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About gandhivkafle

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    Shree Laxmi Secondary School
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    Institute of Forestry, Pokhara
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    M. Sc. in Watershed Management
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  1. Conservation issues of Slender Billed Babbler ([/i]) in Nepal By: Gandhiv Kafle, Institute of Forestry, Pokhara, Nepal Slender-billed Babbler (Turdoides longirostris) is a globally threatened bird endemic in Royal Chitwan National Park of Nepal. Its status is “vulnerable A1c; A2c; C1” (Birdlife international 2001). This species is of order Passeriformes and family Timaliidae. This elusive species is inferred to have a small, rapidly declining population because of extensive destruction and degradation of its tall grassland habitats. It therefore qualifies as Vulnerable. It is a fairly common breeding resident in Chitwan National Park (Baral, 1997), at around 250 m (Baral et al. 1996, where its population (which may be the largest in the entire Indian subcontinent: Baral 1997) is estimated to be more than 1,000 individuals but probably declining with the deterioration and degradation of suitable grassland habitat (H. S. Baral 1997). A detailed study should be made on the ecology of this species to know its status in Royal Chitwan National Park (Baral 2001). Royal Chitwan National Park contains the largest population of Prinia cinerocapilla, Cettia pallidipes and Turdoides longirostris in Nepal and probably for the entire Indian subcontinent. Chitwan is the only locality in Nepal where Slender-billed Babbler (Turdoides longirostris) has been recorded (Laurie 1982, Groombridge 1993). . There is no recent record of this bird from outside protected areas in Nepal (Baral 2001). Turdoides longirostris is an obligate grassland bird that prefers pure tall moist grasslands. It is confined in grassland with Narenga porphyrocoma dominant and Sachharam spontaneum co-dominant (Baral 2001). Narenga grassland is extensive both in Royal Chitwan National Park and Royal Sukilaphanta Wildlife Reserve Nepal. The species feeds on the ground and in grass and reeds on various insects (Baker. 1992,. Ali and Ripley 1968-1998). Turdoides longirostris may be more threatened because of its specific habitat requirements i. e. tall moist grasses (Baral 2001). All the globally threatened birds that breed in Nepal are dependent on grasslands. At least 12 species are dependent on lowland grasslands of different types. Grasslands, savannas and shrubland are used by nearly 30% of threatened species but nearly half of these birds these habitats are of only minor importance. Clearance, conversion and degradation of natural forest, grasslands and wetlands are by far the most important causes of endangerment to birds in the Asia region, affecting nearly all species classified as Critical, Endangered and Vulnerable. Grasslands are being converted for agriculture and plantations, and affected by excessive grazing pressure, grass harvesting and inappropriate burning (Birdlife International 2002). Overgrazing is a year-round threat to many of the protected areas in the Terai (HMGN/MFSC 2002). Habitat loss and damage is the major threat to 89% (119 species) of the birds at risk. Altogether 17 grassland bird species are threatened (DNPWC/IUCN/BCN 2004). The southern lowlands of Nepal (the Terai) are densely populated and virtually all of the remaining natural grasslands are inside a few large protected areas. These are very important for several threatened grassland specialists and water birds including Slender-billed Babbler (Turdoides longirostris), Bengal Florican, but their protection and management are a major challenge because of the intense pressure from human utilization (Birdlife International 2002). Typical undeveloped Terai habitat in northern India and southern Nepal (mainly Imperata cylindrica and Saccharum benghalensis grasses dotted with isolated trees) has declined precipitously in area and quality; for example grasslands have virtually disappeared outside protected areas in Nepal. In Royal Chitwan National Park grasslands are primarily managed for large mammals; burning is used to provide fresh grasses for these mammals but at the expense of many grassland bird species. Burning several times a year may alter the composition of grassland, rendering it unsuitable for threatened species and burning in the breeding season is extremely damaging as nests and eggs are destroyed. In Royal Chitwan National Park, People are allowed into protected areas fro 7-10 days annually to cut grass, at which time the grasslands are also burned; with an influx of 70000 local people (Birdlife International 2002). But still Royal Chitwan National Park holds globally important grassland habitats (Peet 1997). Regarding the importance of grasslands for the birds, it is vital to maintain tall grasses if these species are to survive. ...........................
