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      Predicting suitable habitat of swamp deer ( Rucervus duvaucelii) across the Western Terai Arc Landscape of Nepal

      research-article
      a , a , b , , c , a
      Heliyon
      Elsevier
      Swamp deer, MaxEnt, Habitat, TAL, Conservation

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          Abstract

          Over the last few years, intensifying human impact and the deterioration of natural habitats have severely restricted the global distribution of large herbivores. Rucervus duvaucelii, commonly recognized as the swamp deer, is a habitat-specialist endemic large herbivore of the Indian Subcontinent. It is classified as vulnerable by the IUCN and listed in CITES Appendix I due to a steep decline in its population, which is primarily due to anthropogenic causes. In Nepal, the last remaining population of this species is confined to limited pocket areas within the western Terai Arc Landscape. We explored potential habitat for swamp deer across this landscape using species distribution modelling through the MaxEnt algorithm by using 173 field-verified presence points alongside six anthropogenic, four topographic, and four vegetation-related variables. Our study found that out of the total study area (9207 km 2), only 6% (590 km 2) was suitable for swamp deer. Approximately 45% of suitable habitat was incorporated within protected areas, with Shuklaphanta National Park harboring the largest habitat patch. The suitability of habitat was discovered to be positively associated with low-elevation areas, areas near water sources, and areas far from settlements, implying the need to conserve water sources and minimize the extension of anthropogenic pressure for their long-term conservation. Additionally, we suggest the implications of a swamp deer-centric conservation strategy, with an emphasis on increasing connectivity through the corridors and landscape-level population connectivity through trans-boundary conservation initiatives between Nepal and India. Moreover, considering large herbivores' high vulnerability to extinction, similar researche incorporating anthropogenic factors is of the utmost importance to produce vital information on habitat suitability for conserving other regionally and globally endemic, habitat-specialized herbivores.

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          High-resolution global maps of 21st-century forest cover change.

          Quantification of global forest change has been lacking despite the recognized importance of forest ecosystem services. In this study, Earth observation satellite data were used to map global forest loss (2.3 million square kilometers) and gain (0.8 million square kilometers) from 2000 to 2012 at a spatial resolution of 30 meters. The tropics were the only climate domain to exhibit a trend, with forest loss increasing by 2101 square kilometers per year. Brazil's well-documented reduction in deforestation was offset by increasing forest loss in Indonesia, Malaysia, Paraguay, Bolivia, Zambia, Angola, and elsewhere. Intensive forestry practiced within subtropical forests resulted in the highest rates of forest change globally. Boreal forest loss due largely to fire and forestry was second to that in the tropics in absolute and proportional terms. These results depict a globally consistent and locally relevant record of forest change.
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            Selecting pseudo-absences for species distribution models: how, where and how many?

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Heliyon
                Heliyon
                Heliyon
                Elsevier
                2405-8440
                25 May 2023
                June 2023
                25 May 2023
                : 9
                : 6
                : e16639
                Affiliations
                [a ]Tribhuvan University, Institute of Forestry, Pokhara, Kaski, 33700, Nepal
                [b ]Pokhara Zoological Park and Wildlife Rescue Center, Kaski, 33700, Nepal
                [c ]Ministry of Forest, Environment and Soil Conservation, Gandaki, 33700, Nepal
                Author notes
                []Corresponding author. Tribhuvan University, Institute of Forestry, Pokhara, Kaski, 33700, Nepal. bnayadh@ 123456gmail.com
                Article
                S2405-8440(23)03846-X e16639
                10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e16639
                10238933
                37274642
                0e447319-a3b1-4893-a70f-9aa961abdf09
                © 2023 The Authors

                This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                History
                : 13 October 2022
                : 22 May 2023
                : 24 May 2023
                Categories
                Research Article

                swamp deer,maxent,habitat,tal,conservation
                swamp deer, maxent, habitat, tal, conservation

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