Biodiversity of Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve: a post flood assessment

  • Top B Khatri Conservation and Sustainable Use of Wetlands in Nepal, Babarmahal, Kathmandu
  • Deep Narayan Shah CSUWN
  • Ram Devi Tachamo Shah Hindu Kush Himalayan Benthological Society, Kathmandu
  • Nilamber Mishra Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, West Kusaha, Sunsari
Keywords: biodiversity, critically endangered, human pressure, Koshi breach, stewardship, Wetlands

Abstract

Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve and its associated wetlands including Saptakoshi River are important wetland habitats for the critically endangered Wild Water Buffalos (Bubalus bubalis arnee), Migratory Birds and River Dolphins (Platanista gangetica). Rapid and complete inundation of the Reserve during monsoon and frequent changes in river courses almost every year has been the biggest threat to the existence of wild buffalo (locally known as 'Arna') and other wildlife. The breach of eastern embankment of the Koshi barrage at Kusaha of Sunsari district on 18th August 2008, created havoc for wildlife and their habitats, people’s livelihood and welfare. A study was therefore conducted to ascertain the status of biodiversity within Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve and its Buffer Zone from March to November 2009 to come up with the status of Arna, dolphins, marsh mugger crocodile, Swamp francolin (Simtitra), and vulture population and assess the ecological status of wetlands. Direct count method, transect method, point counts, qualitative samplings, field observation and social survey were carried out to study the biodiversity status. A total of 219 wild water buffalo, 11 dolphins, 5 marsh mugger crocodiles, 52 to 74 Swamp francolin and 517 vultures. The studied wetlands were moderately polluted. Altogether 42 taxa of benthic macro invertebrates were recorded. The results were further compared with a few years of data before the flood occurrence. The current result showed an encouraging population of key species at the Reserve but the threats for conservation still remain challenging.

Key words: biodiversity; critically endangered; human pressure; Koshi breach; stewardship; wetlands

DOI: 10.3126/jowe.v4i0.3734

Journal of Wetlands Ecology, (2010) Vol. 4, pp 69-82

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Author Biography

Deep Narayan Shah, CSUWN

Field Manager, Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, Sunsari

Published
2011-01-07
How to Cite
Khatri, T., Shah, D., Shah, R., & Mishra, N. (2011). Biodiversity of Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve: a post flood assessment. Journal of Wetlands Ecology, 4, 69-82. https://doi.org/10.3126/jowe.v4i0.3734
Section
Research Articles