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Count of birds begins across ponds, rivers and wetlands



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By Saligram Nepal/Jaya Krishna Yadav, Chitwan/Inaruwa, Jan. 9: A census of water birds has begun in all the wetlands and surrounding areas across the nation.

The census that began from Chitwan National Park on January 6 aims at determining the number of water birds, condition of their habitats and their present status.

Dr. Hem Sagar Baral, the national coordinator of the census, informed that water bird census had begun in all wetlands, including Chitwan.

Likewise, preparations are underway for the counting of wetland birds of Koshi Tappu Reserve and other areas of State 1 from Friday.

“The water birds of Saptari, Lumbini area of Rupandehi, Bardiya, Kathmandu and Kanchanpur districts will also be counted in the census,” Baral said.

In Kathmandu, water birds of Taudaha will be counted. 

The bird census began with a delay of two days due to rainfall in Chitwan.

Around 20 enumerators have been deputed in Chitwan for the census, while three teams, consisting of 10 enumerators each, will be mobilised in State 1 for the purpose. 

According to Baral, counting of the water birds will be held in 60 places of several districts from Terai to the district of Mustang in the Himalayas.

In Chitwan, enumerators have been deputed at the Narayani River, Rapti River and wetlands and pond near them.

Enumerators were deputed to count the water birds in east Kumaroj to Kasara on Monday and Tuesday, said ornithologist Basu Bidari.

Likewise, two teams will count birds from Chatara using boats in the Koshi while the third team will count the birds from the embankments.

Sanjib Acharya, who is leading the bird census in State 1, said that they would count the species of both the local and migrant birds separately.

He said around 190 species of water birds live in State 1, including the Koshi Tappu Reserve.  

Bidari said that the two-day counting showed that the number of birds had decreased.

Camera, calculator and telescope are being used to collect the census. The counting of water birds will continue from Sirkhali to Amaltari and Amaltari to Triveni sections of Nawalpur.

He informed that 600 bird species were found in Chitwan. Ghodaghodi, Bardiya and Koshi Tappu areas are home to a large number of birds.

Nepal has 880 bird species and of them 200 species are water birds.

The census of birds has been carried out in Nepal every year with support from the Himalayan Nature since 1987.

Around 300 enumerators, including 40 bird specialists, have been deputed to count the water birds across the nation.

Aquatic or water birds refer to birds that live in or around water.

The water birds will be counted in more than five dozens of wetlands, ponds and rivers across the country, mostly in the Terai belt, Baral said.

Wetland International is leading the census of water birds in the same season around the world.

The census provides information about the bird species, situation of wetlands and present status of endangered birds, said Dr. Baral.

Some new bird species are expected this year because the census includes some hilly districts this time.

According to him, guest birds and other bird species are declining due to the destruction of their habitats, human encroachment and other causes.