Abstract The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is a medium-sized carnivore that occurs in different regions of Pakistan, however, still lacks scientific data on its ecology and distribution. The current study investigated the phylogenetic status and diet of the red fox (V.v. griffithii) occurring in Ayubia National Park, Pakistan. Through camera trapping and molecular analysis, we confirmed the occurrence of red fox in the study area. Based on mitochondrial cytochrome B (304 bp) and limited sampling, nearly all red foxes of Ayubia National Park and surrounding Himalayan ranges fall within Holarctic maternal lineage, whereas red foxes found in plains of Pakistan are part of the basal Palearctic maternal lineage. Using 32 scats, we found that red fox diet comprises of 80% animal-based prey species (both wild and domestic) and 19% plant matter. The wild animal prey species included Cape hare (Lepus capensis) and flying squirrel (Pteromyini sp.), which constituted 17% and 15% of diet, respectively. Red foxes infrequently consumed House mouse (Mus musculus), Himalayan Palm civet (Paguma larvata) and sheep (Ovis aries), each comprising around 6% to 9% of red fox diet. The fox species also scavenged on domestic donkey opportunistically. Based on our sampling, our study suggests that the red fox (V.v. griffithii) that occurs in Ayubia National Park and across the lesser Himalayan ranges belongs to Holarctic maternal lineage. The study also highlights consumption of plant seeds by red foxes, indicating it may play an important ecological role in seed dispersal in Ayubia National Park.
Abstract Feral dogs are well-organized hunters of ungulates in many parts of the world, causing great damage to wildlife populations and ultimately to the ecosystem. In Pakistan, the impacts of feral dogs on the wildlife have not been documented yet. In a period of fifteen years (2006-2020), feral dogs have killed hundreds of threatened markhor in Chitral gol national park (CGNP), Pakistan. Despite direct predation other impacts including disturbance and competition with other natural predators, could compromise conservation and management efforts. The population of feral dogs seems to have been increased with the increase of dumping sites by communities. Our findings suggest that there are pressing needs of controlling the feral dogs population and eradicating them from the core zone of CGNP and surrounding buffer communities. Conventional culling of dogs should be coupled with modern techniques like castration and sterilization. Communities should be educated regarding the clean environment, proper disposal of home wastes and, biodiversity conservation.
Ignoring the responses of local households to ecological protection policies can not only seriously limit sustainable development of the alpine grassland ecosystem, but also not improve livelihood on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP). It is of vital importance to clearly understand coupling feedback and trigger between household decision-making of local herdsmen with the implementation of ecological protection policies. We selected Sanjiangyuan National Park (SNP) as the study area which was in the hinterland of the QTP and the first national park in China. We used the global rangeland (G-Range) model to simulate alpine grassland changes and DEcisions under Conditions of Uncertainty by Modeled Agents (DECUMA) model to identify household decision-making of local herdsmen. Results showed that: (1) distribution of livestock density was basically consistent with the distribution of habitat suitability of local households in the SNP; (2) more than half of the uneducated households (52 and 70%) opposed the eco-compensation and eco-migration policies; (3) most of the households (53.7%) never traded livestock for maintaining their livelihood; and (4) When local households owed 65,000 yuan (≈10,000 dollars) in debts, as the critical value (trigger), they traded livestock to support their livelihood. We suggest that feedback and trigger of household decision-making should be fully considered by managers of national park and policymakers of local governments in planning ecological protection policies to maintain sustainable development of alpine grassland, which is of practical significance to long-term conservation and sustainable utilization of natural resources in the SNP.
Abstract. Sidi MB, Wasli ME, Polly E, Jaffar ANNM, Kalu M, Sani H, Nahrawi H, Elias H, Omar D. 2021. Short Communication: Incidence of insect pest on planted Shorea macrophylla at reforestation sites in Gunung Apeng National Park, Sarawak, Malaysia. Biodiversitas 22: 5162-5168. Incidence of insect pest in Shorea macrophylla (de Vriese) P.S. Ashton had critical foliage damage in mono planting technique. The main objectives were to assess the foliage damage intensity of planted S. macrophylla by age stands and type of foliage damage. The insect pest attacks the foliage of S. macrophylla was determined. The study site was located at Gunung Apeng National Park (GANP), Sarawak, Malaysia, with planted S. macrophylla in enrichment planting at different years (planted in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 for age stand 6, 5, 4, and 3, respectively). The results showed that the degree of foliage damage decreases with the age stand of S. macrophylla tree. Therefore, foliage damage was suspected to be caused by insect pests. Among the common foliage damages observed was "hole damage" caused by insect order Lepidoptera. Although foliage damage was significant, the severity of the damage will "heal" as the age stand increases. Further investigation on other possible causes of these pest attacks should be initiated to find solutions that may hasten the growth of planted S. macrophylla for forest restoration.
The ability of overstory tree species to regenerate successfully is important for the preservation of tree species diversity and its associated flora and fauna. This study investigated forest regeneration dynamics in the Cat Ba National Park, a biodiversity hotspot in Vietnam. Data was collected from 90 sample plots (500 m2) and 450 sub-sample plots (25 m2) in regional limestone forests. We evaluated the regeneration status of tree species by developing five ratios relating overstory and regeneration richness and diversity. By examining the effect of environmental factors on these ratios, we aimed to identify the main drivers for maintaining tree species diversity or for potential diversity gaps between the regeneration and the overstory layer. Our results can help to increase the understanding of regeneration patterns in tropical forests of Southeast Asia and to develop successful conservation strategies.
We found 97 tree species in the regeneration layer compared to 136 species in the overstory layer. The average regeneration density was 3764 ± 1601 per ha. Around 70% of the overstory tree species generated offspring. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List, only 36% of threatened tree species were found in the regeneration layer. A principal component analysis provided evidence that the regeneration of tree species was slightly negatively correlated to terrain factors (percentage of rock surface, slope) and soil properties (cation exchange capacity, pH, humus content, soil moisture, soil depth). Contrary to our expectations, traces of human impact and the prevailing light conditions (total site factor, gap fraction, openness, indirect site factor, direct site factor) had no influence on regeneration density and composition, probably due to the small gradient in light availability.
We conclude that the tree species richness in Cat Ba National Park appears to be declining at present. We suggest similar investigations in other biodiversity hotspots to learn whether the observed trend is a global phenomenon. In any case, a conservation strategy for the threatened tree species in the Cat Ba National Park needs to be developed if tree species diversity is to be maintained.