UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Conservation Prioritization in a Tiger Landscape: Is Umbrella Species Enough? Vasudeva, Vaishali; Upgupta, Sujata; Singh, Ajay; Sherwani, Nazrukh; Dutta, Supratim; Rajaraman, Rajasekar; Chaudhuri, Sankarshan; Verma, Satyam; Johnson, Jeyaraj Antony; Krishnamurthy, Ramesh

Abstract

Conservation approaches in tiger landscapes have focused on single species and their habitat. Further, the limited extent of the existing protected area network in India lacks representativeness, habitat connectivity, and integration in the larger landscape. Our objective was to identify sites important for connected tiger habitat and biodiversity potential in the Greater Panna Landscape, central India. Further, we aimed to set targets at the landscape level for conservation and prioritize these sites within each district in the landscape as specific management/conservation zones. We used earth observation data to derive an index of biodiversity potential. Marxan was used to identify sites that met tiger and biodiversity conservation targets with minimum costs. We found that to protect 50% of the tiger habitat with connectivity, 20% of the landscape area must be conserved. To conserve 100% of high biodiversity potential, 50% moderate biodiversity potential, and 25% low biodiversity potential, 55% of the landscape area must be conserved. To represent both tiger habitat and biodiversity, 62% of the total landscape area requires conservation or restoration intervention. The prioritized zones can prove significant for hierarchical decision making, involving multiple stakeholders in the landscape, including other tiger range areas.

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CC BY 4.0