Encroachment endangering Puraina lake

Tikapur, November 12:

The habitat of rare birds, the Puraina lake is now in crisis because of the encroachment of the land around it for cultivation.

Although the lake was spread in five hundred bighas of land in the beginning in Ward Nos

1,2 and 3 of Lalbojhi Village Development Committee (VDC) of Kailali district, it is now

hardly one hundred bighas, say locals.

The lake is a marshland and half of the birds of the list of rare birds are found here, said one local Bhojraj Shrestha.

He is involved in the campaign launched to conserve birds.

There is a new settlement of Himmatpur in the forest area and the lake has been encroached.

There are quite rare birds like kathepani dhukkur (dove), khasre dhaddi fisto, kaseghas chari, sim titra, saras (stork), bhudifod, rajgarud and kalo tauko jib has (duck).

Thousands of karengkurung have started to come to the lake and the rose-headed duck considered extinct 160 years ago is also found, said Bijaya Raj Shrestha, another member of the bird conservation group.

Although some 832 birds are said to be found in Nepal, half of them have been extinct as their habitat was destroyed, said natural resource expert Rana Bahadur Rawal.

Kailali district has first position in wetlands with about one hundred ponds and lakes.