Number of water birds increasing in Jagdishpur lakeFresh bird count shows 5,827 more aquatic birds in the artificial lake constructed for irrigation purposes.
The population of water birds has increased in Jagdishpur, an artificial lake constructed in Kapilvastu district for the purpose of irrigation, this year.
The fresh bird count concluded on Sunday showed that the lake, which was recognised as part of the Ramsar wetlands site in August 2003, is home to a total of 20,807 water birds. According to senior ornithologist Hem Sagar Baral, the number is 5,827 more than last year.
Although there is an increase in numbers, there is a decrease in the variety of species of birds, say conservationists. Only 41 different bird species were found in the area this year, while 53 species were found last year.
According to the conservationists, various species of sandpipers were not spotted in this year’s bird count in Jagdishpur lake. “Climate change and lack of enough food could be the main reason behind it,” said Som GC, another ornithologist.
Himalayan Nature, an organisation conducting scientific research on biodiversity, in coordination with Wetland Coordination carried out the count of aquatic birds in 60 different places in the country from January 4 to 19. “A bird count was conducted in the major bird habitats. Among them, the highest number of birds are found in Jagdishpur lake,” said Baral. According to him, around 50,000 to 55,000 water birds are found in Nepal.
A total of 5,150 birds of coot species have been found in the lake. According to Baral, as many as 22 birds of garganey species, a nationally threatened bird species in Nepal, were also found during the count.
A team of technicians led by nature guide Dhiraj Chaudhari conducted the bird count in Jagdishpur lake. “Any area that hosts more than 3,000 birds of any particular species is termed as a ‘good habitat’. And Jagdishpur has proved to be an important habitat of water birds. It should be conserved,” said Chaudhari.Jagdishpur lake is spread over an area of 157 hectares in Kapilvastu Municipality. Every winter, birds migrate to Jagdishpur from Siberia, China, Russia, Mongolia, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan and stay until February. Gadwall, Leaser Whistling duck, Tufted duck, Ferruginous Duck, Northern pintail, Northern shoveler, Eurasian Wigeon, Common Pochard and Cotton Pygmy-goose, et cetera are the major birds found in the lake.