15 Feb 2022
Strengthening the Community Tolerance and Ownership on Two Big Felids (Tiger and Leopard) Conservation in Banke National Park and Kamdi Corridor
Diet Analysis of Tigers and Leopards in Banke National Park and Strengthening Community Engagement
Banke-Bardia complex is a Level-I Tiger Conservation Unit (TCU), where tigers and leopards co-exist, and human-carnivore conflicts often occur. Presently, a paucity of research on habitat suitability and felid-awareness hinders the conservation of these threatened animals. Our research will supplement information gaps on the habitat requirements of tigers and leopards by acquiring the occurrence records via camera trap surveys, scats, developing habitat suitability models for both species, and undertaking community awareness projects. The long-term perspective of our research is to manage the felid populations by developing effective conservation work. Identifying where restoration of habitat needs to be undertaken is vital to aid felid population growth. Hence, our research will help to shape land-management policies and practices in Banke-Bardia complex. Effective habitat management will also reduce the incidents of human casualties, livestock depredation and retaliatory killings. The habitat suitability models will help to inform the conservation of these felids by identifying areas of the complex important for populations, and by fostering park-people relations.
Conducting conservation awareness programs in BaNP is more important when we are considering this complex. Our focus on BaNP from two previous grant and collaboration with National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC), Bardia Conservation Program (BCP), BaNP, and Buffer Zone User Community (BZUC) highlighted the demand for awareness programs for school children. Therefore, within the current grant, we have elected to work with school children. During the awareness program they will learn about conservation, importance of carnivores (especially tigers and leopards) within BaNP, and their role they can play to support conservation. This will provide a sense of ownership in the conservation of tigers and leopards in this complex. Involving local people from Community Based Anti-Poaching Unit (CBAPU) in research activities will also help to improve the quality of citizen science as well as increase the number of occurrence records of felids.
Header: Leopard captured in our camera trap. © NTNC.