Gulmi losing its lakes, wetlands at alarming rate

  • world wetlands day
- GHANSHYAM GAUTAM, GULMI

Feb 2, 2017-

Purkotdaha, a VDC in Gulmi district, owes its name to Purkot Pond. The ancient pond has turned into a playground for local children in the recent years. 

Until 10 years ago, there were a dozen ponds at Shantipur VDC. Five settlements in the VDC are named after some of the ponds. However, there are only four ponds in Shantipur these days. 

These are just examples of shrinking and vanishing ponds, lakes and wetlands in Gulmi. Due to the lack of conservation efforts, encroachment and unplanned development activities, ponds, lakes, and wetlands in Gulmi are drying up at an alarming rate.   

“The wetland areas in the district are at high risk due to climate change and lack of environment-friendly development activities,” said Bishal Ghimire, chief at the District Forest Office. He added a number of ponds in the district have already vanished while the major wetlands are in the process of shrinking and drying. 

According to the data available at the Soil Conservation Office, there are around 500 ponds and more than a dozen lakes in Gulmi. However, around 50 percent of them have dried up in the recent years. 

Bishnu Pokharel, chief at the Soil Conservation Office, admitted that the encroachment of ancient ponds and lakes in the district was rampant. 

“We have been working to conserve the ponds by making plans,” said Pokharel, adding that road construction, tree felling, and human encroachment were major causes of shrinking wetlands.

Comb duck spotted after 20 years

SUNSARI: Comb duck, a duck species mostly found in tropical wetlands in sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar, and South Asia, has been spotted in Barju Lake in Chimadi VDC, Sunsari, after nearly 20 years. According to the conservationists, the duck species had stopped visiting the area after the wetlands around Koshi River started shrinking. Ornithologist Hemsagar Baral confirmed that six comb ducks were spotted in the area. It is a matter of joy to see comb ducks in the area again, he added.

6 wild buffaloes shifted to Chitwan

ITAHARI: Six wild buffaloes, a male and five females, have been translocated to Chitwan from Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve (KTWR). The Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation initiated the translocation of rare breed of Babulis Babulis wild buffaloes last week to counter the population growth and preserve the species from disease and poachers. Chief Conservation Officer Shyam Sah said 15 wild buffaloes would be shifted to Chitwan in the first phase. 

Published: 02-02-2017 08:24

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