CHITWAN, JAN 13: Amidst reports that many wild animal species are on the verge of extinction in Nepal, there´s a good news. Many endangered wild animals have been spotted in two community forests in western part of Chitwan.
As many as 181 animal species including many rare animals including one-horned rhino, Royal Bengal tiger and python have been found in the Setidevi Community Forest (SCF) and Gyaneshwar Community Forest (GCF). The forests are spread over 500 hectares of land.
Dipak Adhikari, the chairman of Setidevi forest informed that the presence of rare animals in the forests came into light after the community forests used ´camera trapping technology´ to find out the real condition of animals residing in the forest. “We had placed fifteen cameras in different parts of the forests,” he added.
Adhikari added that the sightings of endangered animals in the forests is very important as it paves the way for developing the community forests into a major hub for environment tourism.
As many as 26 one-horned rhino are currently residing in the community forests, informed Krishna Prasad Pudasaini, president of Gyaneshwar forest.
Officials of Prakriti ko Sathi, an organization which provided the community forests with the trapping technology for counting the animals, says different rare species of wild animals were sighted during the two month-long survey, the forests could attract hordes of tourists and this could help in uplifting the economic status of the locals living around the forests.
According to Raju Acharya, director of Prakriti ko Sathi, the study shows that 125 bird species including two endangered and 19 mammals including rhino, tiger, and deer among others have been spotted.
However, Dr Indra Prasad Sapkota, the chief of District Forests Office (DFO) in Chitwan said although the presence of wild animals like tigers and rhinos in the community forests is good, they might pose a threat to the locals. “We are ready to cooperate and assist for preserving wild animals and at the same time protecting the locals,” he said.