Wildlife corridors and biodiversity at the National Trust For Nature Conservation, Nepal

Ruddy Shellducks, winter visitors to Sauraha, Nepal.

Greetings again from the National Trust for Nature Conservation’s “Biodiversity Conservation Centre at Sauraha.

With the able assistance of staff here, especially Babu Ram Lamichane, I have made some good progress with the finding, collating, cleaning and analysis of more than ten years of bird monitoring data from Barandabhar Corridor Forest, collected by skilled technicians at NTNC, (mostly by local bird expert Kapil Pokhrel).  More than 700 surveys, 9,000 bird records and some 288 species make it a substantial dataset, but some issues with data management, computing and power failures have made it a challenge to locate and collate the data…

It is finally taking shape however, and from preliminary analyses it looks like there will be some interesting results.  It is early yet to draw conclusions (and interpretation is complicated by changes in survey methods over the years) but a worrying trend appears to be a decline in winter visitors, dominated by wetland species.

The apparent declines may be the result of ongoing degradation of the Beeshazari Tal or “20,000 lakes” area (named for the distance from a certain point, not the number of lakes!) an important staging point for birds in transit between Siberia and Northern India.  The importance of supporting long term, systematic biodiversity monitoring such as that undertaken in Barandabhar Corridor Forest by NTNC is clear.

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