Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve is situated in the southern part of Far-Western Nepal in Kanchanpur District. It has been listed as an important bird area and a number of bird studies have been conducted here. It is Predominant with sal associated with asna, simal, karma, khair and sissoo which are found along the riverside.
The reserve provides prime habitat for swamp deer. An estimated population of 2,000 to 2,500 of this species is found in the reserve. Other wild animals in the reserve are the wild elephant, tiger, hispid hare, blue bull, leopard, chital, hog deer, and the wild boar. A globally threatened bird species have been recorded in the reserve. Many grassland birds along with the rare Bengal florican can be seen in the phantas. Marsh mugger, Indian python, monitor lizard and snakes like cobra, krait, and rat snakes are recorded in the reserve.
Thus, One of Nepal’s well known district of far west gateway of Nepal is best known for most accessible Wildlife Reserve having large Swamp Deer Herds of Asia, Shuklaphanta wildlife Reserve is invariable associated with the Royal Bengal Tiger and the great One-horned Rhinoceros both endangered species.
The main objectives of the Suklaphanta Conservation Area are as follows:
• To safeguard endangered wildlife species and their habitats in and around Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve; and
• To improve the livelihood of marginalized communities around the Reserve.
• To monitor and conduct research on the natural resources of the Reserve.
First of all I went through the entire task assigned. I read those assignments thoroughly around 3-4 times and make up my mind how to start. Then I read all pdf files and powerpoint slide given by my professor, Mr.Amulya Ratna Tuladhar and I read all of Ukesh Bhuju Biodiversity Resource Book. I searched on google the scholoraly articles and the policies adopted my nepal for conservation. I read in detail article on “The Birds of Sukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve, Nepal” by H.S. Baral and C. Inskipp. I went through DPNPWC website and searched in google earth and dounloded some pictures and collected some maps from Survey Department, Minbhawan ,Kathmandu.
Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve which is habitat of many grassland birds, several of which are globally threatened. The total of 15 globally threatened and 13 near-threatened bird species occur in Sukla Phanta. Some of the bird species reach their world limit of distribution at Sukla Phanta. Of all the hab itats found in Sukla Phanta, grassland is the most important and it is urgent for the Conservation and management of grasslands that are sympathetic to bird populations at Sukla Phanta.The main grass species of the phantas are Imperate cylindrica and Saccharum heteropogon, that are also used extensively by the local people for thatching.
Topographical Map of Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve
Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve lies in 28 °53’North Latitude and 80° 11’ East longititude ,in the southeast of the terai in Kanchanpur District. It is one of Nepal’s smaller protected area andranges in altitude from 150m to 600m (WWF Nepal, 2000). Google Earth Image
The reserve was a famous hunting area for many years and was declared as a Royal Hunting Reserve in 1969 with an area of about 155km2. The reserve was gazette as the Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve only in 1976. Later on the reserve was extended eastwards by an area of about 150km2 to create more habitat and a corridor from the Terai into the Churia hills for the seasonal migration of wildlife. Hence, the total area of Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve is 305km2. Sukla Phanta is important both nationally and internationally for its extensive grasslands that constitute almost half the reserve’s vegetation. It was declared as buffer zone (243.5km2) in 2004. A total of 33 bird species that occur in Nepal has been identified as globally threatened with extinction by BirdLife International, Fifteen of these (48% of the total) have been recorded in Sukla Phanta. Sal is the dominant forest type in the reserve with Khair Acacia catechu and Sisso Dalbergia sissoo alongside rivers. The wetlands add significantly to the biodiversity of the reserve. Sukla Phanta has a hot, dry monsoon climate. A number of species typical of western Nepal occurs on the reserve including White-naped Woodpecker Chrysocolaptes festivus, Brown-capped Pygmy Woodpecker Dendrocopos moluccensis, Brown-headed Barbet Megalaima zeylanica, Sarus Crane Grus antigone, Tickell's Blue Flycatcher Cyornis tickelliae, Jungle Prinia Prinia sylvatica and Tawny-bellied Babbler Dumetia hyperythra. The globally threatened species are listed below in the table.
