THE HIMALAYAN TIMES
BHAKTAPUR: Minister for Environment, Science and Technology Keshav Man Shakya has said the growing deforestation has caused landslides and floods with the loss of life and properties.
Inaugurating a tree plantation programme on the premises of the Bishnubir Temple and Kunda of the Madhyapur Thimi Municipality on Saturday, Minister Shakya said the reality of ‘green forest wealth of Nepal’ has turned into myth now.
If we don’t continue tree plantation, we will see more calamities in future, he warned. Minister Shakya pointed out the need of launching ‘one person one tree’ campaign to restore greenery in the country.
As many 200 tree saplings of various species were planted as per the programme organised by the Balkumari and Bishnu Bir Community Forest Users’ Group.
THE HIMALAYAN TIMES
SAPTARI: The rare wild male buffalo found only in the Kosi Tappu Wildlife Reserve here is facing threat of extinction.
This situation has arisen due to the negligence of the Reserve administration and the army unit deployed for guarding the reserve.
As per a census conducted in 2004 by the Reserve administration, the number of male wild buffaloes in the reserve was 54. However, the latest count up of buffalo is only 34.
Warden Ashok Ram said although the overall wild buffalo population has increased, the number of the male of the species has decreased.
Dwindling number of male wild buffaloes is a matter of concern for the wildlife conservationists as the male of the species has vital role in improving the genetic strain and the population of the species.
HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
ITAHARI: Forest staffers are cooking up a story to give clean chit to forest users’ committee members who were involved in deforestation at Ramdhuni Community Forest located in Mahendranagar of Sunsari.
More than 35 trees were felled in the forest over the past six months under the leadership of acting Chairman Bikram Subba and Secretary Bhim Rai of the users committee.
A team of Bhola Yadav, chief, Mahendranagara Area Forest Office, was tasked with probing into the case. However, the team has been trying to dismiss the case
by making time delay in
Interestingly, the team has recently prepared a report claiming that the trees had fallen naturally.
The team had reached the incident site a few days ago and prepared a report after evidences of deforestation were destroyed.
KATHMANDU: Police have nabbed a man on the charge of illegally smuggling an endangered species of herbs called Panchaule (Dactylorhiza hatagirea) from Nagdhunga, gateway of the Capital Kathmandu on Sunday evening.
According to police, the police check post at Naghhunga took control of Tsewang Tsering Lama (40) of Gorkha district as he was found to have smuggled the endangered herbs hidden in white sacks on the roof of a bus heading to Kathmandu from Bhairahawa. Further investigation into the case is underway, said police.
Panchaunle, the traditional medicinal herb of orchid species, can widely be found in western hills of Nepal at an altitude of above 2,800 m in cooler climates.
The roots of this orchid are believed to have aphrodisiac properties as homeopathic medicine.
The precious and endangered orchid herb was featured in commemorative stamps declared on December 28, 2000.
Kailali, July 6: An indigenous species of dolphins found in the big rivers in Kailali district is on the verge of extinction due to natural and human causes.
The natural cause for the dwindling dolphin population is because of the gradual decrease in the water surface in the rivers due to sand deposition and erosion and excessive floods in the monsoon.
The number of dolphins seen in their hundreds in the four major rivers that flow through the district has decreased and only a few of them are seen these days after the start of the monsoon, said Bhojraj Shrestha, who is involved in dolphin conservation.
Dolphins are found in Kanda, Patharaiya, Kandra and Mohana rivers. According to Shrestha, the 22-kolometre stretch west of Bardawaghat to Himmatpur area is the major habitat for dolphins.
Deep Bahadur Singh, a local of Bhajano-4 said dolphins can be seen in the rivers in the rainy season when the water surface in the rivers increases.
However, the number of dolphins has been dwindling each year as people use pesticides to kill fish, the water flow in the rivers recedes due to the sand deposition and other such human activities.
Wildlife conservationists say though local level efforts have been initiated for conserving this rare species of dolphins, it is not enough and it is high time the government augments local efforts to save the dolphins that are under threat.
