Our vision in southeastern Nepal is to create a corridor of community forests that will provide habitat for large mammals and other wildlife, allowing them to travel back and forth between large protected areas. This corridor would help many animals to thrive and increase their populations, including large iconic species like tigers and elephants and smaller threatened species like Chinese and Indian pangolin, the most trafficked species in the world.

Working across this large landscape is a challenge, but the steps themselves are simple:

  1. raising awareness of the corridor concept and wildlife conservation in southeastern Nepal
  2. building the capacity of these groups to monitor and manage wildlife in their forests
  3. creating a network of community forest groups coordinating wildlife management activities across the landscape

Community Conservation has worked in Nepal since 2012. Our director, Dr. Teri Allendorf, has worked in Nepal since she was a Peace Corps volunteer in 1991. In 2012, Community Conservation held a tiger workshop in a village adjacent to Chitwan National Park. During the workshop, our founder, Rob Horwich, had the vision to create a wildlife corridor in the eastern forests of Nepal stretching from Chitwan National Park to Manas Biosphere Reserve, where Community Conservation had also been working. As part of that vision, partners from Assam participated in our first workshop (click here for more information on our Indian projects).

Community Conservation’s first workshop in Nepal in partnership with Nepal Tiger Trust

Photo: Community Conservation’s first workshop in Nepal in partnership with Nepal Tiger Trust

In 2014, we conducted a survey of community forest groups across the corridor to find out what species they had in their forests . The survey, “Using community knowledge to identify potential hotspots of mammal diversity in southeastern Nepal,” found that forests had the most wildlife diversity in the middle of the corridor and the most loss on the eastern border with India.

Since that survey, with our local partners, we have been raising awareness of the corridor concept, as well as wildlife conservation in general, among community forest groups in the area. We have also been camera trapping with communities so that they can learn what wildlife are in their forests. 

During the camera trapping, we learned from the forestry groups that poaching, especially of deer, for local use and selling in the markets is the biggest threat to wildlife in these forests. Our next step is to help communities create community-based anti-poaching groups, a model that has been successful in the national park buffer zones around Chitwan and Bardia National Parks.

Compilation video from community forest camera trapping in one district

Check out these blog posts to learn more:

Click here to learn more about our other more recent project in Nepal, which extends the community corridor idea  to central Nepal.