Effects of livestock on occurrence of the Vulnerable red panda Ailurus fulgens in Rara National Park, Nepal

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Sharma, Hari Prasad ; Belant, Jerrold L. ; Swenson, Jon (2014)
  • Subject: conservation | habitat | grazing | threatened species | Nepal | red panda | Ailurus fulgens
    mesheuropmc: parasitic diseases | animal diseases

The Vulnerable red panda Ailurus fulgens is endemic to the Himalayas. Anthropogenic activities, including deforestation, have degraded the species’ habitat but the effects of livestock have not been examined. We assessed the effects of illegal livestock activity on the presence of the red panda in Rara National Park, Nepal. The probability of detecting red panda faecal pellets decreased with livestock occurrence but not with elevation or aspect. The presence of bamboo and proximity to water are important to red pandas but did not influence their habitat use at the spatial resolution evaluated. Livestock grazing in Rara National Park appears to adversely affect the presence of the red panda within its habitat. To reduce illegal livestock grazing we recommend enforcement of existing regulations, that training workshops be held for herders, and awareness-raising and dialogue with residents.
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