UPDATING SPATIAL INFORMATION OF 27 MAMMAL SPECIES IN NEPAL
H. B. Katuwal1,2,3, H. P. Sharma4,5,6*, P. J. L. Shaner6, R. Gurung2,3, V. Thapa2,3, T. G. Magar3, T. B. Gurung7, K. Parajuli4, M. B. Gurung4, H. Basnet1,4, S. Koirala1, M. S. Ghimire3, S. Yadav8, J. L. Belant9 and K. Shah2,10
1Small Mammals Conservation and Research Foundation, Kathmandu, Nepal; 2Bird Conservation Nepal, Lazimpat, Kathmandu, Nepal; 3Friends of Bird, Kathmandu, Nepal; 4Central Department of Zoology, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Kathmandu, Nepal; 5Taiwan International Graduate Program, Biodiversity Program, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan; 6Department of Life Science, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan; 7Bird Education Society, Chitwan, Nepal; 8National Trust for Nature Conservation, Nepal; 9Carnivore Ecology Laboratory, Mississippi State University, USA; 10Natural History Museum, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal
*Corresponding author email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Information on species distribution range is a prerequisite for setting conservation strategies. Conservation efforts in Nepal have been focused on flagship species, such as Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris), Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus) and Greater One-horned Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis). By contrast, distribution data and conservation efforts for other mammalian species are scarce. Here we documented the spatial locations of 27 mammal species based on direct sightings and photographic evidence from 70 m to 4,800 m of elevation across Nepal. We mapped their geographic distributions, delineated their elevation ranges and summarized the potential threats within their distribution ranges. We observed expanded elevation range for c. 30% of the 27 species (8 species), with the most noticeable upward expansion of the Common Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) from <1,500 m to 2,990 m, and downward expansion of the Fawn-colored Mouse (Mus cervicolor) from >1,150 m to 200 m. These updated, high-quality spatial information on a subset of Nepal’s diverse mammalian fauna, highlight new opportunities to study the effects of climate change on mammals in the Himalayan region.
Key words: altitudinal distribution, geographic distribution, range shift, threatened species, wildlife.