Nepal nature

Articles in ‘Nepal nature’

Parahawking in Nepal

October 30th, 2009 With breathtaking views of the Himalayas, you can soar alongside Egyptian Vultures and Black Kites who will approach to take food out of your hand.  They are specially trained rescue birds who can’t be returned to the wild.  Among them is Kevin the young Egyptian Vulture, famous for his scrapes with Steppe Eagles.  The ultimate aim of the venture is to draw attention to the serious decline of Asian vultures, being poisoned to extinction by vet-prescribed drug Diclofenac.   Visit www.parahawking.com for more information, as well as www.himalayanraptorrescue.org

Himalayas threatened

August 10th, 2009

350 new species have been found in the Eastern Himalayas in the last 10 years according to a new report (Where Worlds Collide) by WWF, highlighting the need to protect further this still huge but ever shrinking wilderness. New species are being discovered at a rate of 35 a year including the miniature muntjac (Muntiacus putaoensis), also known as the leaf deer, the smallest species of deer in the world, and the Arunachal macaque (Macaca munzala above photo by Anindya Sinha) – the first monkey to be found since 1903. Threats to the Eastern Himalayas, divided between Nepal, Bhutan and parts of China, India, Bangladesh and Burma, include illegal logging, demand for land, poaching, pollution and climate change.

Mark Wright of the WWF notes:

“In the Eastern Himalayas we have a region of extraordinary beauty and with some of the most biologically rich areas on the planet. Ironically, it is also one of the regions most at risk from climate change, as evidenced by the rapid retreat of the glaciers, and only time will tell how well species will be able to adapt – if at all.”

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Tiger and snow leopard numbers fall in Nepal

July 27th, 2009 The latest census on tigers and snow leopards in Nepal shows a fall in the numbers of both species. The tiger population has declined, albeit slightly, from 123 in 2003 to 121. Snow leopards have fallen to between 300 and 400, while previously their number was estimated at between 400 and 500. Snow leopard network Update: See also Science Daily (better analysis of story) 121 Breeding Tigers Estimated To Be Found In Nepal “The first ever overall nation-wide estimate of the tiger population brought a positive ray of hope among conservationists. The figures… show the presence of 121 (100 – 194) breeding tigers in the wild within the four protected areas of Nepal.” “”Tiger numbers have increased in Chitwan but decreased in Bardia and Shuklaphanta,” said Mr. Anil Manandhar, Country Representative, WWF Nepal. “In spite of the decade long insurgency, encroachment, poaching and illegal trade, the present numbers is a positive sign, but we can’t remain unworried. The declining numbers in western Nepal has posed more challenges, needing a concerted effort to save this charismatic endangered species focusing on anti-poaching and illegal wildlife trade.” See also: Snow leopard holidays

Rhino poaching rife

July 26th, 2009 Rhino poaching in both in Africa and Asia has risen to a 15-year-high driven by Asian demand for horns, according to new research. An estimated two to three animals are being killed a week in some areas. “An estimated three rhinos were illegally killed each month in all of Africa from 2000-05, out of a population of around 18,000. In contrast, 12 rhinoceroses now are being poached each month in South Africa and Zimbabwe alone, the three groups told the 58th meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Standing Committee this week in Geneva.” The problem is not restricted to Africa “About 10 rhinos have been poached in India and at least seven in Nepal since January alone” Science Daily See also

Nepal’s dolphins critically endangered

July 26th, 2009 As few as six freshwater Ganges dolphins remain in the Karnali River in Nepal. Just 30 years ago, the river was home to approximately one hundred. The reason lies in water development projects,  hunting dolphins, pollution and overfishing. Ecoworldly

Trivia about Everest

July 22nd, 2009
  • Everest has several other names: Sagarmatha (Nepali), Chomolungma or Qomolangma (Tibetan) or Zhumulangma (Chinese)
  • In 1865, Everest was given its official English name by the Royal Geographical Society. The mountain was named after George Everest. He thought a Tibetan or Nepalese name would have been more appropriate.
  • In 1852, Radhanath Sikdar, an Indian mathematician and surveyor, was the first to identify Everest as the world’s highest peak.
  • The first attempt to climb Everest was in 1922 by the British Mount Everest Expedition
  • As of the end of the 2008 climbing season, there had been 4,102 ascents to the summit by about 2,700 individuals in the history of the mountain.
  • As of the end of the 2008 climbing season, Everest has claimed 210 lives, including eight who perished during a 1996 storm high on the mountain. Because of the severe conditions on the mountain, most corpses have been left where they fell.
  • Climbing Everest is a significant source of revenue for Nepal, whose government also requires all prospective climbers to obtain an expensive permit, costing up to US$25,000 per person
  • A tiny black jumping spider, (Euophrys omnisuperstes) has been found at elevations as high as 6,700 metres (22,000 ft), possibly making it the highest confirmed non-microscopic permanent resident on Earth. These spiders live in crevices and probably feed on frozen insects that have been blown there by the wind.
  • Birds on Everest are few. Bar-headed geese fly at the higher altitudes of the mountain as they migrate (see How do they survive in such conditions?) while others such as the chough have been spotted as high as the South Col (7,920 m) scavenging on food, or even the corpses of mountaineers from climbing expeditions.
  • Everest is growing by about 4 millimeters a year. It became the highest mountain in the world some 200,000 years ago.
  • A white plume of clouds is often seen blowing off the top of Everest. It is the jet stream, a wind current reaching speeds up to 250 mph.
  • The Everest View Hotel is at 12,779 feet the highest hotel in the world. Each room affords a panoramic view of Everest, weather permitting. Guests are flown to an airstrip and are then transported by yak to the hotel. The sudden high altitude is a shock to the unacclimatised guests, and so the hotel pumps a constant fresh supply of oxygen into each room.

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