Ghodaghodi lake area being developed into bird habitatWith natural lakes in Kailali drying up, authorities are making efforts to turn Ghodaghodi wetland area into one of the main habitats of migratory as well as domestic birds.
Ghodaghodi lake in Kailali is being developed as an important habitat for birds. With natural lakes in Kailali drying up, authorities are making efforts to turn the Ghodaghodi wetland area into one of the main habitats of migratory as well as domestic birds, according to conservationists.
“Puraina lake, which was spread over 80 bighas of land in Bhajani Municipality, Kailali, has been drying up for the last few years. Local residents have started cultivating vegetables and crops in the lake area now. The native birds of Puraina lake have migrated to the Ghodaghodi wetland area,” said Hirulal Dagaura, a conservationist in Kailali.
“Puraina was also home to Sarus cranes. We could see them all year round at the lake area but they too have moved away,” he said.
Kailali is home to around 200 natural lakes. But the district is gradually losing all its water bodies, conservationists say. Like Puraina, most lakes in Kailali are on the verge of drying up. These lakes support various species of fish and are home to aquatic birds and Ghongi (mud-water snails).
Most of the local units in Kailali have leased out natural lakes to fish farmers, which has led to the depletion of food sources for native birds and their migration to other areas.
Fishing and fish keeping are restricted in Ghodaghodi lake since the lake area is on the Ramsar list for being the playground for many endangered bird species.
“The annual bird count revealed that the number of birds in the lake area has increased this year,” said Dayaram Chaudhary, an ornithologist of the Bird Conservation Network.
According to the data of the network, there were 1,798 birds in the lake area during the counting of January 13 and 14 in 2020. This year, 2,058 birds were counted in the lake area, said Chaudhary.
Ghodaghodi lake is home to several endangered bird species like the great salty woodpecker, the great hornbill, vulture, darter and spiny babbler. The lake also welcomes many Siberian bird species for three-four months every winter. These birds migrate all the way to Nepal to escape the harsh winter in the northern hemisphere, said Chaudhary. Bird species like mallard, ruddy she ducks, gadwall, Eurasian teal, greenshank, thrushes, flycatcher and booted eagle, among other bird species, fly to Nepal from other countries every winter.