130 species of winter migratory birds arrive in Nepal
16 Nov, 2019
By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Nov. 16: Around 130 species of winter migratory birds have arrived in Nepal to avoid extremely cold winter in the Northern hemisphere. According to Dr. Hem Sagar Baral, a noted ornithologist of Nepal, an estimated 150 species of birds may have already arrived in the country. Of them, 130 species have been recorded in several parts of the nation till date, he said. The winter migratory birds have started arriving in Nepal from August and September in the jungles, grasslands and wetlands of the nation and the inflow will continue till the end of November. However, the arrival trend of the migratory birds is gradually declining since the 1980s. The number of migratory birds is decreasing and some species have even stopped coming here, he said. “The number of migrant birds has declined almost by half over the years if we compare with their arrival trend of the 1980s,” he said. Ornithologist Baral said that the number of migratory birds is declining worldwide. Factors like the destruction of their habitats, hunting, water pollution, air pollution and climate change have been blamed for the decline in the population of the migrtory birds. Most of the migratory birds come to Nepal from the Siberian region of Russia, China, Mongolia, Korea and central Asia. These guest birds are found in the jungles, grasslands, river banks and several wetlands of the nation. Duck species like--mallard, ruddy shelduck, gadwall, Eurasian teal, green shank, thrushes, fly catcher, booted eagle and other bird species come to Nepal in the winter season. Grey headed lapwing, common teal and the Eurasian wigeon duck species can be sighted at Taudaha and Bagmati corridor along Chobhar up to mid-winter season. Two kinds of migratory birds arrive in Nepal--wetland birds and terrestrial birds. The terrestrial birds are divided into forest birds and grassland birds. Duck species live in the wetland so they can be seen easily. “But the terrestrial birds, which live in the forests, cannot be counted. That’s why the number of the forest birds is always higher than the wetland birds,” Baral said. Jagdishpur reservoir in Kapilvastu, Ghodaghodi Lake in Kailali, Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, Karnali, Narayani and Koshi River area, among others, are now flocked by migratory birds. Some species of ducks fly up to the height of 9,395 metres and weigh up to 2.5 kg. Baral said, Taudaha and the Bagmati River bank of Chovar are the suitable sites to observe the winter visitors of duck species for the people in the Kathmandu Valley. The number of migratory birds in the Kathmandu valley is declining due to rapid construction of concrete structures and other development works taking place around the wetlands. Altogether 888 species of birds have been recorded in Nepal so far. Of them, 168 species are under threat, he informed.