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Data from: Suitable habitat of the wild Asian elephant in the western Terai of Nepal

Citation

Sharma, Purushottam et al. (2021), Data from: Suitable habitat of the wild Asian elephant in the western Terai of Nepal, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.dncjsxkwh

Abstract

Background: There are very few researches on habitat suitability, the influence of infrastructure on distribution, and the extent and connectivity of habitat in parts of Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). Information related to the habitat is crucial for conservation of this species. Methods: In this study, we identified suitable habitat for Asian Elephants in the western Terai region of Nepal using elephant presence points and environmental variables by the help of Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) software. Results: Out of 9,207 km2, we identified 3,194.82 km2 as suitable habitat for elephants in the study area. Approximately 40% of identified habitat occurs in existing protected areas. Most of these habitat patches are smaller than previous estimations of the species home range, and this may reduce the probability of the species continued survival in the study area. Proximity to roads was identified as the most important factor defining habitat suitability, with elephants preferring habitats far from roads. Conclusions: We conclude that further habitat fragmentation in the study area can be reduced by avoiding the construction of new roads and that connectivity between areas of existing suitable habitat is increased through the identification and management of wildlife corridors between habitat patches.

Methods

Wild Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) is conflict causing animal of Nepal. Here we collected 76 occurrence points of wild Asian elephants from Banke, Bardia and Kanchanpur Districts of Nepal. Data were collected during filed visit and from secondary sources (offices of the protected areas: Banke National Park, Bardia National Park and Suklaphanta National Park). Data can be useful for the researchers and managers for academic and managerial purpose.

Data were collected during filed visit and from secondary sources (offices of the protected areas: Banke National Park, Bardia National Park and Suklaphanta National Park).