|Title:||Forest habitat restoration in Lowland Nepal|
|Other Titles:||Tiger as the restoration success indicator species|
|Abstract:||The forest ecosystems in Nepal is degraded and habitat is fragmented due to anthropogenic (e.g. logging, grazing) and natural disturbances (i.e. climate change, invasive species). In addition, conflicts in natural resource use and between wild animals and human are still prevalent in local communities that depend on forest resources. These environmental and social variables force some species to the verge of extinction. Nevertheless, no research has been conducted from an interdisciplinary perspective. The integration of social science, ecological restoration and biological conservation has not been made and the complex nexus between them has not been explored in the lowlands of Nepal. Therefore, the present research responds to this gap and investigates the question ‘what is the process of forest management planning and restoration practices, and its implication for indicator species conservation?’ The research has used qualitative and quantitative methods to cover both social and ecological elements. Data was collected using various tools such as interviews, observations, surveys and ancillary sources and the findings have been triangulated for corroboration. Interviews with forest users (n = 84) and Forest User Group Committee members (n = 20) were conducted to understand the attitudes and perceptions toward ecological restoration and wildlife. It was evident that the attitude of respondents was positive toward forest restoration in the studied buffer villages (i.e. Ranjha and Balapur). Nevertheless, some respondents had negative perception towards wildlife due to property loss and livestock depredation from wild animals, lack of awareness, and the occupation of ranching. A participatory planning approach has been practiced in plan formulation (operational and annual working plans of forest management) and restoration practices, such as thinning, controlled grazing, plantation, etc. have been introduced which have positively contributed in the conservation of wildlife species. However, severe anthropogenic disturbances such as felling/ chopping, poaching, and livestock grazing, as well as low prey species abundance (2.91 prey pellet/100 m2) have imposed seasonal dispersal, reduced mobility, and have created a critical situation for tigers in Banke National Park. Additionally, climate change, human and livestock mobility inside the park, encroachment and road traffic are major impediments in restoration. Integration of restoration ecology and sustainability science is vital for people’s participation in planning, attitudinal change towards ecological restoration, forest habitat quality management, and indicator species (e.g. tiger) conservation in the potential habitat of the Terai landscape.|
|Subject Headings:||Active restoration|
|Subject Headings (RSWK):||Artenschutz|
|Appears in Collections:||Landschaftsökologie und Landschaftsplanung|
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