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Pradhananga N.S.,Kathmandu University | Kayastha R.B.,Kathmandu University | Bhattarai B.C.,Kathmandu University | Adhikari T.R.,Central University of Costa Rica | And 4 more authors.
Annals of Glaciology | Year: 2014

This paper provides the results of semi-distributed positive degree-day (PDD) modelling for a glacierized river basin in Nepal. The main objective is to estimate the present and future discharge from the glacierized Langtang River basin using a PDD model (PDDM). The PDDM is calibrated for the period 1993-98 and is validated for the period 1999-2006 with Nash-Sutcliffe values of 0.85 and 0.80, respectively. Furthermore, the projected precipitation and temperature data from 2010 to 2050 are obtained from the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Norway, for the representative concentration pathway 4.5 (RCP4.5) scenario. TheWeather Research and Forecasting regional climate model is used to downscale the data from the Norwegian Earth System Model general circulation model. Projected discharge shows no significant trend, but in the future during the pre-monsoon period, discharge will be high and the peak discharge will be in July whereas it is in August at present. The contribution of snow and ice melt from glaciers and snowmelt from rocks and vegetation will decrease in the future: in 2040-50 it will be just 50% of the total discharge. The PDDM is sensitive to monthly average temperature, as a 2°C temperature increase will increase the discharge by 31.9%. Changes in glacier area are less sensitive, as glacier area decreases of 25% and 50% result in a change in the total discharge of -5.7% and -11.4%, respectively.


Chetri M.,Hedmark University of Applied science | Jhala Y.V.,Wildlife Institute of India | Jnawali S.R.,Kathmandu University | Subedi N.,National Trust for Nature Conservation | And 2 more authors.
ZooKeys | Year: 2016

The taxonomic status of the wolf (Canis lupus) in Nepal’s Trans-Himalaya is poorly understood. Recent genetic studies have revealed the existence of three lineages of wolves in the Indian sub-continent. Of these, the Himalayan wolf, Canis lupus chanco, has been reported to be the most ancient lineage historically distributed within the Nepal Himalaya. These wolves residing in the Trans-Himalayan region have been suggested to be smaller and very different from the European wolf. During October 2011, six fecal samples suspected to have originated from wolves were collected from Upper Mustang in the Annapurna Conservation Area of Nepal. DNA extraction and amplification of the mitochondrial (mt) control region (CR) locus yielded sequences from five out of six samples. One sample matched domestic dog sequences in GenBank, while the remaining four samples were aligned within the monophyletic and ancient Himalayan wolf clade. These four sequences which matched each other, were new and represented a novel Himalayan wolf haplotype. This result confirms that the endangered ancient Himalayan wolf is extant in Nepal. Detailed genomic study covering Nepal’s entire Himalayan landscape is recommended in order to understand their distribution, taxonomy and, genetic relatedness with other wolves potentially sharing the same landscape. © Madhu Chetri et al.


Kafley H.,University of Missouri | Kafley H.,Nepal Nature Foundation | Gompper M.E.,University of Missouri | Sharma M.,University of Lincoln | And 2 more authors.
Wildlife Research | Year: 2016

Context. Source populations of many large carnivores such as tigers (Panthera tigris) are confined within small wildlife refuges in human-dominated landscapes. Appropriate management of these populations may warrant understanding fine-scale use of habitat. Aims. The aim of the present study is to understand the fine spatial-scale habitat associations of tigers in Chitwan National Park, Nepal. Methods. We conducted camera-trap surveys across the park and applied an occupancy modelling approach to assess the probability of tiger detection and occurrence as a function of fine-scale habitat covariates. Results. Tiger detection probability as a function of fine-scale habitat covariates was ≤0.20 compared with that of a constant detection model. Detectability patterns were best explained by models incorporating the effect of prey, slope and landcover type. Similarly, the best occupancy model incorporating the detection probability included prey, landcover type, water and slope. Tiger occurrence patterns were positively associated with prey availability and certain landcover types such as grasslands. Contrary to expectation, occurrence probability decreased further from human settlements. However, as expected, the occurrence of tigers was higher in proximity to water sources. Conclusions. Both tiger detection and occurrence are influenced by fine-scale habitat factors, including prey availability. In small protected areas, individuals may persist at high population densities by intensively focusing their activity on small portions of their home ranges. Implications. Our study provided insight into the fine spatial-scale occurrence probability of tigers, and thereby aids in developing appropriate habitat management strategies at the protected-area level. Our approach is broadly applicable to the robust assessment of fine-scale wildlife-habitat associations of many wide-ranging species that are ecologically 'confined' in smaller protected areas. © The authors 2016.


