Avifaunal survey and vegetation analysis at Ghodaghodi Lake of Nepal: Focus on threatened and near-threatened species (2005)

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Avifaunal survey and vegetation analysis was carried out in January - February 2005 and September - October 2005 focusing on threatened and near-threatened species in Ghodaghodi Lake of Nepal. Ghodaghodi Lake (150 ha) is one of the 14 lakes of Ghodaghodi Lake Complex (2563 ha) – a Ramsar Site of Nepal. The main objective of the research was to count the population of six threatened and near-threatened bird species found in the lake area in two seasons – summer and winter. Direct field observation, key informants' survey, literature review and photography were the major tools used for data collection. Of the 193 wetland-dependent birds found in Nepal, Ghodaghodi Lake is inhabited by 60 (38 percent). Six species are of threatened and endangered status including two critical, three near-threatened and one vulnerable species. Oriental Darter was the most numerous near-threatened species and Indian Spotted Eagle was the least. Numbers of all species were higher in the winter. A total of 35 species of plants (trees, shrubs and herbs) were recorded at terrestrial forest. Sal (Shorea robusta) and Asna or Saj (Terminalia alata) were the dominant species all over the terrestrial forest around the lake. A total of 22 species of aquatic vegetation (submerged, floating and emergent) were identified from different wetland habitat types of Ghodaghodi Lake Area. Adjacent wet grassland formed a rich habitat comprising sedges (Cyperus distans, C. esculentus, C. imbricatus), Reed (Phragmites karka), and grasses Alpinia nigra, Chrysopogon aciculatus, Cynodon dactylon, Imperata cylindrica, and herbs such as Desmodium triflorum, Dichanthium annulatum, Digitaria sp., Centella asiatica. The main threats to birds and wetland ecosystem were human disturbance, high grazing pressure, poaching, hunting and illegal forest products extraction, encroachment, eutrophication, siltation, much dependency of local people on forest and wetland resources, poisoning, reduced inflows into the lake, lack of waste disposal schemes, and pollution, invasive species, introduction of new alien species and drainage of water for irrigation and dredging. Conservation education programme on wetland conservation for birds among indigenous Tharu community and school children are highly recommended. Besides this, avifaunal survey on remaining 13 lakes and terrestrial forest land is highly recommended to have actual estimation of population of threatened and near-threatened bird species representative of whole Ghodaghodi Lake Complex (2563 ha).
Language: English
Imprint: Oriental Bird Club (OBC), United Kingdom. 2005
Series: Report,