Bird Watching

Efforts are underway to declare Lake Jagadishpur as the second bird sanctuary in the country

If all goes as planned, the scenic Lake Jagadishpur, a Ramsar wetland site in Kapilvastu district, will soon be declared Nepal’s second bird sanctuary.

Conservationists and concerned authorities have lobbied to declare the wetland a bird sanctuary to conserve rare birds and promote bird tourism in the country.

The Kapilvastu Division Forestry Office has started the formal process to make Lake Jagadishpur a bird sanctuary after some forest, environment and ecotourism experts recommended that the lake be ideal to be transformed into a bird sanctuary. A team of experts, including Bishwanath Oli and Ganeshraj Joshi, recently surveyed the lake and submitted a report.

“Letters have been sent to seek inter-ministerial consensus to declare Lake Jagadishpur a bird sanctuary,” said Narayan Dev Bhattarai, head of the forest management, planning and monitoring division, ministry. of Forests, Environment and Soil Conservation of the province of Lumbini. . “The declaration will promote bird conservation and help develop the wetland for ecotourism.”

The provincial ministry has started the process of declaring the lake a bird sanctuary based on Oli and Joshi’s report, according to Bhattarai.

Chapter 11, Clause 45 of the Lumbini Province Forests Act 2021 provides for the declaration of all native and migratory bird habitat as a bird sanctuary. It is on the basis of this legal provision that the provincial government is preparing to declare the lake a sanctuary.

The divisional forestry office has prepared a five-year plan to develop ecotourism in Lake Jagadishpur. The forestry office has proposed a total budget of Rs 236 million to implement the plan.

The provincial Ministry of Forests, Environment and Soil Conservation has allocated a budget of Rs 2.5 million for the upcoming financial year 2022-23 to promote eco-tourism in the lake. According to Bhattarai, the shortfall will be collected from various organizations working for nature and wildlife conservation as well as stakeholders.

With this declaration, Lake Jagadishpur will be Nepal’s second bird sanctuary. On March 11, the Ghodaghodi wetland in Kailali, a district of Tarai in Sudurpaschim province, was declared the country’s first bird sanctuary.

Jagadishpur Lake was listed as a Ramsar wetland in August 2003. The lake covers an area of ​​157 hectares in wards 9 and 10 of Kapilvastu Municipality and is located about 11 kilometers north of Taulihawa , the seat of the district.

The lake, which was built in 1972-73 for irrigation purposes, has been a major birdwatching destination in the country. According to conservationists, of the 888 bird species found in Nepal, 167 bird species including grebes, cormorants, herons, egrets, storks, ducks and geese, terns and gulls, are found in Lake Jagadishpur. The lake is home to 15,000 to 20,000 migratory birds which arrive from as far away as Siberia, China, Russia, Mongolia, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan to spend the winter.