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Habitat overlap between Asiatic black bear Ursus thibetanus and red panda Ailurus fulgens in Himalaya

PLoS ONE

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https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0203697

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Abstract

Studying habitat overlap between sympatric species is one of the best ways to identify interspecies relationships and to direct conservation efforts so that multiple species can benefit. However, studies exploring interspecies relationships are very limited in Nepal, making it difficult for the government of Nepal and conservation partners to manage wildlife in their habitats, especially in Himalayan protected areas. In this study, we identified habitat overlap between Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) and red panda (Ailurus fulgens) as well as important habitat types for both species in the Makalu Barun National Park, Nepal using Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modeling. GPS points of species occurrence were collected from the field, and environmental variables were extracted from freely available sources. We found that the study area contained 647 km2 of Asiatic black bear habitat and 443 km2 of the red panda habitat. 368 km2 supported both species, which constituted 57% of the Asiatic black bear habitat and 83% of the red panda habitat. We found that conifer forest was the most important habitat type for both species. Because the largest portions of both species’ habitat were located inside the buffer zone, a peripheral zone of national park, conservation efforts for these sympatric species should be focused inside the buffer zone to be most effective.

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Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Habitat overlap between Asiatic black bear Ursus thibetanus and red panda Ailurus fulgens in Himalaya
Series title:
PLoS ONE
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0203697
Volume:
13
Issue:
9
Year Published:
2018
Language:
English
Publisher:
PLoS
Contributing office(s):
National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center
Description:
e0203697; 12 p.
First page:
1
Last page:
12
Country:
Nepal