Oxford University Press, 2005

Other sources[edit]

Photographs: Close encounters in the wild

Website: www.nilgirimarten.com [1]

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