Captive-reared vultures freed in Nepal


This video says about itself:

Vulture Release Nepal, Krishna Bhusal. On the 9th of November this year Bird Conservation Nepal, working as part of the SAVE (Saving Asia’s Vultures from Extinction) consortium, released six captive-reared white-rumped vultures

they can be recognised by the yellow plastic tags on their wings

into the wild, in a conservation first for South Asia.

Read more here.

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Vulture recovery in Nepal?


This 2912 video is called Vulture Study Video of Arghakhanchi, Nepal. By Krishna Prasad Bhusal and Hemanta Dhakal.

From BirdLife:

8 Nov 2017

Captive-reared Critically Endangered vultures soon to be released in Nepal

Conservationists are making great progress in removing vulture-killing drug diclofenac from Nepal, with vulture populations stabilising as a result. Now, in this safer environment, it’s almost time for six captive-reared White-rumped Vultures to venture out into the wild.

By Shaun Hurrell

South Asian vultures have famously suffered devastating population declines in recent decades. For example, 99.9% of White-rumped Vultures Gyps bengalensis were wiped out between 1992 and 2007. This was due to the use of diclofenac: an anti-inflammatory drug given to reduce pain in livestock, but deadly to vultures that subsequently feed on their carcasses. A ban on veterinary diclofenac in India, Nepal and Pakistan in 2006 and Bangladesh in 2010 has allowed vulture populations to stabilise and possibly start to recover in some areas.

However, five of South Asia’s nine vulture species remain Endangered or Critically Endangered; the misuse of human diclofenac to treat livestock, as well as the use of other vulture-toxic veterinary drugs, continues to threaten some South Asian vulture populations with extinction. BirdLife Partners are changing that, through a combination of advocacy, legislation and education.

Bird Conservation Nepal (BCN, BirdLife Partner), with the support of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB, BirdLife in the UK), have been working hard to rid Nepal of diclofenac. “We started by going around shops in Nawalparasi district, buying pharmacists out of large bottles of diclofenac, whilst offering the safe alternative (meloxicam) and raising awareness of the vulture declines”, said Krishna Bhusal, Vulture Conservation Programme Manager, BCN. “Now this district is completely diclofenac-free.”

District by district, from pharmacists’ distributors to farmer’s son, the campaign is on-going, but nearly complete. The aim: a huge multi-district Vulture Safe Zone.

Meanwhile, White-rumped Vultures have been kept in captivity as an insurance population since 2008. Now, with a safer landscape to roam in, BCN and RSPB are gearing up for the first ever release of captive vultures in South Asia.

Six captive-reared vultures fitted with satellite transmitters are currently exercising their wings in a pre-release aviary near Chitwan National Park, socialising through the wire with wild vultures that are fed at one of the programme’s Vulture Safe Feeding Sites. Later this year, the door will be left open in what will be a huge milestone for the species’ recovery in Nepal.

Nepalese birds, new book


This video says about itself:

NEPAL – PART 1: THE BIRDS OF POKHARA

BLUE-THROATED BARBET (Megalaima asiatica), RED VENTED BULBUL (Pycnonotus cafer), ORIENTAL WHITE-EYE (Zosterops palpebrosus) and others.

From BirdLife:

National Red List book for Nepal’s birds published and online

By Ed Parnell, Wed, 09/03/2016 – 23:09

A new publication that features the first assessment of Nepal’s birdlife based on IUCN Red List criteria was launched recently at an event at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). The six-volume publication is now also freely available online as an invaluable conservation reference.

The Status of Nepal’s Birds: The National Red List Series contains detailed accounts of more than 800 species that regularly occur in the country, as well as maps showing distribution changes since 1990.

The study was led by Carol Inskipp and Hem Sagar Baral, with additional contributions from 10 other authors. There are images provided by 140 photographers, and bird records submitted by many local people. More than 20 Nepalese government departments and NGOs, including Bird Conservation Nepal (BirdLife in Nepal) also contributed to the impressive collaborative effort.

The six-volume, 3000-page book is published by ZSL.

“This study has been undertaken to assess for the first time the national conservation status of Nepal’s birds, and in particular to identify those species that are threatened with extinction in the country. Such an assessment is vital in order to guide conservation activities in the country,” said Richard Grimmett, BirdLife International’s Director of Conservation.

Almost 20% of Nepal’s birds (167 species) could soon be lost from the country, including 37 species that are threatened on a global scale. A further 62 species are near-threatened nationally, and nine species have not been recorded in Nepal since the 19th century.

Lowland grassland specialists are the most threatened group of birds with 55% of species threatened, followed by wetland birds (25%) and tropical and subtropical broad-leaved forest birds (24%).

Of particular note, is the importance of Nepal for the following globally threatened species, which have important populations in the country:

Saudi diplomat accused of raping Nepalese women


This video says about itself:

India Calls In Saudi Ambassador Over Rape Case

10 September 2015

India called in the Saudi Arabia ambassador to seek his cooperation with an investigation into allegations one of his diplomats repeatedly raped two Nepalese women.

While the Saudi royal air force kills Indian sailors, a Saudi royal diplomat in India is accused of crimes as well.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Nepalese maids accuse Saudi diplomat of rape

Thursday 10th September 2015

TWO Nepalese maids have accused a Saudi diplomat of rape and torture while they were working in his home outside the Indian capital New Delhi, Indian police said yesterday.

The women have filed complaints with police alleging that the unnamed diplomat kept them locked in his apartment where they were repeatedly abused, said assistant commissioner Rajesh Kumar.

A police team rescued the women late on Monday after a third recently hired maid alerted a local NGO.

“We have registered a case of rape, sodomy and illegal confinement based on their complaint,” said Mr Kumar.

