Rare species of bird sighted at Chitwan National Park

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NARAYANGADH, APR 13 – A new species of bird has been sighted at the Chitwan National Park (CNP) in Chitwan.

A team of conservationists deployed for counting bird nests at CNP discovered the extremely rare species of bird known as ‘ Kashmiri Arjunak ’, which apparently also features on International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s Red List of Threatened Species.

Bird experts, including Bird Education Society (BED)’s chairperson Basu Bidari, ornithologist Tika Giri and other officials of BED have confirmed that the bird that was sighted at CNP was indeed ‘ Kashmiri Arjunak ’.

The bird was sighted by Sukaram Mahato, who was deployed for the bird nest count in Sauraha village, the eastern gateway to CNP. The bird was last sighted in Thori, Parsa some 15 years ago.  According to Bidari, during the spring season this species of bird travel southwards from an altitude of 2,100 metres (where it is normally found) in order to hatch their eggs.

Meanwhile, Bidari said that the bird nest count, including awareness campaign for conservation of various bird species will last for a week. The programme was initiated on the joint effort of CNP, various community forests in Chitwan and BED.

“Various species of birds native to Chitwan can be found near the lakes inside the Park and a number of ‘other bird species migrate to this area from other parts of the world to hatch their eggs. Our team will study them very closely during the week-long campaign,” Bidari said. Stating that bird watchers had recorded 127 different species of birds during the previous bird count at CNP, bird experts claimed that they expected a rise in this figure this time around.

An estimated Rs 100,000 is being spent for the bird count alone and the CNP has allowed BED to hire its jeep at minimal cost for the purpose. A 12-member team has been deployed for bird watching and counting.

Meanwhile, as most of the bird watchers from BED are also ‘bird guides’ by profession, they said that the week-long bird counting and conservation campaign would greatly facilitate their work.