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THE CONSERVATION AND POTENTIAL HABITAT OF THE HIMALAYAN MUSK DEER, MOSCHUS CHRYSOGASTER, IN THE PROTECTED AREAS OF NEPAL

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Author(s): Achyut ARYAL | Ashok SUBEDI

Journal: International Journal of Conservation Science
ISSN 2067-533X

Volume: 2;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 127;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Musk deer | potential habitat | poaching | protected area

ABSTRACT
The Himalayan musk deer (Moschus chrysogaster) is a cervid distributed from the eastern to the western Himalayas of Nepal. The species is listed as endangered in appendix I of IUCN Red data, and protected in Nepal under the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act of 1973. Musk deer occupy the middle to the higher mountain regions, which cover 12 protected areas of Nepal (6 national parks, 5 conservation areas, 1 hunting reserve). However, of the 30177.19 km2 potential habitat, only 19.26% (5815.08 km2) is inside the protected areas and the remaining 80.73% falls outside the protected areas. Consequently, poaching, habitat destruction, livestock grazing and forest fire in the musk deer habitat are important challenges for the conservation of musk deer in the country. A thorough status survey in and outside the protected areas should be carried out and a species-focused conservation action plan should be prepared and implemented properly. A program for increasing awareness and enhancing livelihood of the local populations be launched in the poor and poaching risk zones of Nepal.
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