'State of Nepal's Birds' launched
This weekend 24 September 2011 saw the publication of a major new report on the State of Nepal’s Birds 2010. Produced by Bird Conservation Nepal (BCN; BirdLife in Nepal) and the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, it was officially launched by Parmanand Jha, the Right Honourable Vice President of Nepal, on Saturday at National Conservation Day in Kathmandu.
State of Nepal’s Birds 2010 aims to raise awareness amongst policymakers, the general public and conservation organisations of the plight of Nepal’s birds and the responses needed to help secure their conservation. It shows that, since the last assessment of Nepal’s birds in 2004, the status of the country’s avifauna has deteriorated.
Of 869 bird species, there are now 149 considered nationally threatened, with 61 Critically Endangered, 38 Endangered and 50 Vulnerable according to IUCN’s Red List criteria. One of the most notable changes is that there are 16 more species on the nationally threatened list. “We were alarmed to discover how many species are threatened with extinction in Nepal” said Carol Inskipp, expert ornithologist and lead author of the report.
Unfortunately, around the world natural habitats are being degraded and biodiversity is being lost faster than ever, and Nepal is no exception. As a result, the ‘ecosystem services’ provided by nature—such as wild food, clean water and climate regulation—are being disrupted and diminished, affecting human livelihoods.“Fortunately, the Nepalese government recognises the importance of biodiversity and the benefits it provides” said Mr Parmanand Jha, the Right Honourable Vice President of Nepal. “Successful conservation activities are being carried out across the country, but more needs to be done”.
Nepal already has a protected areas network that covers over 23% of the country, including some newly established areas. However, there are still gaps including 12 Important Bird Areas that are currently unprotected and may require consideration. “We know far more about birds than most other groups of animals or plants. There is no doubt that the state of Nepal's biodiversity, as reflected by its birds, is getting worse. Birds are sounding the alarm: it’s time to listen and scale up our efforts” said Dr Hum Gurung, CEO of BCN.
To download the report and access other State of the nation’s birds reports from around the world please click here [http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/sowb/sonb].
This work was generously supported by the Aage V. Jensen Charity Foundation and the Darwin Initiative.
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