Main Article Content
Wild Water Buffalo (WWB) Bubalus arnee is an endangered species and a protected animal in Nepal. The remaining WWB population is located in Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve (KTWR), and it appears to have low viability under prevailing conditions. We assessed the habitat use and conservation threats to wild water buffalo in KTWR. For habitat analysis the quadrant method was used. Eighty-four quadrants of 25 m2 for trees, 168 quadrants of 10m2 for shrubs and 336 quadrants of 1 m2 for herbs were laid out in the study area. Ivlev’s electivity index (IV) was calculated to assess the use of different habitat components. The important Value Index (IVI) was used for vegetation assessment. A relative threat ranking method was used to assess conservation threats for wild buffalo and their habitats. Wild buffalo mostly preferred habitats with distance to water resources less than 500 m (IV= 0.4), less than 25 % crown coverage (IV= 0.39) and more than 75 % ground coverage (IV= 0.42). The trees species Phyllanthus emblica, Acacia catechu, shrub species Mimosa pudica and the herb species Brachiaria distachya, Vetiveria zizanioides, Imperata cylindrica, and Saccharum spontaneum were preferred by WWB in the study area. Among the different plant categories, we found that Acacia catechu was the most preferred tree species (IVI= 156.95), Mimosa pudica the most preferred shrub species (IVI= 58.68), and Imperata cylindrica the most preferred herb species (IVI= 64.73). Major conservation threats perceived by local stakeholders for wild buffaloes were overgrazing by cattle and genetic swamping through crossbreeding with domestic buffalo. Therefore, conservation of grass species through control of grazing, and prevention of cross breeding are measures supported by this study. Additionally, site-specific conservation strategies should be adopted, based on identified threats in the study area.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors own the copyright to the articles published in JoTT. This is indicated explicitly in each publication. The authors grant permission to the publisher Wildlife Information Liaison Development (WILD) Society to publish the article in the Journal of Threatened Taxa. The authors recognize WILD as the original publisher, and to sell hard copies of the Journal and article to any buyer. JoTT is registered under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY), which allows authors to retain copyright ownership. Under this license the authors allow anyone to download, cite, use the data, modify, reprint, copy and distribute provided the authors and source of publication are credited through appropriate citations (e.g., Son et al. (2016). Bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) of the southeastern Truong Son Mountains, Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam. Journal of Threatened Taxa 8(7): 8953–8969. https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.27188.8.131.5253-8969). Users of the data do not require specific permission from the authors or the publisher.
Adhikari, K. (1999). An assessment on crop damage by wild buffalo in the eastern part of Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve. A M.Sc. thesis submitted to T.U., Central Department of Zoology Kathmandu, Nepal, 56pp.
Adhikari, K. (2006). Buffer zone management at Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve. A M.Sc. thesis submitted to T.U., Central Department of Zoology, Kathmandu, Nepal, 63pp.
Aryal, A., T.K. Shrestha, A. Ram, W. Frey, C. Groves, H. Hemmer, M. Dhakal, R.K. Koirala, J.T. Heinen & D. Raubenheimer (2011). A call to save the wild water buffalo (Bubalus arnee) in Nepal. International Journal of Conservation Science 2: 261–268.
Amin, R., H.S. Baral, B.R. Lamichhane, L.P. Poudyal, S. Lee, S.R. Jnawali, K.P. Acharya, G.P. Upadhayaya, M.B. Pandey, R. Shrestha, D. Joshi, J. Griffiths, A.P. Khatiwada & N. Subedi (2018). The status of Nepal’s mammals. Journal of Threatened Taxa 10(3): 11361–11378. https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.37184.108.40.20661-11378
Baral, H.S. & K. Shah (2008). Wild mammals of Nepal. Himalayan Nature, Kathmandu Nepal, 188pp.
Bolton, M. (1975). Royal Chitwan National Park Management Plan, 1975–1979. UNDP/FAO. http://www.iucn.org/dbtw-wpd/edocs/Bios-Cons-NatPro-541.35-008.pdf
Chettri, N., K. Uddin, S. Chaudhary & E. Sharma (2013). Linking spatial-temporal land cover change to biodiversity conservation in the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, Nepal. Diversity 5: 335–351. https://doi.org/10.3390/d5020335
Chhetri, N.B., B. Dhami, B. Neupane, B.M. Sadadev & N. Thapa (2020). Distributional evidence and threats to cheer pheasant (Catreus wallichii) in Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal. Nepalese Journal of Zoology 4(2): 140-146. https://doi.org/10.3126/njz.v4i2.33906
CITES (2017). Appendices I, II and III, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Geneva, Switzerland, 69pp.
