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      Distribution and habitat preferences of the Chinese Pangolin Manis pentadactyla (Mammalia: Manidae) in the mid-hills of Nepal

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          Abstract

          The Chinese Pangolin is a ‘Critically Endangered’ species, which is estimated to have declined by over 90% in the last 21 years due to increased anthropogenic activities on the species and its habitat. Only a few pieces of research on the Chinese Pangolin have been done throughout Nepal; there is little information among the mammal species of Nepal, especially on distribution and habitat preference. This study was set to assess the distribution and habitat preferences of the Chinese Pangolin in Panauti municipality, central Nepal. We identified the most preferred habitat of the Chinese Pangolin using different covariates. Its preferred habitat was found ranging 1,450–1,600 m of elevation within a moderate slope of 5–25° steepness, forested areas in west-facing slopes. The maximum number of burrows of the species were found to be distributed in open canopy (0–50 % coverage). The increase anthropogenic activities in the agricultural land and deforestation in forested land has negatively impacted the occurrence of the Chinese Pangolin. We recommend that the community-based conservation initiatives like community forestry programs should be robustly implemented in the study area for better conservation of species and habitat in the coming years.

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          Primary forests are irreplaceable for sustaining tropical biodiversity.

          Human-driven land-use changes increasingly threaten biodiversity, particularly in tropical forests where both species diversity and human pressures on natural environments are high. The rapid conversion of tropical forests for agriculture, timber production and other uses has generated vast, human-dominated landscapes with potentially dire consequences for tropical biodiversity. Today, few truly undisturbed tropical forests exist, whereas those degraded by repeated logging and fires, as well as secondary and plantation forests, are rapidly expanding. Here we provide a global assessment of the impact of disturbance and land conversion on biodiversity in tropical forests using a meta-analysis of 138 studies. We analysed 2,220 pairwise comparisons of biodiversity values in primary forests (with little or no human disturbance) and disturbed forests. We found that biodiversity values were substantially lower in degraded forests, but that this varied considerably by geographic region, taxonomic group, ecological metric and disturbance type. Even after partly accounting for confounding colonization and succession effects due to the composition of surrounding habitats, isolation and time since disturbance, we find that most forms of forest degradation have an overwhelmingly detrimental effect on tropical biodiversity. Our results clearly indicate that when it comes to maintaining tropical biodiversity, there is no substitute for primary forests.
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            Effectiveness of parks in protecting tropical biodiversity.

            We assessed the impacts of anthropogenic threats on 93 protected areas in 22 tropical countries to test the hypothesis that parks are an effective means to protect tropical biodiversity. We found that the majority of parks are successful at stopping land clearing, and to a lesser degree effective at mitigating logging, hunting, fire, and grazing. Park effectiveness correlates with basic management activities such as enforcement, boundary demarcation, and direct compensation to local communities, suggesting that even modest increases in funding would directly increase the ability of parks to protect tropical biodiversity.
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              Agricultural expansion and its impacts on tropical nature.

              The human population is projected to reach 11 billion this century, with the greatest increases in tropical developing nations. This growth, in concert with rising per-capita consumption, will require large increases in food and biofuel production. How will these megatrends affect tropical terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity? We foresee (i) major expansion and intensification of tropical agriculture, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa and South America; (ii) continuing rapid loss and alteration of tropical old-growth forests, woodlands, and semi-arid environments; (iii) a pivotal role for new roadways in determining the spatial extent of agriculture; and (iv) intensified conflicts between food production and nature conservation. Key priorities are to improve technologies and policies that promote more ecologically efficient food production while optimizing the allocation of lands to conservation and agriculture. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                (View ORCID Profile)
                Journal
                Journal of Threatened Taxa
                J. Threat. Taxa
                Wildlife Information Liaison Development Society
                0974-7907
                0974-7893
                July 26 2021
                July 26 2021
                : 13
                : 8
                : 18959-18966
                Article
                10.11609/jott.3952.13.8.18959-18966
                967aacbe-e35a-4c51-85d3-b59d90a20070
                © 2021

                https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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