S.N. Globally Species name Threatened status globally
1 Swamp Francolin Francolinus gularis VU
2 Sarus Crane Grus antigone VU
3 Bengal Florican
Houbaropsis bengalensis EN
4 Lesser Florican
Sypheotides indica EN
5 Pallas's Fish Eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus VU
6 Egyptian Vulture
Neophron percnopterus E N
7 White-rumped Vulture
Gyps bengalensis CR
8 Slender-b illed Vulture
Gyps tenuirostris CR
9 Red-headed Vulture
Sarcogyps calvus CR
10 Greater Spotted Eagle
Aquila clanga VU
11 Indian Spotted Eagle
Aquila hastata VU
12 Lesser Kestrel
Falco naumanni VU
13 Lesser Adjutant
Leptoptilos javanicus VU
14 Hodgson's Bushchat
Saxicola insignis VU
15 Bristled Grassbird
Chaetornis striatus VU
16 Jerdon's Babbler
Chrysomma altirostre VU
17 Finn's Weaver
Ploceus megarhynchus VU
18 Yellow-breasted Bunting
Emberiza aureola VU
CR= Critically threatened, EN= Endangered, VU= Vulnerable
Issues and challenges
Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve has been identified as a potential site to conserve one horned rhinoceros. It strives to enhance the capacity of the local people to safeguard endangered wildlife species, mainly the tigers and their habitats and prey base in and around the Reserve along with improving the livelihood of marginalized communities, mainly Janajati and Dalits in the Buffer Zone (BZ) area. The major initiatives undertaken to fulfill objectives are by building capacity of the local communities through promotion of conservation awareness, wildlife-people conflict mitigation, community health services, improvement of local school facilities, rehabilitation program, micro-enterprise development schemes, women development activities, alternative energy schemes, community forestry and promotion of. ecotourism. The human encroachment and poaching activities continue to pose a major problem in wildlife conservation works here. The political instability in the country has caused setbacks in the wildlife conservation works. The reserve, through its proximity to both India and China, seemed to be at the forefront of the war on illegal trade in tiger and wild animal parts that has sadly found a booming market in neighboring China, Southeast Asian countries and beyond. Buffer zone management problem is also the major challenge. Unless people do not see any benefit in the conservation; they will not participate in the conservation work. So to bring conservation and livelihood together, is a major challenge.
Conservation Trend and policies in Nepal for Wildlife Conservation
The Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal 1990 states that the State shall give priority attention to the conservation of environment and also make special arrangements for the conservation of rare animal species, the forests and the vegetation of the country [Article 26(4)].
• The National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1972
• First Amendment to the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1974
• Second Amendment to the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1982
• Third Amendment to the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1989
• Fourth Amendment to the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1993
• Fifth Amendment to the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act--in process
Protected Areas and Wildlife Conservation Rules
• National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Rules 1974
• Wildlife Reserve Rules 1977
• Buffer Zone Management Rules 1996
• Conservation Area Management Rules 1996
Prohibitory Actions (Penalties and Rewards)
Any person who, in an unlawful manner, kills, injures, purchases, sells or transfers rhinoceros, tiger, elephant, musk deer, clouded leopard, snow leopard or gaur and who keeps, purchases or sells rhinoceros Thorn or musk pods, fur of the snow leopard and trophies of other protected wildlife, shall be punished with a fine ranging between Rs. 50,000 and Rs.100, 000 or with imprisonment for a term of five to fifteen years or with both. Any person who kills or injures other protected wildlife other than those mentioned above shall be punished with a fine ranging between Rs. 40,000 and Rs. 75,000 or with imprisonment for a term of one to ten years or with both. Any person who furnishes information about a poacher who kills or injures rhinoceros, tiger, elephant, musk deer, clouded leopard, snow leopard or gaur that leads an arrest may be rewarded up to Rs. 50,000 in cash. Information on other protected species; the reward is upto Rs. 25,000 in cash.
District Forest Offices play pivotal role to control poaching of protected and other wildlife species outside protected areas. Similarly, Police check posts and Custom Offices are effective and efficient to monitor and control wildlife-related illicit trades. In addition, the support of local residents for conservation of biodiversity cannot be overemphasized.
Although the protected area system of Nepal has expanded to over 18% of the land area of the country, it is still highly less productive. Habitats in the Terai of the country are virtually unrepresented .As the country moves towards, conservation policies needs to be modified. There is also a need for implementing both national and international conservation law and adopting social and biological monitoring programmes in and around protected areas. There should also be many research conducted in these areas.
There should also be sustaining political leadership. The frequent change in government and political instability also hinder the conservation policy of Nepal.
So, There should be community participation and people themselves have to be aware of their natural resources and should provide ownership to them in some limit. Only blaming the government cannot work so initiation should be started from individual person. As we all know Nepal is developing country and people are not able to fulfill their daily basic needs so they should first be helped to fulfill their basic needs then only they can think about conservation and protection and finally sustainable development.
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