Dahmer, T.D. (1978). Status and ecology of the wild Asian buffalo (Bubalus arnee) in Nepal. M.Sc. Thesis, University of Montana, Missoula, USA, 95pp. https://scholarworks.umt.edu/etd/6530
DNPWC (2020). Wild Water Buffalo (Bubalus arnee) Conservation Action Plan for Nepal (2020-2024), Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Babarmahal, Kathmandu, Nepal, 56pp. http://www.dnpwc.gov.np/media/publication/Arna_Conservation_Action_Plan.pdf
DNPWC (2021). Press Release of Arna Census in KoshiTappu Wildlife Reserve. http://www.dnpwc.gov.np/media/files/
Flamand, J.R.B., D. Vankan, K.P. Gairhe, H. Duong & J.S.F. Barker (2003). Genetic identification of wild Asian water buffalo in Nepal. Animal Conservation 6(3): 265–270.
GoN (1973). National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act. Government of Nepal, Nepal Law Commission, Nepal, 15pp.
Groves, C.P. (1981). Systematic relationships in the bovini (Artiodactyla, Bovidae). Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 19: 264–278. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0469.1981.tb00243.x
Heinen, J.T. & P.K. Paudel (2015). On the translocation of wild Asian buffalo Bubalis arnee in Nepal: Are feral backcrosses worth conserving? Conservation Science 3: 11–21.
Heinen, J.T. & G.R. Singh (2001). A census and some management implication for wild buffalo (Bubalus arnee) in Nepal. Biological Conservation 101: 391–394. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3207(01)00078-7
Heinen, J.T. & R.C. Kandel (2006). Threats to a small population: a census and conservation action plan for wild buffalo in Nepal. Oryx 40: 324–330. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0030605306000755
Heinen, J.T. (1993). Population viability and management recommendation for wild water buffalo Bubalus arnee in Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, Nepal. Biological Conservation: 65(1): 29–34. https://doi.org/10.1016/0006-3207(93)90193-5
Heinen, J.T. (2001). A translocaton proposal for Wild Bufalo (Bubalus bubalis) in Nepal: recommended management action in the face of uncertainty for a critically endangered species. Tiger Paper 28(3): 1–8.
IUCN (1990). Directory of wetlands of international importance. Ramsar Convention Bureau, Gland, Switzerland, 516pp.
Ivlev, V.S. (1961). Experimental ecology of the feeding of fishes. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 302pp.
Jnawali, S.R., H.S. Baral, S. Lee, N. Subedi, K.P. Acharya, G.P. Upadhaya, M. Pandey, R. Shrestha, D. Joshi, B.R. Lamichhane, J. Friffiths & A.P. Khatiwada (2011). The Status of Nepal’s Mammals: The National Red List Series. Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Kathmandu, Nepal, 266pp.
Joshi, G., B. Neupane, D. Dahal, S. Shrestha, P. Dhakal, C.M.B. Jandug & D. Gautam (2020). Assessment of human-wildlife conflict in Kailali district of Nepal. Journal of Animal Diversity 2(3): 24–36. https://doi.org/10.29252/JAD.2020.2.3.5
Kafle, K., D.R. Thanet, P. Poudel, D. Gautam, G. Thapa & P. Bhatt (2020). Status and conservation threats to large mammals of the Laljhadi Mohana Biological Corridor, Nepal. Journal of Animal Diversity 2(2): 16–33. https://doi.org/10.29252/JAD.2020.2.2.3
Kaul, R., A.C. Williams, K. Rithe, R. Steinmetz & R. Mishra (2019). Bubalus arnee. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T3129A46364616, 24pp. Downloaded on 24 June 2021. https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-1.RLTS.T3129A46364616.en
Khadka, A. (2018). Koshi Tappu to take census of wild buffaloes. https://myrepublica.nagariknetwork.com/news/koshi-tappu-to-take-census-of-wild-buffaloes/ Downloaded on 24 June 2021.
Khatri, T. B., D.N. Shah, R.D.T. Shah & N. Mishra (2010). Biodiversity of Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve: a post flood assessment. Journal of Wetlands Ecology 4: 69–82.
