Rare cheer bird graces Rara National Park

File photo of Cheer
File photo of Cheer

A bird belonging to the rarest species in the world has been spotted inside the Rara National Park in Karnali zone.

A bird of Cheer species (Pheasant Catreus wallichi) which is found only in Nepal, India and Pakistan was identified in the Rara National Park, which is famous for conserving the unique flora and fauna in Himalayan region. Nearly three dozens cheers are roaming inside the park for the first time, an official at the park informed.

Nepal is a home to 272 species of birds, 51 species of mammals and 1,024 varieties of plants.

Established in 1976, the park is a protected area in the Himalayas of Nepal. Spread in 106 square kilometer, the park is home to many endangered birds, mammals and herbal plants. Rara Lake situated at an altitude of 2,990 meter is the key feature of the park. The Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) has managed the park.

Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, Annapurna Conservation Area and Api-Nampa Conservation Area are the home to Cheer birds in Nepal. Normally, this species of bird is found in rocky terrain dominated by scrub, tall grass and scattered clumps of trees, most frequently from 1,445-3,050 m, but occasionally down to 950 m at least.

Having been widely shot for sport in the early 20th century, Cheer is still hunted for food and trade, and its eggs are gathered for local consumption at rural areas in Nepal.

Cheer birds roam in the western Himalayas from north Pakistan, through Kashmir into Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, India, and east to central Nepal, according to Bird Life International 2001.

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