AuthorSharma, Uday Raj.
AdvisorShaw, William W.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe following issues of conflict between Royal Chitwan National Park (RCNP) and its human neighbors have been addressed in this research: firewood shortage, shortage of grazing land and fodder, and crop/livestock depredation by park wildlife. In addition, previous estimates of annual grass-cutting in the park have been revised. Out of 16 village units, or 144 wards, in the study area that are within 5 km of the RCNP (total study area about 598 sq. km) in the Chitwan District of Nepal, 14 wards were randomly selected for detailed investigation. The investigation included interviews of 140 randomly selected heads of households, livestock census, year-round monitoring of crop/livestock depredation by park wildlife, and monitoring of 11 patches of grassland/savanna (totalling 365 ha) in the nearby park-land for recording trespass grazing. In addition, 1818 randomly selected grass-cutters were interviewed to estimate the harvests of resources in the park. Major resources left remaining after the harvest were field-assessed. Information concerning the subsistence systems and ethnicity of local people has been described. Intensity of livestock grazing in the bordering grasslands/savannas inside the park was found to be 4.1 heads/ha. The livestock biomass was estimated to have been growing by 2.36 percent, and a change in the mix of livestock ownership, including an increase in buffalo and goats, was noticed. Rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis) was found to be the principal crop raiding animal, followed by wild boar (Sus scrofa), and chital (Axis axis). Tiger (Panthera tigris) and leopard (Panthera pardus) were threats on livestock. Smaller carnivores also caused substantial damages to domestic birds. Annual losses of crop and livestock sustained by the average household have been estimated. No strong correlation between distance to park and crop or livestock damage could be found. There were 61,614 participants in the annual 15-day grass-cutting. On the average, 3 m tons of grasses, reeds, binding materials, and firewood per household was harvested from the park. Net contribution from these harvests to the economy was estimated to be US$ 325,166. Competing theories on national park management are examined and a new concept for park management is proposed.
Degree ProgramWildlife and Fisheries Science