Khatri, T.B., D.N. Shah & N. Mishra (2012). Wild water buffalo Bubalus arnee in Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, Nepal: status, population and conservation importance. Journal of Threatened Taxa 4: 3294–3301. https://doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o2990.3294-301
KTWR (2018). Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve and Its Buffer Zone Management Plan (2074/75 – 2078/79) Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve Office, Paschim Kushaha, Sunsari, Nepal, 214pp. http://dnpwc.gov.np/media/publication/Koshi_Tappu_WR_Management_Plan.pdf
Lama, R.C. (2013). Status, distribution and food preference of Wild Water Buffalo on Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve.
Neupane, B., B.K. Singh, P. Poudel, S. Panthi & N.D. Khatri (2020). Habitat occupancy and threat assessment of gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) in the Rapti River, Nepal. Global Ecology and Conservation, 24: e01270. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2020.e01270
Neupane, B., N.B. Chhetri & B. Dhami (2021). Habitat selection of Himalayan Musk Deer Moschus leucogaster (Mammalia: Artiodactyla: Moschidae) with respect to biophysical attributes in Annapurna Conservation Area of Nepal. Journal of Threatened Taxa 13(7):18703–18712. https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.67220.127.116.1103-18712
NHWAP (2015). Threat Assessment Instructions for Ranking Threats to Species and Habitats. New Hampshire Wildlife Action Plan Appendix E-1, 1–16
Nicholson, E., D.A. Keith & D.S. Wilcove (2009). Assessing the threat status of ecological communities, Conservation Biology, 23: 259–274. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1523-1739.2008.01158.x
Nowak, R.M. (1999). Walker’s mammals of the World, 6th Edition. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1166-1170pp.
Parihar, J.S., P.C. Kotwal, S. Panigrahi & N. Chaturvedi (1986). Study of wildlife habitat using high-resolution space photographs: a case study of Kanha National Park. ISRO-SP-17-86, special publication of Indian Space Research Organization, Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad, 65–82pp.
Ram, A. & K. P. Sharma (2011). Status, distribution, threat and habitat pattern assessment of Asiatic wild water buffalo in Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve. Eastern Nepal 9: 12–16.
Roth, J. (2004). “Bubalus bubalis” (on-line), Animal diversity web. Accessed 17 September 2020 at https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Bubalus_bubalis/
Sah, J.P. (1997). Koshi Wetlands: Nepal’s RAMSAR SITE. IUCN Nepal. 254pp.
Siwakoti, M. (2009). An overview of floral diversity in wetland of terai Region of Nepal. Our Nature 4: 83–90.
Shah, R., S. Tripathi & B. Bhatta (2017). Translocation of Wild Asian Buffalo (Bubalus arnee): a way forward to conservation in Nepal. In: Proceedings of the International Buffalo Symposium, 175-178pp.
Shrestha, B.P. & B. Pantha (Eds.) (2018). Protected areas of Nepal (in Nepali). Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Government of Nepal, Kathmandu, Nepal, 104pp.
Shrestha, T.K. (1997). Mammals of Nepal with reference of those of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Pakistan. RK Printers, Kathmandu, Nepal, 371pp.
Singh, A. (2015). Vanishing herds of wild water buffalo. Science India, September 2015, 4pp.
Thapa, R., B. Neupane, S. Ranabhat, M. Poudel & S. Panthi (2020). Habitat suitability of wild water buffalo (Bubalus arnee) in Babai flood plain of Bardia National Park, Nepal. Global Ecology and Conservation, 23, e01172. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2020.e01172
TNC (THE NATURE CONSERVANCY) (2007). Conservation Action Planning Handbook: Developing Strategies, Taking Actions and Measuring Success at any Scale. The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, USA, 127pp. https://www.conservationgateway.org/Documents/Cap%20Handbook_June2007.pdf
WWF (2007). Resources for implementing the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) project and program standards. Step 1.4. Define situation analysis. 15pp. https:///C:/Users/DELL/Downloads/1_4_situation_analysis_2007_02_19.pdf
Yonzon, P.B. & M.L. Hunter (1989). Ecological study of the Red Panda in the Nepal-Himalayas. In: Glatson, A.R., (Ed.). Red Panda Biology. Academic Publication, The Hauge, Netherlands, 1–8.
Zobel, D.B., M.J. Behan, P.K. Jha & U.K.R. Yadav (1987). A practical manual for ecology. Ratna Book Distributors, Kathmandu, Nepal, 149pp.