Drought affects wildlife in Chitwan

- Bimal Khatiwada, CHITWAN

Apr 21, 2016-

Water systems like ponds and lakes in the Chitwan National Park (CNP) are drying up due to a long dry spell, which could deal a blow to wildlife and other aquatic animals. 

There are 56 lakes and ponds in the CNP area. Nurendra Aryal, an information officer at the CNP, said rain that feeds these water systems has been absent for quite a long time, putting the wildlife and aquatic animals of the park area at threat. Water sources drastically started to dry up since mid-March, he added. 

According to the CNP, eight lakes and ponds will be without water very soon if the situation continues. 

“We are studying if we can bring water from the Chure area. CNP officials have been involved in repairing canals for ensuring water supply,” said Aryal. 

There are 630 species of birds in the CNP and 60 per cent of them are aquatic. Ornithologist Basu Bidari expressed worry that these aquatic birds could be under severe stress due to water shortage. 

Madhukar Malla, chairman of the Buffer Zone Management Committee, said the drying of lakes is posing threat to the entire ecosystem. “Many lakes of the CNP area are drying up due to the ecological imbalance,” said Malla. 

Published: 21-04-2016 07:07

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