The wild water buffalo (different from the domesticated water buffalo), which is found only in some parts of Asia exist in wet grasslands, swamps and densely vegetated river valleys.In face of its dwindling population, the wild water buffalo has been declared an endangered species.While they were found in most of the countries in South East Asia, unabated hunting has dwindled its population and it is now found only in Thailand, Cambodia, India, Nepal and Bhutan. In Pakistan, Laos, Vietnam and Bangladesh its population has neared zero.
In Nepal this endangered mammal is found only at Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve. Latest figures have confirmed that the population of the wild buffalo has increased at the reserve. The wildlife reserve office has reported that there were 219 wild buffaloes in 2009. The number increased to 237 last year. This year’s counting showed an increase of 22, and the total population has soared to 259.
(Pic source: wikipedia)
A survey carried out by Himalayan Nature (NGO) at Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, has recorded as many as 12 pairs of Bengal Floricans at the reserve. This makes it the largest ever recorded population of the species in the country. Existing in lowland grassland areas, the bird has been recorded at four protected areas in Nepal — Shukla Phanta, Bardia, Chitwan and Koshi Tappu. Bengal Floricans are an endangered bird species found only in Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Cambodia and Vietnam.
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Good news for animal lovers and bird watching enthusiasts, the 12th Bird Festival will be held at Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve from 2nd February 2012. Promoted with the slogan ‘Wetland Tourism: A unique experience, ’ the festival will be inaugurated at Kushaha of Sunsari district and will run for four days. The festival will feature quiz contests, games and cultural programmes. The event is being jointly organized by Government of Nepal, Department of National Park and Wild Life Conservation, Wild Life Conservation Fund Nepal, Nepal Bird Conservation Association and other international organizations.
The Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve is renowned for being one of the best locations for birding. It is the smallest (175 sq km) and easternmost reserve in Nepal, and lies north-east at the confluence of Sapt Koshi and Trijuga rivers.Over 280 species of birds has been recorded so far at the reserve. Swamp Francolins, White Ibis, Storks, Lesser Coucal, Striated Marsh Warbler, Black Bellied Tern, Imperial Eagle, Pied and Marsh Harrier, Common Quail, Bengal floricans (Eupodotis Bengalensis), and many other exotic and migratory waterfowl not found elsewhere in Nepal can be seen at the reserve.
(Photo courtesy : NTB)
For birding enthusiasts this article may also be helpful ! – Bird Conservation Nepal, ECS Nepal