Project Leader: Rama Karki

Location: Bhaktapur

Started on: 2013

The MSc dissertation presented by Rama Karki to Central Department of Environment Science was supported by SMCRF in the year 2013. The dissertation was aimed to document the presence/absence status, distribution, diurnal behavior, habitat preference and existing threats of squirrel. Nepal harbors 11 species of squirrels: out of them a single species Irrawaddy squirrel occurred in Gundu, Chhaling and Sipadol areas of Bhaktapur districts. In three sites, squirrels were distributed in forest, garden and agricultural habitats. Results showed clumped pattern of distribution in the study area. High visual encounter of squirrels were noted in Chhaling area and selected for behavioral study. Running, forage, eat/handling, rest, play and limb stand were identified as diurnal activities of squirrel which was that squirrel spend most of their time in running and least in playing. Squirrel’s food consists of fruits, cereals, plants parts, nuts or seeds, tuber, moss and few unidentified items. Squirrels consumed fruits category in highest and tuber in least. Squirrels preferred bamboo mixed forest. Killings, habitat destruction, fire, wild/domestic predator, livestock grazing, were the major threats of squirrels in the study sites.