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Strengthening the Scientific Basis of Conservation in Alpine Areas of Kanchenjunga Conservation Areas, Eastern Himalaya, Nepal

Man Kumar Dhamala

Man Kumar Dhamala

dhamalam@tcd.ie

Supervisor: Dr Stephen Waldren

The Eastern Himalaya stands out as being one of the globally important sites representing the important biodiversity hotspots in the region. The Kanchenjunga Conservation Area (KCA), which measures 2,035 sq km, is located in northeastern Nepal, bordering China (Tibet) to the north and India to the east, and is an important part of the hotspot. Among the Protected Areas in Nepal, KCA is one of the most isolated and least densely populated in Nepal and contains tracts of pristine forests, alpine meadows and high altitude wetlands that among others harbor the endangered flora and fauna (including snow leopard and red panda).The site’s biodiversity in combination with the indigenous knowledge and traditional practices provides a great scope for research and development. However the biodiversity has been put into extensive pressure beyond their resilience limits. And only a few of the researches in KCA have followed bio-systematic principles. Therefore, this study is proposed to conduct biological survey to identify and document plant diversity in alpine habitats of KCA that are most threatened by direct anthropogenic impacts, and devise scientifically based methods of mitigation and habitat recovery. Moreover, considering the present scenario of climate change, the study determines the distribution pattern and bio-geographic affinities of important plants (threatened and endemic) and delineates the Important Plant Areas (IPAs) in the proposed study site. The survey will address management needs, and the outputs will feed directly into government, regional conservation organizations and local planning. The novel aspect of this project is in the integration of natural science research methods and social science methods, too often disparate disciplines.

Publications:

Kaspal, P., Dhamala, M.K., Duwal, R.K., Thakuri, S., Rijal, B. and Suwal, Y. (2005) Macroinvertebrate: Fresh Water Bio-Indicator. In: Proceedings of Seminar on Water Science Water for Life a Decade for Action. Bhuju, D.R. (.EdKhwopa College, Bhaktapur. pp 41-50.

Shrestha, K.K., Kunwar, R.M., Dhamala, M.K., Humagain, K., Pandey, J. and NB, K.C. (2008) Conservation of Plant Resources in Kanchenjunga-Singhalila Ridge, Eastern Nepal. Nepal Journal of Plant Sciences, 2, 62-68.

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Last updated 5 August 2014 botany@tcd.ie.