Bird Conservation Nepal

Kathmandu, Nepal

Bird Conservation Nepal

Kathmandu, Nepal
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Pradhan N.M.B.,Bird Conservation Nepal | Leverington F.,University of Queensland | Hockings M.,University of Queensland
ORYX | Year: 2015

Human–elephant conflict is one of the main threats to the long-term survival of the Asian elephant Elephas maximus. We studied the nature and extent of human–elephant interactions in the buffer zones of Chitwan National Park and Parsa Wildlife Reserve in Nepal, through household questionnaire surveys, key informant interviews, site observations, and analysis of the reported cases of damage during January 2008–December 2012. During this 5-year period 290 incidents of damage by elephants were reported, with a high concentration of incidents in a few locations. Property damage (53%) was the most common type of damage reported. Crop damage was reported less often but household surveys revealed it to be the most frequent form of conflict. There were also human casualties, including 21 deaths and four serious injuries. More than 90% of the human casualties occurred during 2010–2012. More than two thirds of the respondents (70%) perceived that human–elephant conflict had increased substantially during the previous 5 years. Despite the increase in incidents of human–elephant conflict in the area, 37% of respondents had positive attitudes towards elephant conservation. Our findings suggest that public awareness and compensation for losses could reduce conflict and contribute to ensuring coexistence of people and elephants in this human-dominated landscape. Copyright © Fauna & Flora International 2015

Bagchi R.,Durham University | Bagchi R.,Universitatstrasse 16 | Crosby M.,BirdLife International | Huntley B.,Durham University | And 11 more authors.
Global Change Biology | Year: 2013

We forecasted potential impacts of climate change on the ability of a network of key sites for bird conservation (Important Bird Areas; IBAs) to provide suitable climate for 370 bird species of current conservation concern in two Asian biodiversity hotspots: the Eastern Himalaya and Lower Mekong. Comparable studies have largely not accounted for uncertainty, which may lead to inappropriate conclusions. We quantified the contribution of four sources of variation (choice of general circulation models, emission scenarios and species distribution modelling methods and variation in species distribution data) to uncertainty in forecasts and tested if our projections were robust to these uncertainties. Declines in the availability of suitable climate within the IBA network by 2100 were forecast as 'extremely likely' for 45% of species, whereas increases were projected for only 2%. Thus, we predict almost 24 times as many 'losers' as 'winners'. However, for no species was suitable climate 'extremely likely' to be completely lost from the network. Considerable turnover (median = 43%, 95% CI = 35-69%) in species compositions of most IBAs were projected by 2100. Climatic conditions in 47% of IBAs were projected as 'extremely likely' to become suitable for fewer priority species. However, no IBA was forecast to become suitable for more species. Variation among General Circulation Models and Species Distribution Models contributed most to uncertainty among forecasts. This uncertainty precluded firm conclusions for 53% of species and IBAs because 95% confidence intervals included projections of no change. Considering this uncertainty, however, allows robust recommendations concerning the remaining species and IBAs. Overall, while the IBA network will continue to sustain bird conservation, climate change will modify which species each site will be suitable for. Thus, adaptive management of the network, including modified site conservation strategies and facilitating species' movement among sites, is critical to ensure effective future conservation. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Birch J.C.,BirdLife International | Thapa I.,Bird Conservation Nepal | Balmford A.,University of Cambridge | Bradbury R.B.,Center for Conservation Science | And 12 more authors.
Ecosystem Services | Year: 2014

In Nepal, community forestry is part of a national strategy for livelihoods improvement and environmental protection. However, analysis of the social, economic and environmental impacts of community forestry is often limited, restricted to a narrow set of benefits (e.g. non-timber forest products) and rarely makes comparisons with alternative land-use options (e.g. agriculture). This study, conducted at Phulchoki Mountain Forest Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) in the Kathmandu Valley, used methods from the Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-based Assessment (TESSA) to compare multiple ecosystem service values (including carbon storage, greenhouse gas sequestration, water provision, water quality, harvested wild goods, cultivated goods and nature-based recreation) provided by the site in its current state and a plausible alternative state in which community forestry had not been implemented. We found that outcomes from community forestry have been favourable for most stakeholders, at most scales, for most services and for important biodiversity at the site. However, not all ecosystem services can be maximised simultaneously, and impacts of land-use decisions on service beneficiaries appear to differ according to socio-economic factors. The policy implications of our findings are discussed in the context of proposals to designate Phulchoki Mountain Forest IBA as part of a Conservation Area. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Acharya R.,Friends of Nature | Cuthbert R.,Royal Society for the Protection of Birds | Sagar Baral H.E.M.,Himalayan Nature | Chaudhary A.,Bird Conservation Nepal
Forktail | Year: 2010