Subedi N.,National Trust for Nature Conservation | Jnawali S.R.,National Trust for Nature Conservation | Dhakal M.,Babarmahal | Pradhan N.M.B.,WWF Nepal | And 4 more authors.
ORYX | Year: 2013

Abstract We assessed the abundance and distribution of the greater one-horned or Indian rhinoceros Rhinoceros unicornis in all its potential habitats in Nepal, using block counts. In April 2011 5,497 km were searched in 3,548 elephant-hours over 23 days. The validity of the block count was assessed by comparing it with counts obtained from long-term monitoring using photographic identification of individual rhinoceroses (ID-based), and estimates obtained by closed population sighting-mark-resighting in the 214 km 2 of Chitwan National Park. A total of 534 rhinoceroses were found during the census, with 503 in Chitwan National Park (density 1 km -2), 24 in Bardia National Park (0.28 km-2) and seven in Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve (0.1 km-2). In Chitwan 66% were adults, 12% subadults and 22% calves, with a female : male ratio of 1.24. The population estimate from sighting-mark-resighting was 72 (95% CI 71-78). The model with different detection probabilities for males and females had better support than the null model. In the Sauraha area of Chitwan estimates of the population obtained by block count (77) and ID-based monitoring (72) were within the 95% confidence interval of the estimate from sighting-mark-resighting. We recommend a country-wide block count for rhinoceroses every 3 years and annual ID-based monitoring in a sighting-mark-resighting framework within selected subpopulations. The sighting-mark-resighting technique provides the statistical rigour required for population estimates of the rhinoceros in Nepal and elsewhere. © 2013 Fauna & Flora International.


Hussin Y.A.,University of Twente | Gilani H.,Khan Research Laboratories | Gilani H.,LIAONING Technical University | Van Leeuwen L.,University of Twente | And 7 more authors.
Applied Geomatics | Year: 2014

Methods of forest carbon estimation using remotesensing data and techniques are evolving within a short timeframe as compared to traditional forest inventory methods. Object-based image analysis (OBIA) provided new opportunities to improve biomass and carbon stock estimation and mapping by delineating and classifying crown projection area (CPA) of individual trees. In this paper, image segmentation techniques of OBIA (region growing and valley following) are being applied on GeoEye-1 satellite data and compared in terms of accuracy in Ludhikhola watershed in the Gorkha District of Nepal. Accuracy assessment of tree crown delineation of both segmentation approaches were analyzed using accuracymeasures of D and one-to-one (1:1) correspondence. The combination of over-segmentation and undersegmentation, D is interpreted as the "closeness" measure to an ideal segmentation result in relation to a predefined reference set. Region growing and valley following segmentation 68 and 58 % accuracy, respectively, was achieved and linear regression model was developed for carbon stock for Shorea robusta which resulted into a coefficient of determination value of 0.67 at 95 % confidence level and the coefficient of determination resulted into a value of 0.70 for other species. The research concluded that region growing approach showed better delineation as compared to valley follow approach, since it used both features of local maxima and local minima. © 2014 Società Italiana di Fotogrammetria e Topografia (SIFET).


Kafley H.,University of Missouri | Kafley H.,Nepal Nature Foundation | Kafley H.,University of Oxford | Gompper M.E.,University of Missouri | And 4 more authors.
Zoology and Ecology | Year: 2015

Small populations with restricted geographic ranges such as rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) are prone to extinction due to anthropogenic factors. The identification of factors underpinning the survival of such species is of critical importance for population persistence. We used VORTEX population viability analysis (PVA) to assess rhino population viability in Nepal. We simulated deterministic single-population models under different scenarios to assess viability of two distinct rhino populations in Nepal: a source population in Chitwan National Park and an augmented population in Bardia National Park. The impacts of poaching on the populations and the potential for rhino translocation from one population to another were assessed under the PVA framework. Population and demographic data were obtained from censuses and from published literature. The model output suggested that the Chitwan population is stable and capable of supplying at least 10 rhinos every 3 years for translocation provided poaching is restricted (≤ 15 animals per 3 years). However, the Bardia population is more vulnerable and unable to persist without supplementation even at the lowest poaching rate (2 animals per year). Supplementation of at least 10 animals every 3 years for 30 years is crucial for establishing a viable population of rhinos in Bardia. This level of supplementation can withstand the poaching rate of ≤ 2 animals per year. Our study demonstrates that poaching is the major factor determining rhino population viability in Nepal. The supplementation of the Bardia rhino population with animals from the Chitwan population and increased effort to reduce poaching are expected to enhance the viability of rhino populations in Nepal. © 2015 Nature Research Centre.


