Nepal’s Banke National Park Wild animals Faces Issues as Waterholes Dry Up

Nepal’s Banke National Park Wild animals Faces Issues as Waterholes Dry Up
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Drying up of water resources has posed a critical threat to wildlife in the Banke National Park, the youngest national park of Nepal.

With the onset of summer season, most of the water sources inside the Banke National Park (BNP) are slowly drying up and water crisis has become a threat to the existence of the wildlife, the BNP informed.

The national park was established some nine years ago for the expansion of the habitat of the tiger. The number of tigers has crossed 21 in the youngest national park.

Chief Conservation Officer of BNP Yuva Raj Regmi stated since this national park is connected with the Bardia National Park, tuskers from Bardiya National Park walk via the BNP.

However, there are no rivulet, pond, lake, and wetlands in the BNP from where these wild animals could get water, he added. “Water scarcity has accelerated the movement of wild animals outside their habitat in search of drinking water.

This has increased the incidents of human-animal clashes and human and animal casualties,” said Regmi.

Based on him, the national park is also a habitat of spotted deer, deer, antelopes, wild boars, leopards, nilgai deer, and bears.

Regmi said the non-swimming animals require more water to drink. However, only 26 artificial ponds have been developed in the national park that stretched over an area of 550 square kilometers.

All these ponds dry up during the winter season, said Regmi, adding that region of the national park requires at least 55 pounds and these ponds must serve drinking water during all seasons.

Based on the BNP, the canal of the Sikta Irrigation that flows through the nationwide park is also not feasible for the animals to consume water.

In the course of drinking water, some spotted deer have drowned in the canal, added Regmi.

He further added that lots of animals which walked out of the national park looking for drinking water were attacked and killed by the humans.

He informed that the national park was jointly carrying out a study with the irrigation project for the development of structures in the canal so animals could take water easily.

A small portion of the Rapti River flows via the middle section of the BNP, while there is a Babai River in the border of the national park.

There are opportunities to bring water inside the national park from the Bheri diversion constructed in the Babai River.

Only rivulets flow through the national park, but in the rivulets, water flows only in the monsoon. “The wildlife of BNP has been impacted as the district has not witnessed rainfall this monsoon and water from the artificial ponds are drying up.”

There were no proper sources of water for the wild animals, said Regmi, adding that almost 60 percent of the national park lies in the Chure and Bhawar areas.

Though water source has been found in Chure region, habitats of the most of wild animals are in the Bhawar area, said Regmi. “There is an emergency to identify locations inside the BNP and construct artificial ponds,” he added.

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