Balrampur (Uttar Pradesh) : Four poachers, including three from Nepal, have been arrested in Uttar Pradesh along with Sand Boa snakes, an endangered species, an official said Wednesday.
The four men were nabbed by the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) late Tuesday after they were found moving suspiciously near Sohelwa forest range.
Two live Sand Boa snakes were recovered from their vehicle, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) V.P. Singh told reporters in Balrampur, some 300 km from Lucknow.
“The four were arrested while on their way to Nepal. They had caught the snakes from the forest in Lakhimpur Kheri district,” he added.
According to officials, Sand Boa snakes fetch very high price in international markets as they are used in preparation of some medicines.
Smuggling and trading Sand Boas is an offence under the Wild Life Preservation Act (WPA).
THE HIMALAYAN TIMES
ILAM: The government recently launched a 10-year strategy to save endangered vulture species, but habitat loss owing to human encroachment and deforestation is taking its toll on vulture population found in bordering areas in Ilam district.
Till four years ago vultures can be spotted in large numbers in bordering Nepali forests at Jirme, Jamuna and Mabu. The opposite is the case now, said a local resident, Pasang Temba Sherpa.
According to Nepal Bird Conservation Association (NBCA), since Simal trees, which are favourite living places of vultures, are being felled massively, the vulture population is dwindling sharply. Human encroachment is leading to habitat loss of vultures, said Mitra Pandey of NBCA.
Human encroachment and deforestation is blamed for the fall in vulture population in Ilam, whereas anti-inflammatory drug called Diclofenac, used on livestock, is the leading cause of the same in other parts of Nepal.
MY REPUBLICA.COM – NEPAL
DADELDHURA, May 18: Animal scientists have warned that buffaloes will be extinct in the far western hills within five years if the current trend of export of buffaloes to India was not immediately halted.
Animal scientists issued the alarm at a review meeting organized by Regional Animal Services Directorate in Dadeldhura.
Chief of Community Livestock Services Project Dr Rebatiman Shrestha said many buffaloes were being exported daily to a food company in Bareli of India after the company offered a higher price for the buffaloes.
Animal scientists said around 27,000 buffaloes were exported to India via several points in the far west within the past 1.5 years.
Chief of Dadeldhura Livestock Services Office Dr Pan Singh Thagunna said the price of buffalo has drastically gone up of late. He said a buffalo used to cost Rs 10-15 thousand until a few years ago, but the price has gone up to Rs 30-50 thousand in recent days.
He added that farmers have been selling their buffaloes for immediate benefit without thinking about the long-term impact it could have on the country.
Many agents are found roaming in every nook and cranny of the region bargaining for the price, buying the buffaloes from the farmers and taking them to India.
Thagunna said the food company in Bareli exports fresh and dry meat of buffaloes to the Gulf countries.
Due to the lack of buffaloes, Dadeldhura has already started feeling the heat of the shortage of milk and milk products. The district used to witness highest export of ghee to India in the past. However, the ghee export from Dadeldhura is nil nowadays.
Large number of buffaloes is being exported to India from other districts as well, raising the fears of animal scientists of an immediate extinction of the domestic animal.
SANKHUWASABHA, April 26: The rare herb called Tetracentron, which is known as Jharikote (Scientific name: Tetracentron sinense) and is available in only a few forests in Sankhuwasabha, is on the verge of extinction due to deforestation.
The hilly herb is found in limited number in only a few forests in Kimathanka and Chepuwa along the Nepal-China border at an altitude of 2,150 to 3,000 metres.
The clearing of forests and shifting cultivation for agriculture has put the herb listed as an endangered species by CITES. There are 12 plant species that are found in Nepal on the CITES list of endangered species. Among the 12 species, Bhote Chhamp, Sunakhari, Sarpagandha, Gunsi, Caser, Lauthsalla, tree fern, Bhyakur, Kabal and Jharikote are on the verge of extinction.
Jharikote is not found in other parts of the world. People in the villages practice shifting cultivation whereby they leave a land fallow for two years after harvesting a crop like millet, barley and maize and return to cultivate the land after the gap by clearing the shrubs grown during the gap