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Factors influencing the habitat choice of pangolins (Manis spp.) in low land of Nepal
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  • Arati Shrestha,
  • Santosh Bhattarai,
  • Binod Shrestha,
  • Narayan Prasad Koju
Arati Shrestha
Central Department of Environmental Science, Tribuvan University
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Santosh Bhattarai
National Trust for Nature Conservation- Biodiversity Conservation Center
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Binod Shrestha
National Trust for Nature Conservation- Biodiversity Conservation Center
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Narayan Prasad Koju
Nepal Engineering College
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Abstract

Pangolins in the genus Manis are nocturnal, burrowing, insectivorous mammals listed as Critically Endangered or Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Of the eight extant pangolin species worldwide, two species are found in Nepal: the Chinese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla) and the Indian pangolin (Manis crassicaudata). Despite having a great ecological role by controlling the ants or termite population, little attention has been given to the conservation interventions of both species of pangolins found in the Terai region (low land) of Nepal. The present study assesses habitat use and factors affecting the habitat choice of pangolins in low land (Terai), Nepal. The research was focused on Amritdharapani community forest of Chitwan district. Pangolin burrows were used as the indirect signs of pangolin presence. A total of thirty-nine burrows were observed at elevations ranging from 301 to 413 m asl. Burrows were frequently associated with north-west aspects, gentle slope (15º to 20º), moderate canopy cover (51 to 75%), red-colored soil, and acidic soils with pH 6.5 to 7. The burrows were most common in areas with weak human disturbance (i.e. 1500 to 1700 m from settlements), 800 to 1200 m from roads, and with-in 300 m from a water source and with-in 20 m from the nearest termitarium. This study revealed distance to settlement, distance to road, soil pH, and canopy cover as major factors affecting the habitat choice of pangolins in the study area.

Peer review status:ACCEPTED

13 Jun 2021Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
17 Jun 2021Submission Checks Completed
17 Jun 2021Assigned to Editor
22 Jun 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
06 Jul 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
07 Jul 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
06 Aug 20211st Revision Received
07 Aug 2021Submission Checks Completed
07 Aug 2021Assigned to Editor
07 Aug 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
09 Aug 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
23 Aug 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
25 Aug 20212nd Revision Received
27 Aug 2021Submission Checks Completed
27 Aug 2021Assigned to Editor
27 Aug 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
31 Aug 2021Editorial Decision: Accept