Diet of the Four-horned Antelope Tetracerus quadricornis (De Blainville, 1816) in the Churia Hills of Nepal

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Amar Kunwar
Raju Gaire
Krishna Prasad Pokharel
Suraj Baral
Tej Bahadur Thapa


The food composition of the Four-horned Antelope Tetracerus quadricornis was studied in the Churia Hills of Nepal during summer, monsoon and the winter seasons of 2012–2013.  Microhistological technique was used to determine the diet.  The Four-horned Antelope was found to be a mixed feeder feeding on trees, shrubs, forbs, grasses and climbers.  Trees and shrubs contribute the major percentage of diet in all the three seasons.  The Gramineae family is consumed in highest proportion.  Mitragyna parvifolia, Bridelia retusa, Bambusa vulgaris, Hymenodictyon sp. and Ziziphus mauritiana are major tree species while Barleria cristata, Pogostemon benghalensis, Achyranthes sp., Clerodendrum viscosum are among shrubs.  Ageratum conyzoides and Blumea virens are the main forbs Eulaliopsis binata and Imperata cylindrica are the principal grass species.  Climber Trachelospermum lucidum is consumed in a small proportion.  Grasses in monsoon were consumed distinctly at a higher percentage than during the other two seasons.  The Four-horned Antelopes are concentrated feeders and browsers with a generalized feeding strategy. Similar studies need to be conducted in other landscapes and with sympatric and potential competitor species to understand its niche overlaps and degree of competition.


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Author Biographies

Amar Kunwar, Central Department of Zoology, Tribhuvan University, TU Rd, Kirtipur 44618, Nepal

 Mr. Amar Kunwar has completed his master’s degree in Zoology, specialization in wildlife ecology and environment from Central Department of Zoology. Currently, he is working in ecological conservation of Blackbuck Antelope cervicapra and threatened small mammals of Nepal. He is interested in ecological conservation and research of prey-species of Nepal, especially Ungulates.  


Raju Gaire, Central Department of Zoology, Tribhuvan University

Mr. Raju Gaire has completed his master’s degree in Zoology, specialization in Ecology from Central Department of Zoology and conducting researches on ecological studies of Barking deers Muntiacus vaginalis in Nepal.  He is interested in research of prey-species. 


Krishna Prasad Pokharel, Wildlife Ecology and Management, University of Freiburg, Tennenbacher Str.4, D - 79106 Freiburg, Germany

Dr. Krishna Prasad Pokharel has completed his PhD in Niche Differentiation of Solitary Ungulates in Lowland Nepal and currently is a scientific staff at Chair of Wildlife Ecology and Management, University of Freiburg, Germany. 


Suraj Baral, Central Department of Zoology, Tribhuvan University, TU Rd, Kirtipur 44618, Nepal

Mr. Suraj Baral has completed his master’s degree in Zoology from Central Department of Zoology in Ecology and conducting ecological researches on Herpetofauna of Nepal. 


Tej Bahadur Thapa, Central Department of Zoology, Tribhuvan University, TU Rd, Kirtipur 44618, Nepal

Dr. Tej B. Thapa is a professor at Central Department of Zoology, Tribhuvan University, Nepal. He has completed his PhD in habitat suitability evaluation for Leopard Panthera Pardus using remote sensing and GIS. His area of interests are big cat ecology and predator-prey relationships.



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