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Research (Published online: 15-12-2014)

9. Nutritional evaluation of fodder, its preference and crop raiding by wild Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) in Sonitpur District of Assam, India - Bidyut Jyoti Das, Bibeka Nanda Saikia, Kishore Kumar Baruah, Arundhati Bora and Mukul Bora

Veterinary World, 7(12): 1082-1089



   doi: 10.14202/vetworld.2014.1082-1089



Bidyut Jyoti Das: Department of Animal Nutrition, College of Veterinary Science, Assam Agricultural University, Khanapara, Guwahati,

Assam, India;

Bibeka Nanda Saikia: Department of Animal Nutrition, College of Veterinary Science, Assam Agricultural University, Khanapara, Guwahati,

Assam, India;

Kishore Kumar Baruah: Department of Animal Nutrition, College of Veterinary Science, Assam Agricultural University, Khanapara, Guwahati,

Assam, India;

Arundhati Bora: Department of Veterinary Physiology, College of Veterinary Science, Assam Agricultural University, Khanapara, Guwahati, Assam, India;

Mukul Bora: Department of LPM (Statistic Division), College of Veterinary Science, Assam Agricultural University, Khanapara, Guwahati, Assam, India;


Received: 01-08-2014, Revised: 21-10-2014, Accepted: 02-11-2014, Published online: 15-12-2014


Corresponding author: Bidyut Jyoti Das, email:

Aim: The present investigation was carried out to evaluate the nutritive value of fodder in natural habitat, cultivated crops and their preference by wild Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) in forest and non-forest areas in four seasons using field observation in Sonitpur District of Assam; since, there were frequent incidences of crop raiding by wild elephant leading to loss of property and human-elephant conflict.

Materials and Methods: The study was conducted in four seasons. The study included forest areas of Sonai-Rupai Wildlife Sanctuary, part of Nameri National Park and high human-elephant conflicted areas of non-forest near to the sanctuary and parks. The consumed fodders were identified, collected and evaluated. The proximate composition was determined using AOAC (1990).

Results: Total 39 different fodder species of 18 families including herbs, climber, grasses, paddy seeds, paddy saplings, plants and its leaves, bark, fruits, and roots were recorded to be utilized by elephants. The first three family of fodder that elephant relished more were Poaceae (46.15%), Musaceae (7.69%) and Zingiberaceae (5.13%) respectively. The crude protein content of fodder in all seasons, total ash content only in winter and post monsoon seasons and neutral detergent fiber content of fodder between forest and non-forest were significant (p<0.05). Elephants preferred to forage more on nutritionally rich fodder than poor natural fodder. Incidence of crop raiding was more in post monsoon season could be due to availability of nutritionally rich fodder than the poor natural fodder and generally happened in the night.

Conclusions: The study revealed that during post monsoon season, there were abundant nutritionally rich sources of cultivated crops than the fodder of natural habitat that might provoke the wild elephants to raid crops. Poaceae shared a major portion of their diet. The findings will definitely help nutritionist, ecologist and policy makers to understand wild elephant’s needs and also to take appropriate measures for conservation of endangered wild Asian elephant as well as mitigation of human-elephant conflict.

Keywords: crop, fodder, raiding, wild Asian elephant.

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