Conservation and Environment in Nepal: Monthly Updates
Nepal Conservation Projects: June- July 2013
The Conservation project has just had its first anniversary, still some work needed but we are on the right track. I want to thank all the volunteers from around the world who have helped us to achieve that. A big thanks from all the Projects-Abroad team for your help and all the nice moments we spend together.
New projects are on their way such as the mapping of Ghandruk Village, butterfly surveying, cooking lessons, Nepali Trivial pursuit and we went also on a field trip for several days.
We also had a nice trekking field trip of 6 days, with the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP), our local partner, exploring a new trekking route. All the volunteers had a really nice time and it was a really challenging trek, with an average of 6 hours of walking a day. The walk brung us from 1950m to 4100m, stopping at Tadapani, Deurali, Dobato, Pode, Chhommrong and back to Ghandruk. The trip brought amazing views, landscapes, nature and amazing encounters. We slept in hotels, in tents, went to a yak farm and other interesting experiences. It was really a nice experience for everybody.
If you want to read more about this trip, the following link is the trek explained by one of the volunteers; Kalila Cook, on her blog (http://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/kcook3) or you can also read the news letter from August.
Camera trap survey
The camera trap survey is done outside of the village, in the jungle. After 5 completed transect lines, we found a lot of interesting species like common leopard, leopard cats, Black bear, and barking deer.
Annapurna Conservation Area, our local partner, decided to investigate more in this area. They want to open an eco-trail with a focus on the barking deer. The barking deer is a small deer that is abundant in the area. To know where the trail will pass we are doing further investigation on the barking deer, their abundance and their location in the area, to find the best area for the trail.
The bird survey is going well, with a fix point method and the additional data, we found 144 species present in Ghandruk village and around.
With the rainy season we see fewer birds and we couldn’t go that often into the field. The conditions weren’t the best for the bird watching, but we still have nice bird watching expeditions.
Next month a bird expert is coming, hopefully it’s going to make a really big difference for the research and give us a lot of valuable information to improve our research and data collection.
This new project began in April 2013 and went until beginning of June. During this season we found 31 species. For a first time, it is quite good but we are waiting for more species during the second part of the survey. The project will start again in September as we can’t do the survey during the rainy season due to the rain and the activity of butterflies is in diminution during this time.
With the help of the community (sometimes), we are doing waste collection. In Nepal it is really wide-spread to throw the garbage to the river and wait for the rain to take it away. We are trying to educate the local community to recycle, and to burn what is burnable. The recycle site is beginning to be used by some villagers for glass, plastic bottle and other garbage.
We began to clean a stream where there is a lot garbage, hopefully at the end September, this part would be clean. We already brought back more than 20 full bags of garbage.
Mapping Ghandruk village and surrounding
A new small project under way is mapping Ghandruk. The goal is to have more information about the roads and places such as schools, temples, bridges, hotels etc. found around Ghandruk. All of this data will help us in our other research and give important geo-reference information. All the data is taken with a GPS and after that downloaded into ArcGis (mapping software.)
With the rainy season in full force, some new activities are under way. Cooking lessons with our chef are a great way to pass the time. Volunteers learn how to cook traditional dishes from Nepal such as momos. The volunteers like it and are ready to try their skills out back home.
Nepal Trivial pursuit
We began to make a Trivial Pursuit-style game about Nepal. The volunteers are creating the questions and building the game. The questions will be about wildlife, history, geography and culture. We are going to have a lot of fun and also learn a lot of interesting facts about Nepal when it is finished.
We have a lot of interns and all of them finish their various research projects well.
- Richard and Gerwin from Netherlands spent 5 months with us and did some really nice research about the use of energy in Ghandruk village. They were focusing on two topics; the firewood and the water use around the village. They conducted several interviews around the village.
- Nick, Pieter and Jarin, from Netherlands, stayed between 2.5 months and 4 months. They were focusing on the waste management in the village. Like we saw previously the garbage is a real problem through Nepal and Ghandruk is no exception. They conducted several interviews around the village to know the behaviour of Nepali people regarding garbage.
- Emilie from France stayed with us for 2.5 months and did a practical research project about the barking deer in the area. In fact ACAP, our local partner, wants to open an Eco trail in the jungle for the tourist with information panels on the way to explain interesting fact about barking deer, the jungle etc. To get this under way we need to know more about where the barking deer are located. We use transect line camera traps to have an idea of the barking deer and other animals’ populations in the area.
- Delphine from France stayed with us 2 months and did a research about conflict between human and wildlife before ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Projects) and now by using interviews. She spoke mainly with old people from the village, to use their experience and their knowledge.