Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2020, Vol. 11 ›› Issue (2): 223-231.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2020.02.010

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Change in the Distribution of National Bird (Himalayan Monal) Habitat in Gandaki River Basin, Central Himalayas

Raju RAI1,2, Basanta PAUDEL1, GU Changjun1,2, Narendra Raj KHANAL1   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2019-10-25 Accepted:2020-01-20 Online:2020-03-30 Published:2020-05-30
  • Supported by:
    Chinese Academy of Sciences-The World Academy of Sciences (CAS-TWAS) President’s Fellowship Program for PhD Study.

Abstract: Gandaki River Basin (GRB) is part of the central Himalayan region, which provides habitat for numerous wild species. However, due to changes in climate and land cover, the habitats of many protected species are at risk. Based on the maximum entropy (MaxEnt) model, coupled with bioclimatic layers, land cover and DEM data, the impacts of environmental factors on habitat suitability of Himalayan Monal (Lophophorus impejanus), a national bird of Nepal, was quantified. This study further assessed the present and future habitat and distribution of the Himalayan Monal in the context of climate and land cover changes. The results of this study show that the highly suitable habitat of Himalayan Monal presently occupies around 749 km2 within the northern, eastern and western parts, particularly protected areas such as Langtang National Park, Manaslu Conservation Area and Annapurna Conservation Area, while it is likely to decrease to 561 km2 by 2050, primarily in the northern and northwestern parts (i.e., Chhyo, Tatopani, Humde and Chame). These expected changes indicate increasing risk for Himalayan Monal due to a decline in its suitable habitat area.

Key words: climate change, land cover, Himalayan Monal, habitat change, Gandaki River Basin