Wild animals, birds hit hard by wildfires in western region

Bajura, May 5

Wildfires, which have spread with the prolonged drought in different community forests, have badly affected wild animals and birds in different national and community forests of the far-west region.

A source in the regional Forest Directorate, Dhangadi, said many wild animals along with different bird species were burnt to death in the forests due to wildfire.

Many animals and birds have scattered and have migrated to safer areas after their habitats were destroyed by wildfires.

It is said wild animals that managed to flee are astray.

Sources in the directorate further added that monkeys, snakes, rabbits, porcupines, deer, wild boars and pheasants were among the wildlife killed due to the inferno.

The sources also said a foul smell had spread from the dead creatures due to lack of proper management.

It is said that the acute water shortage has also hit the wild animals and the birds hard as water sources in the forest areas have also gone dry.

According to Ranger Bisal Kumar Lama of District Forest Office, Bajura, the wildfire had spread to as many as 10 national and community forests.

District leader Dhan Raj Pandit of Nepali Congress said a few wild animals and birds were seen in the areas of Martadi-based community forests after the wildfire. Similarly, CPN-UML district committee member Dipak Rawat said the incidents of wildfire surpassed that of the past years.

The directorate informed that the wildfire had spread across 72,997 hectare forest areas in the region.

Ranger Lok Raj Dahal of the directorate said the wildfire had spread to different national and community forests of nine districts in the far-west region.

The wildfire had spread across 40 hectare forest area in Kailali, 175 hectare in Bajhang, 3,342 hectare in Achham, 1,500 hectare in Baitadi, 9,570 hectare in Kanchanpur, 290 in Bajura, 8,040 in Dadeldhura, 3,130 in Doti.

Similarly, the wildfire destroyed 6,854 hectare forest in Shuklaphanta Wildlife Conservation Centre, 83 hectare in Apinappa Conservation area and six hectare in Khaptad National Park.

The directorate said the wildfire was the biggest in the far-west region so far.

Ranger Lama said that Nepali Army personnel, Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and locals have been trying hard to bring the wildfire under control.