Ghodaghodi Wetland located in Kailali district of Sudurpaschim Province has been declared the first Bird Sanctuary Area of Nepal on Friday.
The Ghodaghodi wetland listed in the World Ramsar Area is home to 360 species of water and terrestrial birds.
Among them, 12 species of birds including Kale Tauke Hans (Common Pochard), Raj Dhanesh (Great Hornbill), Rajlahanche (Great Slaty Woodpecker), Bhudifor Garud (Lesser Adjutant), Sunaulo Top Chara (Finn’s Weaver), Gheghri Ghanse Fisto (Grey-breasted Prinia) and Laghu Mahachil (Indian Spotted Eagle) are considered as rare in the world. There are 64 species of waterfowl in the wetland.
Ghodaghodi has been declared a bird sanctuary with a view to conserving the birds found there and thereby promoting tourism. The sanctuary area is a designated area where birds can feed and breed in a fearless environment and are well protected.
Ghodaghodi wetland spreads in an area of 10,570 hectares. However, the Ghodaghodi Bird Sanctuary has been created covering an area of more than 6,000 hectares where Ghodaghodi Lake is also included. There are 24 lakes including Ghodaghodi in the wetland area.
Earlier, the 13th Municipal Council of Ghodaghodi Municipality had unanimously passed a decision to declare the Ghodaghodi area a Bird Sanctuary. According to the same decision, Ghodaghodi was declared the first Bird Sanctuary on Sunday.
Announcing Ghodaghodi as Nepal’s first Bird Sanctuary, Sudurpaschim Province Chief Minister Trilochan Bhatta said that Ghodaghodi is an important tourist destination of the region.
“Birds are migrating here from many places and this is very important for all of us, which can also help bring thousands of tourists to the area. The Province government has been making efforts for that,” he said.
As Ghodaghodi Lake is historic in itself, it is important for everyone to pay attention to preserve its religious and natural historicity, said CM Bhatta.
He further added that declaring a bird sanctuary alone could not be enough, it was equally necessary to work for systematic conservation to attract tourists from home and abroad. The Province government is constructing infrastructure to attract tourists to the area.
He said that the responsibility of conservation lies on the people even though the local and provincial governments have declared Ghodaghodi a Bird Sanctuary. According to CM Bhatta, if there is protection, everyone can benefit from the tourism business.
Minister for Industry, Tourism, Forests and Environment Man Bahadur Dhami, Chairman of Natural Resources Economic Development and Natural Resources Committee Harka Bahadur Kunwar, province Assembly Member Bharat Bahadur Khadka, and representatives of the organisations working in the field of conservation were present at the programme.
Meanwhile, prizes have been provided to the winners of the Ghodaghodi Bird Photography Competition.
Photographers Sugam Tamrakar, Bhumi Datta Tiwari, and Drishtant Bidari won the first, second, and third prizes respectively in the competition. They received the prize of Rs. 30,000, Rs. 20,000 and Rs. 10,000 respectively.