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Habitat Ecology of Himalayan Musk Deer (Moschus chrysogaster) in Manaslu Conservation Area, Nepal

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Author(s): Ashok Subedi | Achyut Aryal | Raj Kumar Koirala | Yajna Prasad Timilsina | Xiuxiang Meng | Fiona McKenzie

Journal: International Journal of Zoological Research
ISSN 1811-9778

Volume: 8;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 81;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: poaching | Manaslu conservation area | habitat preference | Himalayan musk deer

ABSTRACT
The Himalayan musk deer (Moschus chrysogaster) is an endangered species found in the Himalayan region of Nepal. This research was conducted in the Manaslu Conservation Area to explore the deers general population status, distribution, habitat preference and conservation threats. Musk deer are distributed within the altitudinal range of 3128-4039 m spanning 35.43 km2, with the most potential habitat in the Prok VDC (Village Development Committee). Within this area the Musk deer highly preferred altitudes between 3601-3800 m, with a 21-30 slope, 26-50% crown cover and 26-50% ground cover. There are significant differences in the use of different habitat types in terms of altitude, slope, crown cover, ground cover and topography. The preferred tree species were Abies spectabilis, Betula utilis and Rhododendron species. Poaching of deer for their musk is the major conservation threat.

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