Habitat suitability modelling of Melursus ursinus (Shaw, 1791) (Mammalia: Carnivora) in the Chitwan National Park, Nepal
Article Type:
Research/Original Article (بدون رتبه معتبر)

Sloth bear (Melursus ursinus Shaw), one of four species of bear found on the Indian sub-continent, has a geographical distribution across Nepal, India, and Sri Lanka. It is listed as Vulnerable under the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species due to the rapid decline of the global population. This decrease in Melursus ursinus presents a need for comprehensive research to predict and understand the distribution pattern. The present study predicts the habitat suitability and distribution pattern of M. ursinus in the Chitwan National Park, Nepal and its buffer areas. The entire study area was divided into 4 X 4 km grids. Within each grid, 10-meter radius plots were sampled for bear signs and habitat evaluation occurred at every 250 meters along a transect (1–1.5 km). Data on direct and indirect signs (diggings, pugmarks, scrapes, and scats) and other habitat use parameters of M. ursinus were collected. The study was carried out during the dry season (January to March 2019) in almost 57 grids of the study area. The calculated habitat suitability for M. ursinus determined that 25% of the total area was suitable, and the remaining 75% was less suitable habitat. Drainage, followed by slope and elevation, were found to be the important variables affecting the distribution of species in the study area and this model was found to be 88.5% accurate in terms of explaining the dependent variables. The findings of the present research will be useful for park managers, researchers, and academicians in the formulation of an appropriate conservation plan for this charismatic mammal species.

Journal of Animal Diversity, Volume:4 Issue: 3, Sep 2022
31 to 43
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