Kathmandu: Nepal has a far greater possibility of bird tourism and a large number of tourists can be attracted to it according to chairman of Bird Conservation Nepal (BCN) Rajendra Gurung.
Gurung has been engaged in the bird tourism for the last two decades as a guide and tourism entrepreneur. He was always attracted to birds since his childhood. He used to get excited to see birds eating and flying.
He was drawn towards birds after seeing the interest of his guided tourists in birds. He had to learn all about birds as he could not say to the bird interested tourists that he knew nothing about the birds.
According to Gurung’s experience the geographical diversity of Himal and terai has also affected diversity of birds which makes it possible to see a good variety of birds in a few days as compared to other countries.
Gurung says since Nepal has more than 888 species of birds and 42 rare species of birds there is high possibility of bird tourism in Nepal.
Half of the birds can be seen in a time frame of just 10 or 12 days and one of the world’s endangered bird Spiny Babbler can be seen here.
Nepal’s cultures will be additional attraction for those tourists visiting Nepal for bird tourism. Birds can be seen in Kathmandu valley during winter time and four to five species of vultures can be seen in Pokhara, Lumbini and Chitwan.
Conservation of Vultures in Nepal
Significant are the conservation works related to vultures in Nepal. The government has also worked for the conservation of vultures besides works of other institutions. Many of the endangered vultures of the world can be seen in Nepal in various places such as Pokhara, Chitwan, Lumbini etc. Vultures are also seen on high altitudes while traveling with the tourists.
Our religious beliefs are also associated with the vultures. In Hindu mythology of Ramayana, a vulture called Jatayu had fought against Rawan who had kidnapped Sita and the dead people in Tibet and Himali area are fed to the vultures as death rituals.
Vultures eat the Caracas which maintains the sanitation of the environment. It is said that one vulture cleans worth 11000 dollar.
By 1980, there were scanty number of vultures. But in the following years their number has further gone down. Vultures fall in the list of endangered creatures at national and international level.
According to Gurung, his association is running seven Jatayu restaurants which are located in tourist areas of Pokhara, Chitwan and Lumbini. The animals of less utility are kept there and fed to the vultures after their deaths.
The people or tourists can watch the vultures very closely while entering these restaurants which is not possible in other countries.
Briefing centers are being run for the conservation of the vultures besides running advocacy and awareness programs in schools said Gurung.
“For the first time in the world, we have left vultures in the natural habitat with radio transmitter attached to their bodies which can tell us how far they travel and all about their behaviors,” added Gurung.
“Since 2009, awareness programs are being held on the first Saturday of September. However, this time we are confined to virtual program due to Coronavirus crisis,” said Gurung.
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