Good news for endangered bird species around the world as Nepal has just opened the first official bird sanctuary in the country.
The protected area is home to about a dozen bird species, including the great hornbill and the Indian spotted eagle. These bird species are globally threatened. In a bid to support the conservation of bird species around the world, municipalities in western Nepal’s Sudurpashchim province declared the Ghodaghodi complex an official bird sanctuary. The wetland covers 2,563 hectares and is a habitat to more than 360 bird species, both native and migratory.
“The launch of the first bird sanctuary in the country sends a message that local governments are equally committed to conserving biodiversity,” said ornithologist Hem Sagar Baral, the Nepal country representative for the Zoological Society of London.
Listed as a globally important wetland under the Ramsar Convention, the Ghodaghodi complex consists of a system of lakes, marshes, and woods. It serves as an important wildlife corridor between the Siwalik hills, Himalaya’s youngest hills, and southern Nepal’s lowland regions.
Threatened species such as the Bengal tiger and the red-crowned roofed turtle also inhabit the area. The most prominent threats are from human activities, including excessive fishing and agriculture, overgrazing, deforestation, and poaching.
“Mere declaration of the area as a bird sanctuary is not enough,” said Trilochan Bhatta, Sudurpashchim’s chief minister. “It’s everyone’s duty to conserve the natural, religious, and historical importance of this site.”