We assessed the distribution, occupancy, and activity patterns of two rupicaprids viz., Himalayan goral Nemorhaedus goral and Himalayan serow Capricornis thar in the western part of the Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve, Sikkim, using camera traps during 2009–2010. Goral had the highest photo-capture rate (# photo/100 days) of 6.37 ± 3.02 in temperate habitats (n = 169) followed by 1.82 ± 1.27 in subalpine habitats (n = 41). Serow had the highest photo-capture rate of 1.65 ± 0.88 in subalpine habitats (n = 53) followed by 0.58 ± 0.34 in temperate habitats (n = 19). The estimated detection probability was 0.57 for goral and 0.46 for serow. Detection probabilities were negatively related to human presence. Occupancy of goral (0.27) was slightly lesser than serow (0.30). Denser tree cover, warmer aspect and sites far away from tourist trails were the best predictors for the occupancy of goral. Denser tree cover, higher elevation and warmer aspect were the best predictors for the occupancy of serow. Spatial separation between these two species was not clear although different activity peaks were observed. To ensure the survival of these species, protection measures are required to keep their habitats free from anthropogenic activities.
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Vol. 37 • No. 3