Conservation Science <p>Conservation Science (CS) is a peer-reviewed open access journal devoted primarily to the dissemination of up-to-date knowledge about global, regional and national conservation issues and the ways to tackle them. Full text articles available.</p> Kathmandu Institute of Applied Sciences (KIAS) en-US Conservation Science 2091-2293 Mountain Survey of Amphibians and Reptiles and their Conservation Status in Manaslu Conservation Area, Gorkha District, Western Nepal <p><strong>Aim </strong>The Manaslu Conservation Area (MCA), a geographically diverse protected area, is known for high diversity of flowering plants and endemism. However, information about status of herpetofauna is limited. This study aims to fill this gap by updating diversity and distribution of herpetofauna of the MCA.</p> <p><strong>L</strong><strong>ocation </strong>Sirdibas, Bihi and Prok Village Development Committees (VDCs), Gorkha district, Manaslu Conservation Area (MCA).</p> <p><strong>Materials and methods</strong> We used a multi-prolonged strategy combining visual encounter survey (VES) along six transects (500m each) in Sirdibas, Bihi and Prok VDCs, patch sampling (PS) in two sites in Ghap and Prok VDCs and opportunistic observations (OO) along trekking trails from Sirdibas to Prok to document the presence of herpetofauna. We conducted questionnaire survey using photo-elicitation technique (PET) (n=30) to collect ethnoherpetological data.</p> <p><strong>K</strong><strong>ey </strong><strong>F</strong><strong>indings</strong> We prepared a checklist of 22 species of amphibian and reptile by verification of data from VES, PS, OO and literature review. The Himalayan rock lizard, <em>Laudakia tuberculata </em>was common in all the study sites. The Hodgson’s racer - <em>Elaphe hodgsonii </em>was first described in the study area. The abundance of herpetofauna species decreased with increasing elevation (r = -0.53, P &lt; 0.01). There was a positive association between species abundances and temperature (r = 0.49, P &lt; 0.01). The ethnoherpetological survey revealed that the stream frogs locally called ‘Paha’ (genus ‘<em>Amolops</em>’, ‘<em>Chaparana</em>’ and ‘<em>Paa</em>’) were commonly consumed for food and presumed health benefits. This may impose a serious threat. We recommend similar systematic study to document and describe herpetofauna in the region.</p> Biraj Shrestha Karan Bahadur Shah Copyright (c) 2017 Biraj Shrestha, Karan Bahadur Shah 2017-12-31 2017-12-31 5 1 13 18 10.3126/cs.v5i1.24297 Status and trends of human-wildlife conflict: A case study of Lelep and Yamphudin region, Kanchenjunga Conservation Area, Taplejung, Nepal <p><strong>Aim </strong>Human-wildlife conflict is one of the major challenges in Kanchenjunga Conservation Area. It may erode public support in wildlife conservation. Here, we review the extent to which wildlife damages livestock and crops.</p> <p><strong>L</strong><strong>ocation </strong>Lelep and Yamphudin region, Kanchenjunga Conservation Area, Taplejung, Nepal</p> <p><strong>Materials and methods</strong>The study employed a combination of surveying methods such as focus group discussion, key informant interview and field observation from 21 July to 06 August 2013. Focus group discussion was done primarily with the representatives of snow leopard conservation committee in Lelep and Yamphudin.</p> <p><strong>K</strong><strong>ey </strong><strong>F</strong><strong>indings</strong> Livestock depredation in Ghunsa valley, Lelep village development committee was increasing with an annual average loss rate of 11% in ten years (2005- 2014). Despite community-based insurance schemes, loss has increased to 28% from 17.2% in 2014. No retaliatory killings of snow leopards were reported since 2005, which may be attributable to the insurance scheme. In Yamphudin, the average annual livestock loss rate was 4.7% from 2005 to 2014, mostly by wild dogs. Similarly, crop damage was a severe problem in Yamphudin, mostly by the Himalayan black bear, palm civet, barking deer, rhesus monkey and porcupine.