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Non-protected areas demanding equitable conservation strategies as of protected areas in Central Himalayan region

Citation

Thapa, Avantika et al. (2021), Non-protected areas demanding equitable conservation strategies as of protected areas in Central Himalayan region, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.bk3j9kdcg

Abstract

The present study aims to explore the mammalian diversity of Darjeeling district using camera traps along with questionnaire survey in protected area (PA) and non- protected area (Non-PA). We also attempted to understand the influence of habitat variables on mammalian species richness using the generalized linear mixed models (GLMM). A total of 30 mammal species were recorded of which 21 species were detected through camera trapping with the most abundant records of barking deer (Muntiacus muntjak) and  least of the elusive Chinese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla) and red panda (Ailurus fulgens). Additionally, melanistic forms of four mammals were also recorded. The mammalian species richness, their capture rate and naïve occupancy did not differ significantly among the PA and Non-PA. The GLMM revealed that the proportions of oak and bamboo in the forest, percentage canopy cover and camera trap operational days (wAICc = 0.145, wBIC = 0.603) were significant predictors of species richness in the study. We suggest Non-PA forest of Darjeeling should be given equal conservation importance as to the PA. Landscape based conservation planning will be imperative for achieving long term conservation goals in the study area. 

Funding

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Award: NMHS/2017-18/LG09/02