KATHMANDU, Nepal – In 1999, the government had listed 133 species of birds in the threatened list. The number in 2004 increased to 143 and to 149 in 2011. The number is estimated nearly 200 this year as a survey study on birds is about to kick off in the country.
The Zoological Society of London, National Trust for Nature Conservation and Himalayan Nature are jointly conducting the survey to find out the number of bird species in the country. The preliminary study suggests as many as 170 species could fall in the threatened list.
And human behavior is the main reason behind continuous downfall in the numbers of birds, experts and environmentalists say.
They opined that increasing loss of habitat due to deforestation, use of chemical fertilizers and human encroachment has caused the decline in the number of country’s bird population over the years.
According to Bird Conservation Nepal, nearly 84 percent of the threatened bird species had reached the endangered state solely due to habitat loss.
Random use of underground water, unmanaged drainage system and unchecked sand excavation are causing degradation of bird habitat in most parts of the country. In wetland areas, growth of invasive plants like water hyacinth, use of toxic chemicals while fishing and water pollution are considered the major threats to bird habitat, said the BCN.