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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.

Kafley H.,University of Missouri | Kafley H.,University of Oxford | Gompper M.E.,University of Missouri | Khadka M.,World Wildlife Fund | And 3 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.

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.

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.

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.

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