The potential distribution of yellow monitor, Varanus flavescens (Hardwick & Gray) under multiple climate, land cover and dispersal scenarios

Authors: Suraj Baral, Amar Kunwar, Dipendra Adhikari, Kanti Kandel, Dev Narayan Mandal, Arjun Thapa, Dinesh Neupane and Tej Bahadur Thapa

Abstract: Context. Human-induced changes in climate and land cover have altered the distribution of fauna around the globe. Some reptiles have been found to be vulnerable to these changes; therefore, studies to identify the impact of the changes on other groups of reptiles are necessary. Aims. We aimed to study the impact of climate and land cover change on the yellow monitor (Varanus flavescens) in Nepal. We also aimed to identify the current distribution range and predict the potential distribution under multiple climate change, corresponding land cover change, and dispersion scenarios in the near-and mid-future. Methods. We used available presence locations with a candidate set of the least-correlated environmental variables and an Ensemble of Small Models (ESM), a Species Distribution Model (SDM) approach suitable for species with small sample size. Additionally, dispersal scenarios of 1 km, 5 km, and 10 km were added to the model to determine the future distribution under the dispersal scenarios. Key results. We found soil particle size, distance to forest, precipitation of wettest quarter, bulk density, and elevation were the five most important variables contributing to the distribution of the species. The Terai lowland and wide valleys in Outer Himalayas are currently suitable but are expected to experience a substantial decrease under most future climate projections and dispersal scenarios. Conclusions. The distribution is mostly dependent on soil-related variables; however, climatic variables might have a greater impact on future suitability. Implications. Limiting emissions contributing to climatic changes, conserving the soil outside the protected areas, and the potential areas where the species will not experience habitat loss might contribute to the conservation of the species.

Paper link:

Ecology and Conservation of Common Leopard (Panthera Pardus)

Need for Human-Leopard Co-existence in and around Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal.

Project highlight

Principal investigator: Saurav Lamichhane

Location: Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal

Grant support: The Rufford Foundation

Team members: Tank Rawal, Kabita Das

Nepal’s mid-hill ecosystem includes a top predator, the leopard, and a significant source of human-wildlife conflict. To put successful conflict management strategies into practice, it is crucial to have every aspect of information about conflict species. This project is a continuation of previous Rufford work. Understanding the social, as well as ecological dimension of human-wildlife conflict is important for effective conflict management strategies. In the first Rufford grant, our study was entailed mainly to understand the social dimension of HLC along with conservation awareness activities in local community. In this project, our major focus will be identifying the ecological correlates such as occupancy and diet composition of conflict species.

The following objectives guide the project:

  1. Information on common leopard occupancy and associated covariates will be obtained.
  2. The diet composition of the common leopard will be understood, thereby the livestock contribution in the diet as well.
  3. Knowledge of local herders on leopard conservation and HLC mitigation measures will be improved.
  4. School children will be made aware on leopard conservation and conflict mitigation measures.
  5. Findings of the project will be disseminated to the conservation authorities with far-reaching implications for the conservation of common leopards in the area.

The project’s findings are anticipated to contribute to more efficient efforts in reducing HLC and fostering coexistence between humans and leopards. Moreover, the conservation awareness program to the local herders and school children and knowledge gap addressed by this project will be crucial for better human-leopard co-existence in the area. To sum up, this research project will be crucial for the conservation of common leopards in the area. The data obtained will be crucial for conservation authorities to effectively plan conflict management strategies, and in particular to increase the knowledge and awareness among the local herders on leopard conservation while minimizing the conflict.

Project link :

Hyna (कुचिकार )

हेलामा परेको प्रकृतिको कुचिकार ‘हाइना’

काठमाडौँ – अमेरिकाको विस्कन्सिन-म्याडिसन विश्वविद्यालयबाट बाघबारे अध्ययन गर्न आएकी सामन्था हेलेले दाङ र बाँकेको राप्ती नदीको छेउछाउ तथा जंगल नजिकका बस्तीमा ३२ वटा क्यामेरा राखिन्। बाघका लागि राखिएको क्यामेरामा उनले नसोचेको हाइना पनि देखिए। अनि उनले आफ्नो इन्ष्टाग्राममा हाइनाको तस्बिर राख्दै लेखिन्:

हाइनाज्नेपालमाहो !


हामीले हाम्रो क्यामेरामा स्ट्राइप भएका बाघहरू मात्र  कैद गरेका छैनौँ।

स्ट्राइप हाइना धारीदार हाइना (ह्याना हाइना) नेपालमा अत्यन्त दुर्लभ र लोपोन्मुख छन्। यो अनुमान गरिएको छ कि देशभरि १०० भन्दा कम हाइनाहरु छन्।

यी जनावरहरूलाई क्यामेरामा कैद गर्नु एकदमै गज्जबको खुसी हो!

‘म हाइनाबारे जानकार होइन तर मैले बाघका लागि राखेका अधिकांश क्यामेरामा हाइना परेको छ,’ उनले भनिन्, ‘मैले पूर्ण रुपमा क्यामेरा अध्ययन त गरेको छैन तर १२ वटा जति हाइना मेरो क्यामेरा पेरका छन्।’

बाघमा विद्यावारिधि गरिरहेकी हेले करिब ५ महिनादेखि नेपालमा छिन् र चितवन, नवलपरासी, दाङ, बाँकेलगायतका क्षेत्रलाई आधार बनाएर बाघको आनीबानी अध्ययन गरिरहेकी छन्।

नेपालमा स्ट्राइप हाइनाको संख्या यति नै छ भन्ने तथ्याङ्क त छैन तर बढेको अनुमान गरिएको छ। पछिल्लो समय विभिन्न ठाउँमा हाइनाको मुभमेन्ट देखिने गरेको छ, जसको पुष्टि सामन्था हेलेले राखेका क्यामेरामा परेको संख्याले गरेको छ।

नेपालमा कहाँ–कहाँ भेटिएका छन्?


Source :

Rarely naturalized, but widespread and even invasive: the paradox of a popular pet terrapin expansion in Eurasia

Rarely naturalized, but widespread and even invasive: the paradox of a popular pet terrapin expansion in Eurasia

Authors:     Andrey N. Reshetnikov, Marina G. Zibrova, Dinçer Ayaz, Santosh Bhattarai, Oleg V. Borodin  et. al.