Aqua Birds Unlimited Camp - INTRODUCTION
Aqua Birds Unlimited Camp is the First Eco-lodge in Nepal approved by Green Globe Organization. Spread in 10 acres of private pristine wetland, Aqua Birds is located on the border of Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve which is a Ramsar Site listed by the International Wetland Convention. The hotel offers excellent tented camp with incredible sighting of wetland birds congregation in thousands. This is the last stronghold of the Asian Wild Buffalo and Gangetic Dolphin in Nepal.
Aqua Birds Unlimited Camp in Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve - It lies on the flood plains of the Sapta-Koshi in Saptari and Sunsari Districts of Eastern Nepal. Rapid and complete inundation of the reserve to depths ranging from 10 to 300 cm occurs during the monsoon. The reserve offers important habitat for a variety of wildlife. The last surviving populations (about 100 individuals) of wild buffalo or arna are found here including other mammals. A total of 280 different species or birds have been recorded. Amidst the jungle environment Aqua Birds Unlimited Camp and Koshi Tappu Wildlife Camp have come into existence. The activities includes morning jungle treks by the river lagoons and wetlands, canoe ride, slide shows, bird watching, cultural dances and visit unique village settlements.
Aqua Birds Unlimited Camp has been successfully running on its 10th year of operation despite the current political situation. We extend our gratitude to our valuable guests who have been our inspiration behind successful operations. Aqua Birds Unlimited Camp is now a member of KGH Group of Hotels and Resorts, a trusted business house with 40 years of experience in hospitality industry.
Were overwhelmed by the response from our guests, who sincerely acknowledged our warm hospitality, knowledgeable staff, delicious food, and richness of birds, stunning dolphins, and mighty Wild Water Buffalos, common leopard, wolves and wild tusker. Within a decade our camp proved a must visit destination for bird watching safari, sport fishing and cultural tour. Koshi Tappu Migratory Annual Bird Festival that I have started six years ago is still going strong.
For your kind information we participated in the British Bird Watching Fair in 2005 and shall be taking part in 2006 too. If you are visiting the fair it will be a pleasure to meet you in our stall. We shall be sharing a stall with Classic Journeys, our local partner in UK . May we request you to recommend us to your friends, tour operators, research institutions, bird watching and fishing clubs so that they will also have an opportunity to experience the memorable hospitality at Aqua Birds Unlimited Camp.
Located on plain of the Koshi River in the eastern Terai of Nepal, the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve (175 sq km) is home to around 441 species of birds, including 30 shore birds, 114 water birds, 20 ducks and 2 ibises. The endangered swamp partridge and Bengal florican are also found here. The Koshi is an extremely important resting-place for migratory birds numbering o 87 winter visitors.
The Koshi river which forms the major landmark of the Nepalese geography is the home of 80 fish species. The endangered Gharial crocodile and Gangetic dolphin are also found here. Koshi is an exclusive reserve for the last surviving population of wild buffalo or arna in Nepal . Its number at present is estimated to be 150. The reserve is a habitat of 20 other animal species such as hog deer, spotted deer, wild boar, blue bull and rock python.
The vegetation in this region mainly includes tall khar-pater grasslands with a few patches of khair-sissoo scrub forest and deciduous mixed riverine forest.
During the monsoon, the reserve is flooded with depths ranging from 10 to 300 cm. From season to season the Koshi River changes its course. The Koshi river also know as the Sapta Koshi meaning seven great rivers collects waters from the glaciers, glacial lakes, and the monsoon rains. Embankments are constructed parallel to the river to check flooding in the surrounding villages. Sunsets over the river are phenomenal. On clear days, views of the Himalayan peaks including the Mt Makalu add beauties to the landscape.
Recognizing its global significance, the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve has been recognized as the Ramsar Site in 1987. The reserve was gazette notified in 1976.