Shrestha M.S.,International Center for Integrated Mountain Development | Artan G.A.,U.S. Geological Survey | Bajracharya S.R.,International Center for Integrated Mountain Development | Gautam D.K.,Babarmahal | Tokar S.A.,USAID-U.S. Agency for International Development
Journal of Flood Risk Management | Year: 2011

In Nepal, as the spatial distribution of rain gauges is not sufficient to provide detailed perspective on the highly varied spatial nature of rainfall, satellite-based rainfall estimates provides the opportunity for timely estimation. This paper presents the flood prediction of Narayani Basin at the Devghat hydrometric station (32000km 2) using bias-adjusted satellite rainfall estimates and the Geospatial Stream Flow Model (GeoSFM), a spatially distributed, physically based hydrologic model. The GeoSFM with gridded gauge observed rainfall inputs using kriging interpolation from 2003 was used for calibration and 2004 for validation to simulate stream flow with both having a Nash Sutcliff Efficiency of above 0.7. With the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Prediction Centre's rainfall estimates (CPC-RFE2.0), using the same calibrated parameters, for 2003 the model performance deteriorated but improved after recalibration with CPC-RFE2.0 indicating the need to recalibrate the model with satellite-based rainfall estimates. Adjusting the CPC-RFE2.0 by a seasonal, monthly and 7-day moving average ratio, improvement in model performance was achieved. Furthermore, a new gauge-satellite merged rainfall estimates obtained from ingestion of local rain gauge data resulted in significant improvement in flood predictability. The results indicate the applicability of satellite-based rainfall estimates in flood prediction with appropriate bias correction. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Flood Risk Management © 2011 The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management.


Pokhrel B.K.,Babarmahal | Chevallier P.,Montpellier University | Andreassian V.,IRSTEA | Tahir A.A.,COMSATS Institute of Information Technology | And 4 more authors.
Hydrological Sciences Journal | Year: 2014

The glaciers in the Nepalese Himalayas are retreating due to rising temperatures. Lack of data and information on Nepal's cryosphere has impeded scientific studies and field investigations in the Nepalese Himalayas. Therefore, IRD France and Ev-K2 CNR Italy have conducted the PAPRIKA (CryosPheric responses to Anthropogenic PRessures in the HIndu Kush-Himalaya regions: impacts on water resources and society adaptation in Nepal) project in Nepal with the financial support of the French and Italian scientific agencies. This project aims to address the current and future evolution of the cryosphere in response to overall environmental changes in South Asia, and its consequences for water resources in Nepal. Thus, two hydrological models, the GR4J lumped precipitation-runoff model and the snowmelt runoff model (SRM), were used in the Dudh Koshi basin. The GR4J model has been successfully applied in different parts of Europe. To obtain better results in such a harsh and rugged topography, modifications needed to be made, particularly in the snow module. The runoff pattern is analysed herein both for past years and, in a sensitivity analysis, for possible future climatic conditions (i.e. precipitation and temperature) using the SRM and GR4J modelling approaches. The results reveal a significant contribution of snow- and glacier-melt to runoff, and the SRM model shows better performance in Nepalese catchments than the GR4J model. © 2014 © 2014 IAHS Press.


Paudel S.,Hokkaido University | Mikota S.K.,Elephant Care International | Nakajima C.,Hokkaido University | Gairhe K.P.,Babarmahal | And 6 more authors.
Tuberculosis | Year: 2014

Mycobacterium tuberculosis was cultured from the lung tissues of 3 captive elephants in Nepal that died with extensive lung lesions. Spoligotyping, TbD1 detection and multi-locus variable number of tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) results suggested 3 isolates belonged to a specific lineage of Indo-Oceanic clade, EAI5 SIT 138. One of the elephant isolates had a new synonymous single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) T231C in the gyrA sequence, and the same SNP was also found in human isolates in Nepal. MLVA results and transfer history of the elephants suggested that 2 of them might be infected with M. tuberculosis from the same source. These findings indicated the source of M. tuberculosis infection of those elephants were local residents, presumably their handlers. Further investigation including detailed genotyping of elephant and human isolates is needed to clarify the infection route and eventually prevent the transmission of tuberculosis to susceptible hosts. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


PubMed | German Nepal Tuberculosis Project, Elephant Care International, Babarmahal and Hokkaido University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Tuberculosis (Edinburgh, Scotland) | Year: 2014

Mycobacterium tuberculosis was cultured from the lung tissues of 3 captive elephants in Nepal that died with extensive lung lesions. Spoligotyping, TbD1 detection and multi-locus variable number of tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) results suggested 3 isolates belonged to a specific lineage of Indo-Oceanic clade, EAI5 SIT 138. One of the elephant isolates had a new synonymous single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) T231C in the gyrA sequence, and the same SNP was also found in human isolates in Nepal. MLVA results and transfer history of the elephants suggested that 2 of them might be infected with M.tuberculosis from the same source. These findings indicated the source of M.tuberculosis infection of those elephants were local residents, presumably their handlers. Further investigation including detailed genotyping of elephant and human isolates is needed to clarify the infection route and eventually prevent the transmission of tuberculosis to susceptible hosts.

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