World population of 14 % of all diurnal raptors are globally
endangered or vulnerable. Out of 338 species of diurnal
raptors recorded in the world, Nepal supports total of 60
species. This is due to the rugged topography, diverse
vegetation and great altitudinal variation and to the
zoogeography of the country. According to Bird Life
International five species of vulture, four species of eagle
and one species of falcon found in Nepal are listed as
globally endangered or vulnerable. Recent reports indicate
41% of raptors in Nepal are nationally threatened. In the
world 202 species - 60 % of all diurnal raptors engage in
periodic or seasonal movement biologist called migration.
Although several species (22) are complete migrants most
migrating raptors (104 species) are partial migrants and
remaining 76 species are irruptive and local nature, for
which movements are associated with less predictable
environmental fluctuations. In Nepal approximately 22
species of raptors are winter visitor.
study from the migration corridor is an effective means to
assess regional population trends for a number of species.
Since the early 1980s, only a handful of partial migration
counts estimates 10,000 to 40,000 Steppe Eagles Aquila
nipalensis as well as 15 to 30 different raptor species
migrating here each autumn from the south of Annapurna. Much
remains to be discovered about trans-Himalayan migration.
Therefore we propose to conduct several years of raptor
migration study along the foothills of Himalayas in Nepal.
research objective is to determine the extent, timing and
age class migration phenology of the Steppe Eagle and other
migrating species, as many species move from their summer
range in the central Asia/Eastern grasslands of China to as
yet unknown wintering areas in western Asia and Africa. The
number of Steppe Eagles migrating past the Thoolakharka
watch site here in Nepal is extraordinary: it is the highest
total for any eagle species on the Indian subcontinent as
well as the Far East. By evaluating data we will collect
during several migration seasons, we will be able to provide
baseline information to conservation biologists on the
population size and trend for many raptors including Steppe
eagle. Large predators such as eagles and vultures are often
the first to decline when ecosystems are stressed. Therefore
our study will be one additional means of evaluating changes
in grassland habitats in the Far East. Since the late 1990s,
four vulture species have declined by over 97% on the Indian
subcontinent, making these birds some of the most endangered
animals in the world. Therefore we also aim to collect data
on flock size and age structure of resident vultures in the
region, as well as identify and count migratory vultures as
they pass the watch site.
Ornithological Union has started this research from 2011 and
will be continued for at least 10 years. We believe this
study will fulfill the long research gap of raptor migration
research in Nepal, and will be an excellent comparison with
research done previously.
For more detail
about this project, please visit