Bird watching along the eastern embankment at dusk and dawn is one of the most exciting pleasure trips in the reserve. The Arnas with their huge horns are equally impressive to look at. Elephant ride, nature walk, driving along the embankment and strolling around the villages are interesting activities
BIRDLIFE IN NEPAL
Nepal supports over 10% of the world's bird species diversity. To-date about 860 bird species has been recorded from Nepal in the last 150 years. The corresponding altitude and habitat in the five physiographic zones including special sites such as Mai Valley , Rara Ringmo finger and western Terai contributed to the bird species richness in Nepal . Kali Gandaki Valley lies in the cross road of bird distribution. It is the culminating point for the distribution of Eastern species such as blood pheasant and western species e.g. Cheer pheasant. Pokhara valley and the surrounding is where all the eight vulture species occurring in Nepal are found.
Lammergeier's wing span measure over 3 meters that helps them to soar over the Himalayan valleys and peaks. The tallest includes the Sarus Crane measuring close to two meter tall. The heavier bird may include Cinereous Vulture that may weigh over 10 kg. The smallest include the Tickell's Flowerpecker that measure just about the size of the thumb. The most colorful bird may include the national bird Danfe (Himalayan Munal) of Himalaya and Peacock of tropical forest. The specialized feeding habit of birds include the piscivorous, nectarines, bone marrow eaters, filter feeders, seed eaters and carnivores.
Spiny Babbler is the only endemic species recorded for Nepal . The Central Himalayan Endemic Bird Area as defined by Birdlife International lies entirely within Nepal . Its key habitats are moist temperate forest, dense secondary growth and scrub. Six of the 22 restricted range species in this endemic bird area are recorded in Nepal : Rufous-throated Wren Babbler, Wedge-billed Wren Babbler, Hoary-throated Barwing, White-naped Yuhina, Yellow-vented Warbler and Broad-billed Warbler.
The colorful Danfe (Lophophorus impejanus) have been declared as the national bird. Nine species have been given legal protected status that include three pheasant spp. (Danfe, Monal and Cheer), two stork species (black white stork), two florican (bengal and lesser), Sarus Crane, Giant Hornbill, and there are 29 globally threatened species occurring in Nepal. That includes Swamp Partridge, Cheer Pheasant, Bengal and Lesser Florican, Sarus Crane, Wood Snipe, White-rumped and Slender Billed Vulture, Lesser adjutant, Grey Crowned Prinia, Bristled Grassbird, Jerdon's and Slender Billed Babbler and Finn Weaver. Baer's Pochard, Imperial Eagle, Pallas's Fish Eagle, Greater Spotted Eagle, and Hodgson's bush Chat are migratory and rarely occurs in Nepal . Lesser Kestrel and Kashmir Flycatcher are uncommon passage migrants. Spot-billed Pelican occasionally visits wetlands of Koshi Tappu. Rufous necked Hornbill, White-bellied Heron and Black-breasted Parrotbill have been extirpated from Nepal and Pink Headed Duck is presumed Extinct.
There are transcontinental and altitudinal migration of birds in Nepal . The pronounced migratory species are Demoiselle Cranes above kali Gandaki, Bar-headed Geese that flies over Mt. Everest , Steppe Eagle along with other birds of prey fly over the Suinkhet valley near Pokhara, The famous wintering area for the wetland birds are Koshi Tappu, Chitwan and Karnali. Beeshazar, Jagadishpur and Ghodaghodi Lakes are the newly listed Ramsar Sites that provide wintering site for duck and other waders. There are about 150 winter migrants residing in forest and wetlands. The summer migrants (about 62) include cuckoos, crow-billed drongo, pitta, Chestnut headed bee-eater etc. The famous bird watching sites of Nepal are Shivapuri and Phulchowki hills surrounding Kathmandu, Pokhara and Modi Valley of Annapurna Sanctuary, Langtang Valley , Arun Basin , Royal Chitwan National Park , Bardia, Shukla and the wetlands of Koshi Tappu, and Jomsom.