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Introduction

Wetlands are often described as a transitional ecosystem that represents continuation between strictly aquatic and strictly terrestrial ecosystems. It is the areas where water is the primary factor controlling the environment and the associated plants and animals’ life. Wetlands are areas of marsh, fen, peatland, or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six meters (Ramsar Convention, 1971).
Nepal accessed Ramsar Wetland Convention in 1988 and hosts great diversity of wetlands, which cover approximately five percent of its total land area (DOAD, 1992). Wetlands in Nepal are rich in biological diversity and are known to regularly support more than 20,000 waterfowl during winter.The ecological diversity of the wetland ecosystems of Nepal is very great (Scott, 1989). Of 862 bird species found in Nepal (BCN, 2006), 193 (22.5 percent) (IUCN Nepal, 2004) are known to be dependent on wetlands. Wetlands of Nepal are threatened by natural and anthropogenic causes. Nepal’s wetlands are undergoing subsidence, rapid vegetation succession, and loss of vegetation, eutrophication, sedimentation, siltation, soil erosion, pollution and diminution (Bhandari, 1998; Baral and Inskipp, 2005; Gautam and Kafle, 2007). Wetland biodiversity is under threat from the encroachment of wetland habitat, unsustainable harvesting of wetland resources, industrial pollution, poisoning, agricultural runoff, siltation and the introduction of exotic and invasive species into wetland ecosystems (HMGN/MFSC, 2002; Baral and Inskipp, 2005; HMGN/MFSC, 2002). Eutrophication combined with encroachment has reduced the area of wetlands, thereby, endangering various biological species inhabiting the area.
Lake cluster of Pokhara Valley is the youngest Ramsar sites of Nepal declared on 2nd February 2016. It comprises Phewa, Begnas, Rupa, Khaste, Dipang, Maidi, Gunde, Neureni, Kamalpokhari and Pokhara Seti Catchment. It supports different residential birds as well as is an important site for migratory waterbirds.

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