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Wildlife response to management regime and habitat loss in the Terai Arc Landscape of Nepal

Ferreira, Guilherme B., Thomas, Liam, Ingram, Daniel J., Bevan, Peggy A., Madsen, Emily K., Thanet, Dol Raj, Rayamajhi, Santosh, Jones, Kate E. (2023) Wildlife response to management regime and habitat loss in the Terai Arc Landscape of Nepal. Biological Conservation, . ISSN 0006-3207. E-ISSN 1873-2917. (In press) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:103139)

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Abstract

The establishment of protected areas and buffer zones has been widely adopted in many countries to mitigate biodiversity loss. However, in contrast to the growing evidence about the beneficial impacts of protected areas, ecological outcomes of buffer zones have rarely been measured. Here, we use data from a large camera trap survey and multispecies occupancy modelling to assess the effectiveness of different management regimes (Bardia National Park, its buffer zone, and areas outside the buffer zone) at safeguarding wildlife in the Terai Arc Landscape of Nepal. Using areas outside the buffer zone as the counterfactual to compare occurrence probability of 25 mammal species >1 kg, we revealed a positive effect of the national park and the buffer zone on seven and six species, respectively. Three species had greater occurrence probability outside the buffer zone than in the national park, but no species had greater occurrence probability outside the buffer zone than inside the buffer zone. Analysis of species richness indicated that management regime differentially affects species groups. For non-threatened and herbivorous species, the buffer zone performed better than areas outside the buffer zone and similar to, or better than, the national park. However, for threatened species and large animalivores (carnivores and insectivores) the national park outperformed the other management regimes. Our results also suggest that the buffer zone partially mitigated the impacts of habitat loss outside the national park, indicating that management regime may play a role in modulating the effect of agriculture on wildlife in human-dominated landscapes in Nepal.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: anthropogenic pressure; area-based conservation; buffer zone; camera trap; mammals; occupancy modelling; protected area effectiveness
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Funders: WWF-UK (https://ror.org/052y0z870)
Depositing User: Daniel Ingram
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2023 08:34 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2024 20:14 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/103139 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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