  2. Carbon Sequestration: A recent concern of Nepal By: Gandhiv Kafle, Institute of Forestry, pokhara, Nepal The level of CO2 in the atmosphere is determined by a continuous flow among the stores of carbon in the atmosphere, the ocean, the earth’s biological systems, and its geological materials (Stavins and Richards, 2005). Human activities have increased the atmospheric concentrations of Green House Gases (GHG) such as Carbondioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), Nitrous Oxide (N2O) and Ozone (O3) since the pre-industrial era (IPCC, 2001). Human activities—particularly the extraction and burning of fossil fuels and the depletion of forests—are causing the level of GHGs (primarily CO2) in the atmosphere to rise. One way to manage carbon is to use energy more efficiently to reduce our need for a major energy and carbon source—fossil fuel combustion.' Another way is to increase our use of low-carbon and carbon-free fuels and technologies (nuclear power and renewable sources such as solar energy, wind power, and biomass fuels). 'The third and newest way to manage carbon is through carbon sequestration. Carbon sequestration has attracted the interest of researchers, energy industry participants, policy makers, forest producers, and farmers. Forest and farm producers have a special interest in whether such actions will increase their income. In 1992, over 180 countries joined in signing the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, agreeing in principle to stabilize GHG levels in the atmosphere. Since that time, attention has been given to ways to decrease—or at least decelerate—the flow of carbon from fossil fuels to the atmosphere. There has also been research on mechanisms to increase the rate at which oceans extract and store carbon from the atmosphere. Forest, agricultural land and other terrestrial ecosystems offer significant potential for storing carbon. Forestry is most important means of offsetting carbon emission thereby sequestrating carbon in biomass and giving positive effect on livelihood of the rural farmer because of its cost effectiveness and associated environmental and social benefits. Forestry system has more biodiversity and density of biomass than agro forestry and annual cropping system. Community Forests (CFs) of Nepal serve as a carbon bank, evenif threats and issues exist in their management. The capacity of CFs to sequester carbon will be increased since the handing over process of forest to local people is increasing day by day in Nepal. Moreover, proper land-use practices conserve soil, improve ecosystem, support more vegetation and ultimately enhance carbon sequestration. (This article is based on a term paper submitted by the author in M. Sc. Watershed Management, First Year, First Semester in Institute of Forestry, Pokhara, Nepal)
  3. Overview of threatened birds of Nepal By Gandhiv Kafle, Institute of Forestry, Pokhara, Nepal Nepals' critical species Gyps Gyps bengalensis (White rumped vulture) Gyps indicus (Indian Vulture) Gyps tenuirostris (Slender-billed Vulture) Rhodonessa Rhodonessa caryophyllacea (Pink-headed Duck) Nepals' endangered species Houbaropsis Houbaropsis bengalensis (Bengal Florican) Leptoptilos Leptoptilos dubius (Greater Adjutant) Sypheotides Sypheotides indica (Lesser Florican) Nepals' vulnerable species Aceros Aceros nipalensis (Rufous-necked Hornbill) Anas Anas formosa (Baikal Teal) Aquila Aquila clanga (Greater Spotted Eagle) Aquila hastata (Indian Spotted Eagle) Aquila heliaca (Imperial Eagle) Aythya Aythya baeri (Baer's Pochard) Catreus Catreus wallichi (Cheer Pheasant) Chaetornis Chaetornis striatus (Bristled Grass-warbler) Chrysomma Chrysomma altirostre (Jerdon's Babbler) Falco Falco naumanni (Lesser Kestrel) Ficedula Ficedula subrubra (Kashmir Flycatcher) Francolinus Francolinus gularis (Swamp Francolin) Gallinago Gallinago nemoricola (Wood Snipe) Grus Grus antigone (Sarus Crane) Grus nigricollis (Black-necked Crane) Haliaeetus Haliaeetus leucoryphus (Pallas's Fish-eagle) Leptoptilos Leptoptilos javanicus (Lesser Adjutant) Pelecanus Pelecanus philippensis (Spot-billed Pelican) Ploceus Ploceus megarhynchus (Finn's Weaver) Prinia Prinia cinereocapilla (Grey-crowned Prinia) Rynchops Rynchops albicollis (Indian Skimmer) Saxicola Saxicola insignis (White-throated Bushchat) Turdoides Turdoides longirostris (Slender-billed Babbler) Nepals' near-threatened species Aegypius Aegypius monachus (Cinereous Vulture) Alcedo Alcedo hercules (Blyth's Kingfisher) Anhinga Anhinga melanogaster (Oriental Darter) Aythya Aythya nyroca (Ferruginous Duck) Buceros Buceros bicornis (Great Hornbill) Circus Circus macrourus (Pallid Harrier) Emberiza Emberiza aureola (Yellow-breasted Bunting) Ephippiorhynchus Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus (Black-necked Stork) Falco Falco jugger (Laggar Falcon) Graminicola Graminicola bengalensis (Rufous-rumped Grassbird) Haliaeetus Haliaeetus albicilla (White-tailed Eagle) Ichthyophaga Ichthyophaga humilis (Lesser Fish-eagle) Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus (Grey-headed Fish-eagle) Indicator Indicator xanthonotus (Yellow-rumped Honeyguide) Mycteria Mycteria leucocephala (Painted Stork) Phylloscopus Phylloscopus tytleri (Tytler's Leaf-warbler) Sarcogyps Sarcogyps calvus (Red-headed Vulture) Spelaeornis Spelaeornis caudatus (Rufous-throated Wren-babbler) Sterna Sterna acuticauda (Black-bellied Tern) Threskiornis Threskiornis melanocephalus (Black-headed Ibis) Tragopan Tragopan satyra (Satyr Tragopan) (Source: BirdLife International, 2004)
  4. Evaluation of effects and alternatives of terrace riser slicing practice in Paundi Khola Sub-watershed of Lamjung District, Nepal By: 1Gandhiv Kafle and 2 Prof. Mohan K Balla 1 Institute of Forestry, P. O. Box 203, Pokhara, Nepal 2 Department Of Watershed Management And Environmental Science, Institute of Forestry, Tribhuvan University, P. O. Box. 43, Pokhara, Nepal Abstract The study was carried out in Paundi Khola Sub-watershed of Lamjung District, with the objective of evaluating the effects of terrace riser slicing practice and it's alternatives. Terrace riser slicing height and signs of erosion were recorded through field observation and direct measurement. Key informant’s survey, semi-structured walk and focus group discussions were also undertaken to acquire relevant information on positive and negative effects of slicing practice, perception of farmers on different issues and possible alternatives of terrace riser slicing. Significant signs of erosion and its effects were not observed up to 1m sliced riser height. But beyond 1m the erosion signs appear significantly. The more the slicing height, high is the erosion and vice-versa. . Farmers perceive that benefit of keeping natural grasses on terrace riser is less than slicing them from the riser. Farmers believe that cutting the grass foliage periodically and partial slicing (low height of riser) may be good technique to keep grasses on terrace risers and edges without inducing soil loss and insect pest problem. Key words: Effects, terrace risers, slicing, erosion, alternatives, improved varieties For the full article, write to: gandhivkafle@hotmail.com
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