JaibikMap project

One horn Rhinocerous

Project title: JaibikMap: Nepal’s Biodiversity and Climate Change Tool for the Future

Location: Nepal

Duration: January 2017 - December 2018

Project background: One of the greatest risks to Nepal’s biodiversity lies in a lack of spatially and temporally-sensitive data that reflect potential future changes in habitat composition and distribution due to climate change.

The Jaibik Map project aims to fill existing and future gaps in knowledge by developing an interactive, web-based mapping tool that contains detailed data of mammal species of Nepal in order to address conservation and development challenges. The project will create a tool for data visualisation and interpretation that will also capacitate key stakeholders in its use and cutting-edge methods in order to make species distribution modelling a reality. 

This project will help to protect Nepal’s biodiversity by addressing a clear research challenge that has immediate conservation implications while also creating a tool for future challenges to be solved.

Objectives of the project:

  • Design and create an interactive, open data, free web-based mapping tool that contains detailed data of mammalian species, to address conservation and development challenges;
  • Conduct a nationwide study of forest change under different climate change scenarios and apply findings to species distribution models predicting shifts in habitats; and,
  • Develop a mobile application that will allow anyone to upload photos and GPS coordinates to the JaibikMap repository taken during opportunistic sightings of mammal species.

Expected outputs:

  • Establish a visual representation of mammalian species abundance, status, distribution and habitat requirements for all 208 mammal species occurring in Nepal; and overlay this data against location/distribution of existing land use and habitat, settlements and roads.
  • Find out the model changes in Nepal’s forest cover, composition, and distribution in light of various future climate change scenario, to conduct innovative species distribution modeling based on the results and build capacity at all levels for the model’s uptake and general conservation.
  • Develop an interactive, snippy, open data web based map associating with Android Phone application to enable the public to submit opportunistic photographs of mammal sightings to the JaibikMap.
  • Ensure that the project translates its impact on USAID development objectives through capacity development, information dissemination/integration, and sustainability measures. 

Donor: United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) Fund

Partners: Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation; Walter Jetz, Yale University - United States; Tribhuvan University Central Department of Botany; Kathmandu Living Labs

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