Nepal aims to increase population of wild water buffaloes through relocation

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/2/11 12:29:52

Nepal has completed the relocation of 15 wild water buffaloes (Bubalus Arnee) in protected area this week.

As part of the government's decision to relocate 30 rhinos, 30 wild water buffaloes, and 35 swamp deers to protected areas by 2018, the recent relocation has been conducted.

Among the proposed 30 wild water buffaloes, 15 have been relocated to Chitwan National Park in the first phase. Out of 15, 12 were shifted from Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve in the last week of January while 3 were shifted from National Zoo in Kathmandu on Thursday.

The Asiatic wild water buffalo is one of the protected species in the Himalayan country.

Dr. Chiranjivi Prasad Pokharel, project coordinator at National Trust for Nature Conservation told Xinhua, "The major objective of translocation of these wilds is to revive their population in the original habitats and to make them genetically strong through pure breeding."

For relocation, Chitwan National Park has separated 30 hectares of land and built several enclosures.

"The wild buffaloes comprising 3 males and 12 females will be kept in enclosures for two years before leaving them free for wild", Dr Pokharel added.

For years, Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve located in eastern part of the country was the only habitat for water buffaloes known as 'Arna' in local language. According to a survey in 2016, the wild water buffalo population increased to 432 individuals in Koshi Tappu, 105 more as compared to 2014 count.

Experts claim that the water buffalos are under threat due to anthropogenic pressure, habitat deterioration and hybridization with domestic buffaloes.

Beside Nepal, the Asiatic wild water buffaloes are found only in tropical and sub-tropical regions of India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Bhutan.

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