Indian pangolin (Manis Crassicaudata)
Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 190520889
Integrating Ecological studies cum educational programs to conserve Endangered Indian Pangolins (M. Crassicaudat) in Nepal
Indian pangolins (Manis crassicaudata) are reported from seven districts in southern lowlands of Nepal including the Bardia National Park (BNP) in Bardia district. However, there is scant information available for this species in and around BNP. We conducted day time surveys in eight community forests encompassing a total area of 1157.9 hectare (ha) in the buffer zone of BNP from 31 January to 10 March 2021. We surveyed a total of 204 belt transects of 500 m x 30 m covering 27% of total area (306 ha) of these eight community forests, searching for direct and indirect signs of Indian pangolins. Additionally, we conducted capacity building trainings to forest guards, nature guides and graduate students. We also conducted awareness programs in local communities and schools to promote pangolin conservation.
Our study has generated baseline on the presence/absence of Indian pangolins along with spatial distribution of their burrows and associated environmental variables in the buffer zone of BNP. Such information on various aspects of Indian pangolins from our study is expected to empower community forests management committee to include pangolin conservation into their annual action plan and design programs in coordination with BNP and stakeholders for Indian pangolin conservation. In the near future, we plan to employ camera traps and non-invasive genetics to generate more robust information on the status of Indian pangolins in and around BNP.
Major outputs from our projects are as followings:
a. Presence/absence of Indian pangolins verified from 8 community forest via extensive field surveys
b. Indian pangolin burrows identified and characterized
c. High resolution maps produced on spatial distribution of burrows
d. Six environmental variables associated with burrow recorded
e. Anthropogenic threats to Indian pangolins identified via field observation and interviews
f. 10 forests guards from community forests trained in techniques of searching and identifying Indian pangolin burrows
g. 3 nature guides and 2 graduate students trained in scientific techniques of pangolin monitoring and survey
h. Awareness program conducted in six communities
i. Educational program conducted in one school
Project 190520889 location - Nepal, Asia