A systematic expert-based assessment of progress and priorities for conservation of the Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis

Simon P. Mahood, Rohit R.S. Jha, Asad R. Rahmani, Jyotendra J. Thakuri, Hong Chamnan, Rajat Bhargava, Bibhuti P. Lahkar, Namita Brahma, Sujit S. Narwade, Naveen Pandey, Kedar Gore, Devesh Gadhvi, Son Virak, Stephen T. Garnett

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    Abstract

    We used information derived from expert elicitation to measure progress in conservation of the Bengal Florican (Houbaropsis bengalensis) by calculating six met-rics, namely: (a) current threat impact, (b) research need, (c) research achievement, (d) management need, (e) management achievement, and (f) percentage threat reduction. We then used the metrics to identify priority threats, namely predation by dogs, hunting, power lines, and vegetation changes caused by human activities. The metrics indicate that although there has been little progress in addressing pre-dation and power lines, reductions in hunting have been achieved and practitioners have a good understanding of how to ameliorate vegetation changes. We assessed conservation needs across all sites that support Bengal Florican, and highlight conservation achievements at Stoung-Chikreang Bengal Florican Conservation Area (BFCA), Manas National Park and Kaziranga National Park. We used our results to develop a framework for prioritizing collaboration on tackling priority threats. We highlight D'Ering Wildlife Sanctuary in India as one of the highest priority sites for Bengal Florican conservation, and propose that conservation in Stoung-Chikreang Bengal Florican Conservation Area (BFCA), Manas National Park and Kaziranga National Park must be continued, scaled-up and good-practice replicated at Koklabari, Baray BFCA and Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve. If these plans are followed, then we believe that priority threats can be adequately addressed and the extinction of Bengal Florican can be prevented.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere121
    Pages (from-to)1-10
    Number of pages10
    JournalConservation Science and Practice
    Volume1
    Issue number12
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

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