Drought threatens wildlife in Chitwan National Park as water sources dry up « Khabarhub
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Drought threatens wildlife in Chitwan National Park as water sources dry up


19 May 2024  

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CHITWAN: The wildlife in Chitwan National Park (CNP) is facing severe challenges as water sources dry up due to an ongoing drought.

CNP Information Officer Ganesh Prasad Tiwari reported that the water levels in the park’s 134 lakes and ponds are receding rapidly, creating difficulties for the animals.

According to Tiwari, the levels of water in wetlands, rivers, streams, and both natural and man-made water bodies inside the park have significantly decreased compared to the same period last year.

Chief Conservation Officer Dil Bahadur Purja Pun confirmed that the lack of precipitation has led to this drastic reduction in water levels.

The hot sun has caused high evaporation rates, further exacerbating the problem.

“It is estimated that the water levels have dropped compared to the last few years due to less rainfall during the winter. This situation directly impacts the wild animals,” he added.

The rare one-horned rhino, in particular, relies on ponds to wallow during the summer.

Other animals also desperately need water, but the old ponds and wetlands have not been adequately maintained to meet these needs.

The CNP Office has faced significant challenges in managing and cleaning water sources due to a lack of funds.

In the fiscal year 2075/76 BS, Rs 14.5 million was allocated for managing water sources in the park, which allowed for the maintenance of 60 ponds.

However, this funding has been reduced to just Rs 2.5 million in the current fiscal year 2080/81, which is insufficient for necessary cleaning and management efforts.

Due to the limited funds, only seven ponds have been managed this year.

This shortfall increases the risk of human-wildlife conflict, as animals may stray into human settlements in search of water.

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Publish Date : 19 May 2024 18:49 PM

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