We assessed the status ofthe Bearded Vulture Gypaetus barbatus between 2002 and 2008 in Upper Mustang, Nepal. Regular monitoring of four transect lines indicate a rapid decline of the species over the study period, with the number of individuals recorded per day and per kilometre falling by 73 % and 80%), respectively. The use of the veterinary drug diclofenac could lie behind this decline, as the species's range overlaps with those of other vulture species known to be affected by diclofenac. A regular monitoring programme to assess the status of Bearded Vulture population is urgently needed, along with assessment of its population trends over a wider area. If ongoing declines on a wider geographic scale are observed, then the conservation status of this species should be reassessed.

Prakash V.,Bombay Natural History Society | Bishwakarma M.C.,Bird Conservation Nepal | Chaudhary A.,Bird Conservation Nepal | Cuthbert R.,Royal Society for the Protection of Birds | And 8 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Populations of oriental white-backed vulture (Gyps bengalensis), long-billed vulture (Gyps indicus) and slender-billed vulture (Gyps tenuirostris) crashed during the mid-1990s throughout the Indian subcontinent. Surveys in India, initially conducted in 1991-1993 and repeated in 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2007, revealed that the population of Gyps bengalensis had fallen by 2007 to 0.1% of its numbers in the early 1990s, with the population of Gyps indicus and G. tenuirostris combined having fallen to 3.2% of its earlier level. A survey of G. bengalensis in western Nepal indicated that the size of the population in 2009 was 25% of that in 2002. In this paper, repeat surveys conducted in 2011 were analysed to estimate recent population trends. Populations of all three species of vulture remained at a low level, but the decline had slowed and may even have reversed for G. bengalensis, both in India and Nepal. However, estimates of the most recent population trends are imprecise, so it is possible that declines may be continuing, though at a significantly slower rate. The degree to which the decline of G. bengalensis in India has slowed is consistent with the expected effects on population trend of a measured change in the level of contamination of ungulate carcasses with the drug diclofenac, which is toxic to vultures, following a ban on its veterinary use in 2006. The most recent available information indicates that the elimination of diclofenac from the vultures' food supply is incomplete, so further efforts are required to fully implement the ban. © 2012 Prakash et al.

Chaudhary A.,Bird Conservation Nepal | Subedi T.R.,Panda Network | Giri J.B.,Tribhuvan University | Baral H.S.,Himalayan Nature | And 6 more authors.
Bird Conservation International | Year: 2012

Three species of resident Gyps vulture are threatened with extinction in South Asia due to the contamination of domestic ungulate carcasses with the drug diclofenac. Observed rates of population decrease are among the highest recorded for any bird species, leading to total declines in excess of 99.9% for the Oriental White-backed Vulture Gyps bengalensis in India between 1992 and 2007. Vultures have declined in Nepal, but quantitative information on the rate and scale of decreases is unavailable. Road transect surveys for vultures, following the same route, methodology and timing, were undertaken in lowland areas of Nepal for seven years from 2002 to 2011. The seven survey transects followed Nepalâ(tm)s East-West highway and covered 1,010 km in three years of the survey, and 638 km in the remaining four years. Slender-billed Vultures G. tenuirostris were very scarce, with a maximum of five individuals in 2002 and none recorded in 2010 and 2011. Oriental White-backed Vultures were most commonly recorded, but decreased from 205 to 68 birds over the survey period, with an estimated annual rate of decline of 14% a year. If population decreases commenced in Nepal in the same year as in India, then White-backed Vultures in Nepal have declined by 91% since the mid-1990s. Few resident Gyps vultures remained in Eastern and Central regions of Nepal, with just one, nine and six birds recorded in the three surveys that covered these regions. The majority of threatened Gyps vultures in lowland Nepal are now found in Western and Mid Western regions, where conservation efforts have been focused in the last six years. Removing veterinary diclofenac from across the country and continuing to manage effective âœvulture safe zonesâare essential to conserve Nepalâ(tm)s remaining vulture populations. © 2011 BirdLife International.

