Cheer pheasant on the verge of extinction

BENI, MYAGDI: Cheer pheasant, an endangered species of bird in the world, is likely to vanish for lack of environment conducive and proper habitat in Myagdi.

Keshav Chokhal, an MSc student from Tribhuvan University (TU), has carried out his research in the district for a year confirming as high as 60 cheer pheasants living in Myagdi. The total number of the bird is around 1000 in Nepal, he shared.

Chokhal conducted his research on situation, number and reasons of extinctions of cheer pheasants in the district with supports from the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) and other organisations.

Known as Catreus Wallichii as its scientific name, the bird is named Cheer Kaliz in Nepali and Cheddu in the Far-Western regions.

The bird is enlisted in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Nepal's National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act as well.

Researcher Chokhal said that the bird is found at an altitude of 1400 metres to 3,600 metres. The bird has the special feature of chirping just twice a day, before the sunrise and after the sunset. He said, the endangered birds are spotted on the bank of Kaligandaki River, Myagdi River and Raghu Ganga River in Myagdi and also in neighbouring Baglung district and far-western regions.

Chokhal cited illegal hunting, decline in the habitat and lack of consciousness among people as the reasons for declining its number.