“They have also said that even guests at the house raped them.

“That is why we have added gang rape to the list of charges.”

Police said they were trying to determine whether the Saudi official had diplomatic immunity before proceeding with their investigation.

One of the women said they had been held for about four months.

Tiger conservation in Nepal


This video says about itself:

2 February 2015

The World Wide Fund for Nature is calling for an end to all poaching in Asia. The organisation is partnering with the Nepalese government where ‘zero-poaching’ initiatives have already saved the lives of many species, including rhinos, tigers and elephants. Al Jazeera’s Subina Shrestha reports from Kathmandu.

From Wildlife Extra:

Good news for tigers as Nepal extends Parsa Wildlife

The Nepali cabinet has approved the proposed extension of the Parsa Wildlife Reserve, situated in the south-central lowland Terai of Nepal next to Chitwan National Park, by 128 km² to take in Bara forests.

This addition of Bara to the Chitwan-Parsa complex adds up to 2500km² of adjoining protected tiger habitat; and it is possible that with this extension of the Parsa Wildlife Reserve, the total landscape has the potential to support more than 40 adult tigers.

The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) has been working to monitor tigers in the Parsa Wildlife Reserve to better understand how to protect them from threats; and for the past year, and have been advocating the inclusion of the Bara forests to the protected area.

Second snow leopard gets collar in Nepal


This video says about itself:

4 June 2015

A second snow leopard was collared in Kangchenjunga by the government of Nepal, supported by WWF, National Trust for Nature Conservation, Kangchenjunga Conservation Area Project, Kangchenjunga Conservation Area Management Council and local citizen scientists, on May 21, 2105.

The 5-year-old male was fitted with a collar that has satellite-GPS technology which will help conservationists track their movement patterns, habitat use and preferences to inform strategies like transboundary efforts to save this elusive species. The snow leopard was named “Omikhangri” after a mountain near the collaring location.

Nepal collared the first snow leopard using satellite-GPS technology in November 2013.

From Wildlife Extra:

Second snow leopard successfully collared in Nepal

A snow leopard has been successfully collared in the shadow of Nepal’s Kangchenjunga, the world’s second highest mountain just a month after the country was hit with a devastating earthquake. This is the second snow leopard to be collared in Nepal since 2013.

The snow leopard, which is an adult male approximately five years of age weighing 41 kg, was and fitted with a GPS-satellite collar and released back into the wild. Data received from the satellite collar will enable conservationists to identify critical habitats for the elusive species, including transboundary links across India and China.

“Nepal is proud to be at the forefront of global scientific efforts to get a better understanding of one of nature’s most elusive species,” stated Tika Ram Adhikari, Director General of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation. “Our ability to repeat the success we had with the first collaring in 2013 during this most difficult period for the country is a testament to the commitment towards conservation of the government as well as the people of Nepal.”

The collaring expedition was led by the Government of Nepal in partnership with WWF, National Trust for Nature Conservation, Kangchenjunga Conservation Area Project, Kangchenjunga Conservation Area Management Council and citizen scientists from the local Snow Leopard Conservation Committee. The latter were especially vital in helping identify snow leopard hotspots and managing local logistics.

“As a science-based conservation organization, WWF was delighted to partner with the government of Nepal on applying new technologies to help us gain a better understanding of snow leopards,” said Anil Manandhar, Country Representative of WWF-Nepal. “We continue to be inspired by our grassroots partners in Kangchenjunga—one of the poorest and least accessible places in Nepal—to save snow leopards and other magnificent species that could easily be lost without their stewardship. This project is a powerful example of what we can make possible together.”

The existing snow leopard conservation projects in Kangchenjunga Conservation Area include snow leopard monitoring using camera traps and prey-base monitoring with the partnership of local citizen scientists and Snow Leopard Conservation Committees, a population genetic study using fecal DNA, and a livestock insurance scheme built at reducing human-snow leopard conflict.

There are an estimated 350-590 snow leopards in Nepal according to 2009 population data on the species.

SNOW LEOPARDS ARE INCREASINGLY ENDANGERED Thanks, climate change. [HuffPost]

Hunters Become Conservationists in the Fight to Protect the Snow Leopard. A pioneering program recruits locals as rangers in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan, where the elusive cat is battling for survival: here.
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Good rhino news from Nepal


This video is called Rhino Attack (Chitwan National Park Nepal 2010).

From Wildlife Extra:

Nepal rhino population increases by more than 100

Nepal’s rhino population in the Terai Arc Landscape has increased 21 per cent over the last fours according to figures released by the Nepali Government.

There are now 645 rhinos there, compared to the 2011 estimate of 534, and numbers are the highest they’ve been since the early 1950s.

The increase in rhino numbers also comes just days after Nepal marked yet another 365-day period without a single rhino being poached – the third time in five years they’ve achieved this zero-poaching feat.

The rhino count was conducted from 11 April–2 May in Chitwan National Park, Parsa Wildlife Reserve, Bardia National Park, Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve and their buffer zones in the Terai Arc Landscape.

It was led by the government’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation and Department of Forests, in collaboration with WWF Nepal and National Trust for Nature Conservation.

The count was done using a sweep operation with 267 official observers, including wildlife biologists, national park technical staff, conservationists, local people and the army – some riding on trained elephants to help traverse the difficult landscape.

In order to estimate numbers, the observers gather unique identifying information from individual rhinos they see, so they can avoid double-counting. This can include the shape and size of horns, folds in the skin on the neck and rump, and other identifying characteristics or marks, for instance on the ears or around the body.

The news come at a difficult time for the country, as it comes to terms with the devastating earthquake that struck the nation on 25 April. WWF colleagues in Nepal have been focusing their time and resources on supporting relief efforts and helping affected communities in the regions where they work.