QLE.20.007 – TIGRASS – tigers, grasslands and water in a sustainable continuum

Route: Quality of the living environment

Cluster question: 004 How do ecosystems function and how vulnerable are they to environmental impacts?

There are less than 4000 wild tigers alive and their habitats are under pressure due to climate change and anthropogenic activities. The Terai Arc Landscape (TAL) and the Duars at the foot of the Nepalese, Indian and Bhutanese Himalayas are the most important conservation area of tigers. Here, tiger habitats are affected through changing hydrological conditions that lead to deteriorating grasslands upon which free roaming deer rely for grazing. However, the natural and anthropogenic influences on grassland dynamics in these landscapes are poorly understood. Therefore, the overarching objective of this project is to characterise the temporal dynamics of the grasslands in the 23 nature reserves present. Particularly, the hydrology and river morphodynamics as abiotic factors become addressed as well as the pressures behind these two. We foresee not only a scientific, ecohydrological novelty but also a crucial goal in combining preservation of the tiger habitat with sustainable water resources management in the TAL, the Duars and upstream Himalayas. Landscape stewardship approaches and strategies for sustainable water resources management and tiger habitat conservation will be developed in co-creation with local communities and authorities. Concurrently, public awareness will be raised at local to global scale to stimulate conservation of the tiger habitat and educational material will be established for students, park rangers and others.

Keywords

India, nature conservation, Nepal, sustainability, water management

Submitter

Organisation Utrecht University (UU)
Name Prof. dr. J. (Jasper) Griffioen
E-mail j.griffioen@uu.nl
Website https://www.uu.nl/staff/JGriffioen/Profile