Conservation and Environment in Nepal: Monthly Updates
Nepal Conservation - Monthly Updates February - March 2014
February and March 2014 have been an incredible two months. It’s still fairly cold at night but during the day the warm sun is a real pleasure. During the past 2 months, we continued our mammal survey in the Dobato area and captured some good pictures of different species. We also discovered a new species in the local area; it was a Small Indian Mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus).
We also did bird watching in different parts of the Ghandruk including the Martin and Swallow survey. As the temperature started to get warm and warm in the day time, the butterfly survey also get started at different locations within close proximity of Ghandruk.
There are seven spots around Ghandruk where we carry out butterfly survey: Lonely Planet, Temple Site, Water Reservoir, Downside of Ghandruk, Little Paradise, Ghatte Khola and Flat Area Direction Transect.
Altogether we found a total amount of 15 different species of butterflies in which two species were new for our list. The species were Purple Sapphire (Epicies latilimbata) and Gram Blue (Euchrysops cnejus). We expect many more species to appear during the monsoon time in the upcoming months.
Nursery Project Status
We successfully went on with the nursery project by digging the ground and putting a roof on the Greenhouse in order to plant the trees for the villagers, such as timber trees, forage plants and possibly fruit trees. The villagers will use the trees as fodder for their domestic animals. Only the leaves will be used. Other tree species are used for their day to day activities, or to give a new source of food and income (fruit trees). New trees are also very important for the environment, for they reduce erosion and stabilize soil. Beyond that, there exist species which have been overused by the villagers and have become therefore rare in this area.
Furthermore we tried to be an example to the local people in Ghandruk as we used empty bottles to build a wall for the storage room in the Greenhouse.
Anti-poaching patrolling was done in February. Volunteers of Projects Abroad were really excited to go for Anti-poaching patrolling. We went to the forest, right side of the Meshram Temple. We found seven illegal traps placed by the poachers and destroyed them. These traps were targeted to catch specially Kalij Pheasant and sometimes partridges. When the bird is captured in the trap, they kill them either for meat for themselves or sale for the sake of money.
According to local villagers, in past few years, number of Kalij Pheasant and Partridges has declined rapidly. Before, they used to see Kalij Pheasant easily but now it is very difficult to see them.
Camera Trap Survey
The camera trap survey was conducted outside of the village. We went for a long field trip to Dobato for three days .Those camera traps placed were taken out after 22 days. We have kept our camera traps above the tree line during this period due to the time of year. Our mission was to capture leopards, and other cat species and the Himalayan Black Bear. But there was a disturbance of cattle’s such as buffalo and yak and buffalo herders but in spite of disturbance, mammals such as Common Ghoral and birds such as Himalayan Monal , Alpine Accentor were caught in our camera Traps.
We saw a small Indian mongoose which is new species for our list. This species was seen in Ghandruk Village.
From March, we have started bee survey project. Wild Bee hive survey was done in Landruk Village. Numbers of wild bee hives were counted. Interviews with bee farmers were also taken in order to get information of which species, how much honey per hive, number of bees are declining or increasing, bee diseases etc. Since, this project just started; we will only have data in upcoming months.
In order to make our volunteers engaged with the local people in the village and to make the people aware about the problem of garbage lying around the village, the garbage management campaign was started with volunteers going in different sections of the village to make them aware of the garbage and worked together with the villagers to clean the village. The volunteers enjoyed working together with the villagers and the villagers appreciated our volunteers for their help in keeping the village clean.
We have 12 different spots where we carry out our bird survey. Out of them we did birds survey in three spots: Way to Little Paradise, Ghandruk Village and Flat Rock Path.