</p> <p><strong>Conservation implication </strong>Although strict guarding was effective to reduce conflict, alternative strategy is needed that requires minimum human involvement. Premium and relief amount is inadequte. It therefore needs a thorough revision. Predator proof corals in Lonak, Dhudhpokhari, Ramjer and Dasa pasture can be effective means to reduce the potential conflict.</p> Roshan Sherchan Ananta Bhandari Copyright (c) 2017 Roshan Sherchan, Ananta Bhandari 2017-12-31 2017-12-31 5 1 19 25 10.3126/cs.v5i1.24296 Botanical expedition in mountains of Caucasus in 2013 <p class="Pa5"><strong>Summary </strong></p><p class="Pa5">[editor’s note]</p><p>The botanical expedition has an important role in documenting unknown flora and its natural history. Such expedition has been instrumental to ascertain what conservation actions the region need of. Gennady A. Firsov writes a short note providing a fascinating account of a botanical expedition in the Caucasus Mountains. His vivid account of geography, climate and flora provide a resemblance between floral diversity with that of physical geography and climate. The six member expedition team visited the highest peak of Caucasus, the Bermamyt plateau, Teberda and Tuman- Lykyel Lake. Teberda, in particular, is a unique floral sanctuary where three seasons can be witnessed at the same time: warm summer down the valley, early spring in alpine meadow and winter further up with snowy storms, glaciers and everlasting snows. The Teberda Biospherical State Nature Reserve harbors 43 species of mammals. The tallest tree (60 m) measured in the expedition was Nordmann’s Fir, which is considered tallest species in Russia. The explorers visited the gorge of Gonachkhir River and the Kyzgych gorge. The Kyzgych gorge is strictly protected regime where flock of aurochs lives in the wild. Here, the team found <em>Lonicera steveniana </em>Fisch. ex Pojark for the first time. They were lucky enough to discover <em>Acer tataricum </em>L. and <em>Euonymus nanus </em>Bieb. in Razvalka mountain.</p><p>Gennady A. Firsov, G. A. (2017) Botanical expedition in mountains of Caucasus in 2013. Conservation Science, 1: 1-9.</p> Gennady A. Firsov Copyright (c) 2017 Gennady A. Firsov 2017-11-07 2017-11-07 5 1 1 9 10.3126/cs.v5i1.18559 Rediscovery of the hispid hare (Caprolagus hispidus) in Chitwan National Park, Nepal after three decades <p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p class="Pa5">The critical endangered hispid hare (<em>Caprolagus hispidus</em>) was first recorded as present in Chitwan, Bardiya and Shuklaphanta National Parks of Nepal in 1984. Since then, the species was recorded only in Bardiya and Suklaphanta National Parks. For more than three decades, it had not been observed in Chitwan National Park (CNP), where it was consequently considered extinct. In January 2016, a new recording for the hispid hare took place in CNP, placing that rare mammal again within CNP mammal assemblages. We reported the first photographic confirmation of the presence (30 Jan 2016) of the species in the CNP after 1984. The presence of hispid hare is confined to isolate patched of grassland of the national park. The population of the hispid hare is rapidly declining due to anthropogenic pressure and grassland fire from its distributed range (only found in Nepal, India, and Bhutan). Therefore, further study about their presence-absence, population status need to do throughout the grassland of the low land of Nepal including the newly rediscovering park.</p><p class="Pa5"><strong>Citation</strong><br />Khadka BD, Yadav BP, Aryal N, Aryal A (2017) Rediscovery of the hispid hare (Caprolagus hispidus) in Chitwan National Park, Nepal after three decades. Conservation Science, 1: 10-12</p> Bed Bahadur Khadka Bhupendra Prasad Yadav Nurendra Aryal Achyut Aryal Copyright (c) 2017 Bed Bahadur Khadka, Bhupendra Prasad Yadav, Nurendra Aryal, Achyut Aryal 2017-11-07 2017-11-07 5 1 10 12 10.3126/cs.v5i1.18560