Annual Raptor Migration Count - 2019

On 15 Dec 2019, Himalayan Nature’s team has wrap up the annual raptor migration count, which was started from 15 Oct. Total of 62 days were spent by a team of three members. This year we trained two new members (Sabin KC and Sanjeev Baniya) for the raptor research and conservation activities in Nepal. Both of the members are science graduate from Tribhuvan University of Nepal. Our new members were kept in intensive training (for the entire period) in the Annapurna Conservation Area, they learnt about the raptor identification, flight interpretation, migration monitoring, trapping, handling and use of satellite transmitters. We hope Sabin and Sanjeev will continue their work on raptor conservation and research in Nepal.    

The migration count was conducted from Thoolakharka raptor migration watch site at Annapurna Rural-municipality of Kaski district. Thoolakharka is a mountaintop watch site, geographically located at 28.303210 N and 83.829640 E, at the elevation of 2050 m in the foothills of Himalayan Mountains of central Nepal, south of Annapurna Himalaya range. This watch site is a major migration corridor for the endangered Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis nipalensis) in the world. Beside Steppe Eagle, several species of threatened raptors can be spotted in site during their migration journey.

Of the 60 species of raptors recorded in Nepal, we spotted 26 species during their migration journey, totaling 7780 individuals, with the majority of Steppe Eagle (66%) and Himalayan Vulture (21%). Started in 2012, this is one of the longest project of Himalayan Nature and now we have already good data of migrating raptors. Based on our first year (2012) data, we observed total of 22.3% declines on the population of Steppe Eagle over last 8 years, while Himalayan Vulture is doing very well with the total increase of >20%. 

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We will continue thus project for more years, If you wish to support us on conserving these endangered raptors or need more information please write to tulsi.subedi@himalayannature.org.   

Below we present a table of our final count – 2019.