- HB Kham
The tiny nation of Nepal which is likely to emerge as a middle-income-oriented country in the upcoming years is gradually turning into a cherished tourist destination for avid bird watchers.
This is so for the simple reasons and logic that over 886 bird species can be found in this country which can be watched by avid bird lovers or an ornithologist.
The mid-hills of Nepal is where one comes to get a glimpse of the Spiny babbler (Turdoides nipalensis), a bird species found only in Nepal and not anywhere else for the avid bird watchers.
Nepal is a paradise for birds. Around eight percent of the total foreign tourists who visit Nepal come to Nepal to watch the various species.
Himalayan Monal, Cheer Pheasant, Satyr Tragopan, Bengal Florican, Lesser Florican, Great Hornbill, Sarus Crane, Black Stork, and White Stork are the protected birds of Nepal.
It is also believed that Nepal has a huge potential in bird watching tourism as birds in Nepal could be close to 900 according to the ornithologists.
However, it is said since the Nepal government does not have a clear conservation policy in this connection, it has been difficult in protecting the threatened birds.
Notwithstanding the prevailing adverse circumstances in the preservation of birds, the existing national parks and protected areas have started awareness drives, mainly in the buffer zones, to educate locals about the importance of bird conservation.
Presently, Nepal has a total of 12 national parks and wild reserves, and six conservation areas. These parks are best for avid bird watchers to see birds. For example, Chitwan National Park, Koshi Tappu, Bardiya National Park, Shuklaphanta National Park, Surrounding hills of Kathmandu Valley.
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