KAILALI : Shuklaphanta National Park has taken initiatives for the construction of artificial ponds and for the conservations of natural lakes to resolve the problem of water for wild animals.
National Park Assistant Conservation Officer Uttam Kumar Chaudhary said that the park has accorded high priority to manage the ponds that are considered as the habitat of wild animals.
“Wild animals need water. Tiger and elephant, among other animals, need prey to survive. These wild animals will not go outside if the water is managed inside the national park,” Chaudhary said, adding, “Poaching will also be controlled. Wild animals will also depend on water.”
Chaudhary said that there are more than half dozen lakes like Rani Lake, Solgaudi Lake, Sikari Lake, Kalikich Lake and Rara Lake in the national park.
These lakes and wetlands have occupied 10 percent of the land of national park. These areas are the main source of water for the wild animals of national park.
Rani Lake, which is the biggest lake among other lakes of wetland areas, has special importance as it is the historical wetland area of the national park. It has been learnt that then king Singhapal had constructed this lake for the queens. That is why, people had named this lake as Raani Lake.
The concerned authority has given special attention to manage this lake. This lake covers an area of 7.1 hectare. The shape of Raani Lake changed now. Shukaphanta National Park Ranger Anil Rasayeli said that the park, which was on the verge of disappearance, was conserved by the park.
According to Chaudhary, the concerned authority is planning to dig well through boring and install solar pumps in the Raani Lake. Similarly, the authority is also preparing to drill boring in other lakes and manage the bushes.
Shuklaphanta National Park is regarded as one of the attractive tourist destinations as it is home to various types of birds and wild animals.
The concerned authority has been trying to conserve Raani Lake and other lakes for the past two years.
The authority has also speed up work to manage other small ponds of the national park. There are more than a dozen ponds in the national park like Pipal Pokhari, Tinkune Pokhari, Bagh Pokhari and Suke Pokhari. The authority is also constructing artificial ponds along with managing these small ponds.
“At least 60 new lakes have already been constructed. It is essential to manage wetland areas to conserve the wild animals. The authority has been drilling boring and installing solar pumps to resolve the problem of water,” Assistant Conservation Officer Chaudhary said.
President Chure Tarai Madhes Program, Tarai Arc Landscape Program, National Trust for Nature Conservation and World Wildlife Fund have been providing financial and technical assistance to manage the wetland areas and to refill water in the ponds.
“The construction of check dams and grasslands have been completed and now attempts are being made to manage water for wild animals,” said Sudip Rag Niraula, an official of National Trust for Nature and Shuklaphanta Conservation Program.
Most of the tourists come to Shuklaphanta National Park to see Raani Lake. It has become one of the tourist destinations as one can see tiger and other wild animals and is also a hotspot for birds.
Assistant Conservation Officer Chaudhary said that the authority is conserving and cleaning the natural ponds. There used to be many wetland areas in Shuklaphanta grassland, which is considered as the biggest grassland of Nepal. Later, all the wetland areas had dried up and the problem of water for wild animals and birds had surfaced. The authority is working seriously to manage all the small wetland areas of this area.
At present, Shuklaphanta National Park and various non-governmental organizations have taken initiatives for the sustainable management of the wetland areas.
Wild animals in the Shuklaphanta National Park have been getting water easily after the management of wetland areas and ponds. Because of this, there is less possibility of wild animals going outside the national park. Hence, this will help to conserve the biodiversity of national park. Likewise, this initiative will also help to develop tourism in the area and help in raising the living standard of the local people.