Survey of Ghodaghodi Lake Complex for Cotton Pygmy Goose Nettapus coromandelianus and Marsh Mugger Crocodylus palustris
Keywords:Cotton Pygmy Goose, Marsh Mugger, Ghodaghodi Lake
Ghodaghodi lake complex is a Ramsar Site and also an important bird area. It forms an important wildlife corridor between terai and Siwaliks and between the two protected areas of the western lowland Nepal, Bardia National Park and Sukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve. A variety of wildlife has been recorded in the area including 140 species of birds, 34 species of mammals, 9 species of herpetofauna, 29 species of fish and several varieties of plant species. Past data shows that the site had 1% south Asian population of Cotton Pygmy Goose Nettapus coromandelianus and presence of Marsh Mugger Crocodylus palustris. Current survey targeted to these two indicator species has shown that Cotton Pygmy Goose has declined by 70% and Marsh Muggers with no clear trend of decline or increase. Hunting and disturbance, encroachment, habitat alteration are identified as major threats to the area. Recommendations are made for habitat management, education and awareness, scientific and participatory monitoring of lake biodiversity with birds and crocodiles as the indicator species, strengthening and capacity building of local CBOs, formation of district level coordination body and to provide a special category status for the GLA.