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University of Minnesota

Publication Date

Fall 2012

Program Name

Nepal: Development and Social Change

Abstract

Invasive plant species threaten jungle eco-systems in Chitwan National Park. Mikania micrantha is the most destructive invasive plant in the park and has been named one of the world’s 100 worst invaders. It is an exceptionally fastgrowing and aggressive perennial plant that is quickly spreading throughout Chitwan and ousting native plant species that comprise the diets of rhinos and other important wildlife species. M. micrantha poses both immediate ecological concerns to wildlife and threatens rural subsistence farming populations by destroying cropland. In Nepal, no policy or program exists to contain invasive plant species, and large-scale management of M. micrantha is needed in place of current arbitrary management. Before a management program is launched, there is need for increased awareness among park visitors and local people about M. micrantha. There is a gap in literature and resources directed at park visitors, so I created educational posters in both English and Nepali to raise awareness about the effects of M. micrantha. I distributed the posters to guide services, a hotel, and an orphanage in Sauraha. The aim of my project was to spur a broader awareness campaign about invasives for world travelers and locals in Chitwan as well as discussion about the need for effective invasive plant species management.

Disciplines

Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Forest Management | Natural Resources and Conservation | Natural Resources Management and Policy

 

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