Barandabhar forest is a wildlife corridor connecting Chitwan National Park and Mahabharat foothills in Nepal’s Inner Tarai. Chitwan harbors the largest population of the great one-horned rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis L.) in Nepal. Barandabhar forest serves as a highly potential alternative habitat to enable wildlife to move up to Mahabharat foothills mainly during the rainy season. The whole forest area was divided into four blocks from south to north and sampled plots along 1.5 km length transects spaced at intervals of 250 m apart for wildlife and disturbance signs. Wildlife signs were higher near the National Park (ANOVA, P < 0.001; Tukey’s HSD, P <0.05). Disturbance signs were lower near the National Park and the Mahabharat Foothill forests and highest in the central part of the corridor. Wildlife signs were also affected by the distance of a sample plot from the edge of the corridor (ANOVA, P = 0.032), while disturbance signs were similar irrespective of the distance of a sample plot from the edge of the corridor (ANOVA, P = 0.56). The results illustrated that the central portion of the corridor near the East-West Highway is the weakest point in the corridor being flanked by the township of Bharatpur Municipality and the relocated village of Padampur.
Key words: Barandabhar, corridor, Chitwan, Tarai, Bishazaari, Padampur, highway.
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