PAUDEL K.,Bird Conservation Nepal | AMANO T.,University of Cambridge | ACHARYA R.,Friends of Nature Nepal | CHAUDHARY A.,Baylor University | And 6 more authors.
Bird Conservation International | Year: 2015

The Upper Mustang region of Nepal holds important breeding populations of Himalayan Griffon Gyps himalayensis. Despite this species being considered ‘Least Concern’ on the IUCN Red List, the population in Upper Mustang had declined substantially in the early to mid-2000s. During that period, the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac was commonly used to treat illness and injury in domesticated ungulates throughout Nepal. The timing and magnitude of declines in Himalayan Griffon in Upper Mustang resemble the declines in resident populations of the ‘Critically Endangered’ White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis and Slender-billed Vulture Gyps tenuirostris in Nepal, both of which are also known to be highly sensitive to diclofenac. Since 2006, the veterinary use of diclofenac has been banned in Nepal to prevent further vulture declines. In this paper, we analyse the population trend in Himalayan Griffon in Upper Mustang between 2002 and 2014 and show a partial recovery. We conclude that the decline is now occurring at a slower rate than previously observed and immigration from areas where diclofenac was either not or rarely used the probable explanation for the recovery observed. Copyright © BirdLife International 2015

Thapa I.,Bird Conservation Nepal | Butchart S.H.M.,BirdLife International | Gurung H.,Bird Conservation Nepal | Gurung H.,Himalayan Sustainable Future Foundation | And 3 more authors.
ORYX | Year: 2016

Policy-makers are paying increasing attention to ecosystem services, given improved understanding that they underpin human well-being, and following their integration within the Aichi Targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Decision-makers need information on trends in biodiversity and ecosystem services but tools for assessing the latter are often expensive, technically demanding and ignore the local context. In this study we used a simple, replicable participatory assessment approach to gather information on ecosystem services at important sites for biodiversity conservation in Nepal, to feed into local and national decision-making. Through engaging knowledgeable stakeholders we assessed the services delivered by Nepal's 27 Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas, the pressures affecting services through impacts on land cover and land use, and the consequences of these for people. We found that these sites provide ecosystem services to beneficiaries at a range of scales but under current pressures the balance of services will change, with local communities incurring the greatest costs. The approach provided valuable information on the trade-offs between ecosystem services and between different people, developed the capacity of civil society to engage in decision-making at the local and national level, and provided digestible information for Nepal's government. We recommend this approach in other countries where there is a lack of information on the likely impacts of land-use change on ecosystem services and people. Copyright © Fauna & Flora International 2014.

Katuwal H.B.,Bird Conservation Nepal
Journal of Asia-Pacific Biodiversity | Year: 2016

Sarus crane (Antigone antigone) is a flagship species. Its population is declining globally. First recorded in 1877 in Nepal, so far only a few studies have been conducted on sarus crane and results of these studies confirm their declining state. Based on previous studies, the author reviewed the status of sarus crane in Nepal. Studies show that it is uncommon with patchy distribution from Chitwan to Kanchanpur districts. More than 90% of its habitats lie outside the protected areas. Rupandehi and Kapilavastu are stronghold districts with more than 85% of its overall population. Regression analysis showed that the overall population of sarus crane has increased in Nepal. Hatching success is more than 50% and new breeding sites are also being reported. Nevertheless, threats such as drying of wetlands, conversion of farmlands to settlements and industries, power lines, nest vandalization still persist. Farmlands provide important foraging and breeding grounds. It inhibits and breeds very close to the human settlements. Thus, increasing awareness to local people and wetland/habitat restoration are necessary for its conservation. Detail scientific studies on its ecology and monitoring using cutting-edge technology in existing and new localities along with crane conservation action plan are required for maintaining the sarus crane population in Nepal. © 2016 National Science Museum of Korea (NSMK) and Korea National Arboretum (KNA)

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