[MARMAM] Ganges river dolphin in Nepal: abundance, habitat and conservation threats

Shambhu Paudel oasis.excurrent at gmail.com
Wed Nov 25 08:11:29 PST 2015

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce the publication of our article:

Paudel S, Pal P, Cove MV, Jnawali SR, Abel G, Koprowski JL, Ranabhat R
,2015. *The Endangered Ganges River dolphin Platanista gangetica gangetica
in Nepal: abundance, habitat and conservation threats*. *Endangered Species
Research.* Vol. 29: 59–68, 2015 doi: 10.3354/esr00702


​Conservation of the last remaining Ganges River dolphins Platanista
gangetica gangetica in Nepal will require robust population estimates and
better information on suitable habitat characteristics. To gain a better
understanding of these parameters, we conducted boatbased surveys in the 3
major river systems (Karnali, Sapta Koshi, and Narayani) of Nepal. We
recorded covariates at high spatial resolution and utilized these data to
inform occurrence and abundance models. We allowed for detection bias by
applying occupancy and N-mixture models that account for imperfect and
heterogeneous detection. Occupancy results indicate that dolphin site use
varies among the different river systems, across 2 seasons, and increases
with river depth. River effects received nearly 100% of the model support
and had the strongest influence on dolphin occurrence and abundance. The
seasonal influence on dolphin occurrence in the systems (Σωi = 0.997)
revealed that occupancy probabilities were heightened during the
pre-monsoon season. Deep pool habitat was also identified as a predictor of
dolphin habitat use, which accounted for 41.02% of all dolphin sightings
occurring in this habitat. Although estimates vary depending on season, we
estimate that there are between 37 and 42 (95% CI: 28 to 52) Ganges River
dolphins distributed in the rivers of Nepal. Results suggest that
seasonality and each specific river affect dolphins and their habitat in
Nepal; we strongly recommend site and season-specific conservation actions.
Further research on the integration of additional and alternative abundance
techniques, behavioral studies, and pursuit of a conservation genetics
approach are all important steps in the management of this endangered

Web link:http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/esr/v29/n1/

Shambhu Paudel

*Assistant Professor for Wildlife/GIS/RS *
* ||*Kathmandu Forestry College  ||Kathmandu, Nepal ||  www.kafcol.edu.np
    Cell: 977-9841-170723

*South Asia Representative for *World Cetacean Alliance
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