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Kathmandu, Nepal

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.

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

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 | Stattersfield A.J.,BirdLife International | And 2 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.

Birch J.C.,BirdLife International | Thapa I.,Bird Conservation Nepal | Balmford A.,University of Cambridge | Bradbury R.B.,Center for Conservation Science | And 11 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.

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