Effects of livestock on occurrence of the Vulnerable red panda Ailurus fulgens in Rara National Park, Nepal
Sharma, Hari Prasad
Belant, Jerrold L.
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.