Tuesday, 26 September, 2023
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Winter migratory birds at Taudaha decline further



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By Binu Shrestha
Kathmandu, Jan. 20: Arrival of migratory water birds at Taudaha Lake has further declined this year, as less number of birds are seen this year here compared to previous years.
The decline was revealed when the Bird Conservation Nepal (BCN) counted the water birds at Chobhar and Taudaha areas on January 8 under the winter water bird census that had begun on January 1.

The counting was made in various wetlands and their surrounding areas across the nation in coordination with local conservation partners to determine the number of water birds, condition of their habitats and their present status.

Human intervention and rapid development activities near the lakeside and other constructions like fast track corridor, infrastructure at the Chobhar Dry Port and Taudaha beautification process are attributed to the continuous decline in the number of water birds visiting the Taudaha Lake area in winter.

As part of regular water bird count this year, the BCN conducted the count in almost all the wetlands of the Kathmandu Valley, and the birds from Bagmati to Chobhar and Taudaha were counted on January 8, said Vimal Thapa, executive member of BCN.

“BCN has led the annual count and we have recorded 21 water birds of 19 species at Taudaha. Water bird count at Taudaha has gone down this year both in terms of the number of species and individuals,” he said.
A total of 266 water birds were counted nationwide this year.
The number of birds was 286 in 2021 including 20 species of water and wetlands birds.

A total of 339 migratory and resident birds were recorded at Taudaha in 2018, which numbered 484 in 2017.
In 2019, a total of 326 migratory birds and resident birds were recorded at the lake and the Bagmati River (covering the area from Jal Binayak Temple to Taudaha). In winter season of the year, 60 species of the resident and migratory birds were recorded. Twenty-five of them were water birds, according to BCN.

However, in 2020, the number of birds had increased to 448. Of them, 68 species of the resident and migratory birds were recorded.
Altogether 32 persons, including the staff members of BCN, volunteers, researchers, students and general public participated in the bird counting programme. The counting activity covered the Chobhar-based Jal Binayak Temple to the Bagmati and Taudaha.

In two decades, the number of migratory birds declined by around 95 per at Taudaha due to rapid urbanisation, he added.
Common Teal, Gadwal, Smew, Common Pochard, Ferrugineaus Pochard, Pond Heron, Cattle Egret and other bird species were counted at Taudaha. Thapa said that Winter Asian Water Fowl was spotted for the first time at Taudaha this year. This is the first sighting of the bird for the Kathmandu Valley as well.

Taudaha is the single destination for observing migratory birds in the Kathmandu Valley.
Winter migratory birds arrive in Nepal from the northern hemisphere to avoid extreme cold.

Nepal witnesses 150 winter migratory bird species arriving from Tibet of China, Korea, Mongolia, Siberia and central Asia, he said.