Manoj Bhatta presents
"Conservation Governance of Red Panda Habitat in Nepal"
All known and most potential habitats of Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens fulgens, Cuvier 1825) in Nepal lie between 2500-4200 m. This zone is richly endowed with a variety of natural ecosystems that provide invaluable ecosystem services to local people and to the nation as a whole. Biological diversity in Nepal is closely connected with the livelihoods and economic status of the rural population. Forests, grasslands, wetlands and the high mountains are all important habitats for Nepal’s spectacular wildlife, and provide a range of ecosystem services which are integral to the livelihoods of the majority of the population living in rural areas. However, these ecosystems and the services they provide are increasingly at risk due to deep-rooted poverty, degradation of natural resources and the adverse impacts of climate change. Poor conservation governance and a lack of appropriate forest management have meant that the harvest of these resources has become unsustainable. Given that the entire red panda range is facing intense pressures from human disturbance, decision-makers need clear information on how biodiversity underpins these services, the demand for them, the capacity of ecosystems to provide them and the pressures impairing that capacity.
Manoj completed a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science from Tribhuvan University, Nepal before working as an Environmental Officer for various development projects in Nepal. He has also worked as a field Biologist to explore, the presence, distribution, habitat preference and threats to Red Panda in different parts of their potential range in Nepal while lecturing part-time in Tribhuvan University affiliated colleges. Manoj has a passionate interest in wildlife conservation and interacting with people from diverse communities especially ethnic communities.