Bengal Florican

Bird population monitoring

Chief Conservation Officer Ramdev Chaudhary and Seejan Gyawali (on the right) after successful completion of a survey of the critically endangered Bengal Florican. Seejan served as consulting ornithologist for this illusive member of the bustard family (Otididae) during a habitat monitoring project at Koshi-Tappu Wildlife Reserve in 2019. Only ~80 individuals of this Florican are thought to be present in Nepal because of inadequate grassland management. In 2018 and 2019 Seejan was Urban Bird Count leader with Bird Conservation Nepal (BCN) for surveys in and around Kathmandu valley. He is also a leader for BCN in the ongoing Saturday birding program for general members.

 
2-4739 Visitors entering Chitwan Park.jp

Conservation-Ecotourism Synergism 

The farmlands, grasslands, and wetlands of the Nawalparasi area are critical roosting and breeding sites for nationally and globally threatened birds, such as Sarus Crane, Lesser Adjutant Stork, Asian Woolly-necked Stork, Indian Spotted Eagle, White-rumped Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Great Slaty Woodpecker, and Great Hornbill. Detailed studies are needed in these habitats to identify the optimal areas for the most endangered species, and to preserve and improve these habitats through research, awareness, and advocacy. The development of nature-based tourism can promote wildlife sustainability by creating jobs as naturalists, bird/nature guides, home-stay operators, travel industry personnel. Ecotourism promotes bird conservation and vice versa.

 
IMG Shanta & tree planting 110041.jpg

Sustainable Lifestyles

   Our uniquely hospitable Mother Earth has reached a critical threshold, caused by the vast destruction of wildlife habitat brought about by rampant human population growth. We have already exceeded the earth’s capacity to sustain present human numbers at their desired lifestyle. Nepal's population is growing at ~2% per year. This project promotes environmental protection and sustainable living through the empowerment of women and family planning services, especially among the younger members of local communities. This work is done in partnership with Women for Conservation (https://www.womenforconservation.org). Also, we promote nature conservation and ecology education in schools and communities. Awareness activities include eco/green clubs (e.g. tree planting, garbage cleanup in trash and plastic-free zones around schools), poster presentations at bird festivals, rallies on world migratory bird day, world environment day (June 5), etc.

 
IMG_20200613.jpg

Community forest and Park buffer zone surveys

Few of Nepal's ~860 species of birds have been studied in sufficient detail to understand their abundance, population trends, and threats for non-grassland/wetland species. Chitwan National Park is the most visited park in Nepal. The buffer zone of the park and the district community forests need assessments to provide solid baseline information for threatened species such as the Great Hornbill, Lesser Adjutant, and Great Slaty Woodpecker. Such studies would help to promote public awareness and to prepare conservation management plans by the local government and other stakeholders.

 
IMG_20210924_12 scholarship.jpg

Student scholarship program

In local communities we identify the most needy students and provide modest scholarships. These funds are used to buy shoes, books, and other needed items. Funds for 10 student were allocated in 2021.