KATHMANDU, June 20 (Xinhua) -- With the lockdown taking effect in Nepal, most Nepalis have been spending most of their time at their homes while birds are seen freely flying overhead suggesting the boost in their movement.
Though the scene is not unusual, the visibility of birds in the sky is a definite sign that the limited movement of people has had a positive impact on the biodiversity.
Krishna Bhusal, vulture conservation program manager at the Bird Conservation Nepal (BCN) said that the lockdown has become a boon for birds. "White vulture was witnessed in the urban sky after a decade while some species of birds were also seen around the human settlement areas," he said Saturday.
Many city dwellers in Kathmandu valley got the chance to witness different kinds of birds, be it in their yard, garden, balcony or in the sky above.
During the lockdown, the availability of food for birds make them vigorously travel and urban, sub-urban birds were very active in the Himalayan country this season.
"There is less disturbance for the birds because of which they have been freely roaming even in the urban areas," said an ornithologist Vimal Kumar Thapa. "The season has turned out to be a favorable one as this is also a breeding season for the birds."
According to BCN, an organization focusing on the conservation of birds, their habitats and sites, Nepal has a record of 9 percent of the total bird species found worldwide. The country has 886 species of birds of which 42 species are globally threatened.
"Though we don't have an exact number to determine whether their population was also boosted but their visibility suggests their breeding season this year was much better as compared to the previous ones," Thapa told Xinhua.
The lockdown enforced in Nepal coincidently is the time when many birds migrate to Nepal. "About 65 species of birds migrate to Nepal from South during summer and most of them nest here," avian expert Bhusal said. "Due to the lockdown, the migratory birds had the chance to breed in a nice environment."
Avian experts have taken the increased visibility of birds in the valley as a positive sign for the environment. With less movement, the pollution was significantly reduced, thus creating an environment for the birds to freely migrate and breed in Nepal.
Thapa said that many young birds have grown as their breeding season starts from March.
Ranibari Community Forest, UN Park at Lalitpur, Godawari, forest around Pashupati, Bajrabarahi, Phulchowki and Sankhu, among other places, are considered better habitats for birds in the Kathmandu valley.
However, avian experts are worried that the relaxation of lockdown in Nepal will have a negative impact on the improved movement of birds.
The Nepali government has relaxed the lockdown leading to an increased movement of people. "If things come back to normal, the birds will be forced to live the same routine as it was in the past," lamented Thapa.