Lakes in Chitwan National Park going dry

CHITWAN: Lakes in the Chitwan National Park (CNP) and buffer zones are running dry day after day.

Two lakes in the national park have already dried whereas water level in other lakes is also depleting, said CNP's Information Officer and Assistant Conservation Officer Nurendra Aryal.

Lakes are getting dry due to a long spell of drought. The Raine Lake, which has a high tourism value with availability of one-horned rhinos, has also gone dry. "We took stock of the status of different lakes. The Laghuna Lake and Thapaliya Lake, where the movements of wild species were marked, have dried as well", Aryal said, adding that, "The water level in other lakes has also sharply declined".

He, however, said that efforts are on to level up water in the lakes so the wildlife are not affected.

The lakes, which are deemed very important for endangered wildlife in the Chitwan National Park – enlisted in the world conservation list – are drying with lack of water. Some of the lakes of the Park are covered with bushes.

The lakes were filled up with water due to a flood around this time last year. But the lakes are going dry for no rainfall has occurred this year, said the CNP sources.

The lakes have also been affected due to climate change. The management of lakes has been a tough job when the space is also shrinking naturally.

The water source of the Chitwan National Park is the Chure region. Growing deforestation in the Chure, is one of the major causes behind the current state of lakes, said environment experts.

All sides should work together for the conservation of forest and water, said CNP In-Charge Ram Chandra Kandel.

There are 56 lakes in the Chitwan National Park. Among the important lakes are Tamor Lake, Lami Lake, Devi Lake, Garud Lake and Kamal Lake. The lakes are also being encroached with soil expansion.