Details of this species in Royal Bardia National Park
Status: Not specified
Invasiveness: Not invasive
Source: Peet et al. 1999
Species Notes for this Location:
A series of phantas are located in the south-west near the Karnali river. These grasslands range in size from less than 1 hectare to 120 hectares. The majority of the phanta grassland has been classified as falling into an Imperata cylindrica species assemblage; this is characterised by a dominance of I. cylindrica and a subdominance of Saccharum spontaneum, Vetiveria zizanioides, Desmostachya bipinnata and Schizachyrium brevifolium. I. cylindrica grasslands share features with savanna systems and are characterised by species that are of medium height.
Management Notes for this Location:
Grasslands (or phantas) may occur as a result of anthropogenic disturbance (Pokharel 1993, in Peet et al. 1999). The I. cylindrica grassland is important for biodiversity. Cutting and fire have been promoted to prevent succession from grassland to forest or taller grassland (dominated by Erianthus, Narenga and Saccharum species (which are less favourable to ungulates). However traditional cutting and burning has been deleterious to less mobile species such as the pygmy hog and hispid hare (Oliver 1980, Bell, Oliver and Ghose 1990, in Peet et al. 1999).
A study by Peet and colleagues (1999) was designed to investigate best management practices for preserving cover-dependant species such as the hispid hare, in particular whether rotational patches of unmanaged grassland could provide refugees for these species. The experimental site was located in Baghoura Phanta, the second largest Imperata dominated grassland (covering approximately 80 hectares). A randomised block experiment (with four treatments: cutting, burning, cutting and burning, and no management) was used to examine species abundance, richness and grassland structure. In all managed plots there was in increase in species richness of forbs, a decrease in D. bipinnata and an increase in I. cylindrica. The authors concluded that rotational cutting and burning of the grassland would provide suitable habitat for the population persistence of small mammals, herpetofauna and invertebrates. In Bardia the total area of I. cylindrica grassland is small (less than 340 hectares) so the total area removed by cutting and burning should not be more than 25 to 50 hectares.
Royal Bardia National Park occupies 968km² in the far west of the subtropical Terai region of Nepal. The Terai soils are highly productive (Lehmkuhl 1989, Peet et al. 1999). Altitude in the protected area ranges from 150 to 1441 metres above sealevel. The climate is monsoonal with most rain falling between June and September. Mean annual rainfall to the south of the park has been recorded at 1560 mm, whilst on the crest of the Churia hills mean annual rainfall is 2230 mm. A cool dry season lasts from November to mid-February, followed by a hot dry season until May, daytime temperatures reaching a peak in June at 45ºC and falling as low as 10ºC in January (Bolton 1976, in Peet et al. 1999). Approximately 70% of the park is dominated by sal (Shorea robusta) forest (IUCN 1993 in Peet et al. 1999); the remainder consists of riverine forest, mixed hardwood and grassland. Thirty-two species of mammal occur in the park (including tiger, swamp deer, Asian elephant and greater one-horned rhinoceros) and 297 species of bird (BCN 1997, in Peet et al. 1999).
Last Modified: 24/07/2006 3:28:45 p.m.