Project Leader: Hari Basnet

Location: Chitwan Annapurna Landscape (CHAL) area

Funding Agency: WWF/USAID/Hariyo Ban Program II

Global climate change is recognized as an important driver of ecological changes. Field studies have detected upward shifts in tree species along the treeline in the Nepal Himalaya. Forests are also expected to expand into the Tibetan Plateau covering over 22% of the land area. Because species have different physiological tolerances and dispersal adaptations, the individual species that comprise the natural communities will likely respond and shift at different rates.

Chitwan Annapurna Landscape (CHAL) is the continuous geographic area in central Nepal ranging from subtropical in the lowlands of Terai (200m above sea level) to alpine in the high mountains and Trans Himalayan region (above 4000m). It covers an area of about 32,090 sq. km. and is well known for its floral and faunal diversity. Over four million people have been living within this landscape and their lifestyle, livelihood, and wellbeing being very much dependent on the natural resources of this area. Within this landscape, there are six Protected Areas (PAs) and important forest areas like Panchase Protected Forest (PPF), Barandabhar Corridor Forest (BCF) and other government and community forests.

In order to establish a baseline data for the biodiversity of the area for improved conservation strategies and to monitor the impacts of climate change on those species, this study was carried out in 12 various permanent monitoring plots designated within the CHAL, which are projected to be either vulnerable or resilient to climate change in the long-run. The overall objective of this assignment is to conduct a detailed study on identified indicator species (flora and fauna) of climate change.

Different methods were used for the biodiversity assessment of the species. Transects and Camera trapping for mammals, Live Trapping (Eulipotyphyla, Rodentia, Lagomorphs)  for small mammals, Misnetting for Chiroptera, Mackinnon’s species richness technique for birds, Visual encounter survey and pitfall trapping for Herpetofauna, Line transect and fixed point sampling for Butterfly.