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Agroforestry Systems: A Boon or Bane for Mammal Conservation in Northeastern India?

Agroforestry Systems: A Boon or Bane for Mammal Conservation in Northeastern India? The degradation, fragmentation and isolation of tropical forests have led to the formation of small patches of human dominated landscapes interspersed with forest fragments. This affects the wildlife habitat and its population negatively. These human landscapes have been observed to have agroforestry systems as a dominant cropping practice in Assam, India. The present study was carried out in agroforestry systems (agri-silviculture systems, home gardens and tea gardens) to understand their role in the conservation of mammal species. Line transects and camera traps were used for recording mammal diversity. Altogether, 17 species of mammals belonging to 16 genera and 14 families were recorded in the selected agroforestry systems. The highest species richness was found in the home gardens (14) and the lowest was found in the agri-silviculture system (10). Home garden had the highest mammal encounter rate and relative abundance. Only five species of mammals were recorded through camera trapping. According to the IUCN Red List, 6% of mammal species recorded in the selected agroforestry systems were endangered or near threatened and 18% were vulnerable. The highest hunting trap encounter rate was found in tea garden (139 traps, 0.181 traps km−1, 24 captures). Distance from forest was inversely proportional whereas hunting threat was directly proportional to mammal species richness. The only and strongest predictor of mammal species richness was hunting threat which accounted for 53.5% of variation in mammal species richness in the study area, implying that the agroforestry systems are capable of conserving species if hunting pressure is reduced. Therefore, promotion of alternative livelihood and formation of community conservation groups are needed to increase and protect the mammalian diversity in these agroforestry systems. Thus, agroforestry systems can act as a suitable habitat next to forests for the dwindling wildlife population. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Proceedings of the Zoological Society Springer Journals

Agroforestry Systems: A Boon or Bane for Mammal Conservation in Northeastern India?

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © Zoological Society, Kolkata, India 2020
ISSN
0373-5893
eISSN
0974-6919
DOI
10.1007/s12595-020-00335-5
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The degradation, fragmentation and isolation of tropical forests have led to the formation of small patches of human dominated landscapes interspersed with forest fragments. This affects the wildlife habitat and its population negatively. These human landscapes have been observed to have agroforestry systems as a dominant cropping practice in Assam, India. The present study was carried out in agroforestry systems (agri-silviculture systems, home gardens and tea gardens) to understand their role in the conservation of mammal species. Line transects and camera traps were used for recording mammal diversity. Altogether, 17 species of mammals belonging to 16 genera and 14 families were recorded in the selected agroforestry systems. The highest species richness was found in the home gardens (14) and the lowest was found in the agri-silviculture system (10). Home garden had the highest mammal encounter rate and relative abundance. Only five species of mammals were recorded through camera trapping. According to the IUCN Red List, 6% of mammal species recorded in the selected agroforestry systems were endangered or near threatened and 18% were vulnerable. The highest hunting trap encounter rate was found in tea garden (139 traps, 0.181 traps km−1, 24 captures). Distance from forest was inversely proportional whereas hunting threat was directly proportional to mammal species richness. The only and strongest predictor of mammal species richness was hunting threat which accounted for 53.5% of variation in mammal species richness in the study area, implying that the agroforestry systems are capable of conserving species if hunting pressure is reduced. Therefore, promotion of alternative livelihood and formation of community conservation groups are needed to increase and protect the mammalian diversity in these agroforestry systems. Thus, agroforestry systems can act as a suitable habitat next to forests for the dwindling wildlife population.

Journal

Proceedings of the Zoological SocietySpringer Journals

Published: Jul 9, 2020

References