Another month starts and looking back at September it seemed a good month of learning and sharing. As monsoon is slowly coming to an end traveling to various places seems to be the mantra. I haven’t traveled this extensively during monsoon and this year has marked the start of it. The range of flora and fauna I was able to see because of the monsoon travel has been an experience to be had.
This month traveling to Manang was on the agenda as I was there for work with Himalayan Mutt Project team. We were there to present the finding of the research done in 2018 on dogs to see if they had distemper or not. The research was lead by Debby Ng, a biologist, and a national geographic explorer. Distemper is a contagious disease found in Canidae, and as the dog population increases every year in various parts of the country because of no sterilization and vaccination due to the lack of access to veterinary services, the conflict between them and the wildlife has been more common. Distemper can be closely compared with measles found in humans, as the signs and symptoms are similar and is highly contagious. When sterilization and vaccination don’t happen there is a high chance of the increase in the existing population, spreading of diseases like distemper and rabis, conflict and killing of wildlife among various other things. Humans have a lot of passion when it comes to dogs and cats but as humans, we also need to understand that if not kept properly the above-mentioned problem will always be there and this will have a longer impact in humans and environment. Problems have already risen in various parts of Nepal regarding unmanaged dogs population in Langtang National Park, Annapurna Conservation Area, etc. We humans when faced with these problems just focus on culling dogs but one thing we ignore is that these animals are territory driven and if taken out another will come and replace it, so vaccinating and sterilization is the best option that can mitigate these problems.
The end of monsoon meant that there was a lot of flora and fauna around the area where I was traveling and in Manang, I could experience a lot of it this time around. It was amazing to see a kettle of vultures flying over a mule carcass, crown of feathers of a Hoopoe, a baby Langur playing around under the watchful eyes of its mother along with many other things. September was a good month of sightings and also opportunities to document the sightings.
Himalayan Vulture, Rosefinch, Grey-backed Shrike, Spotted Nutcracker, Oriental Turtle Dove, Streaked Laughing Thrush, Common Stonechat, Bushchat, Common Hoopoe, Lammergeier, Rosefinch, Black Kite, Blue-whistling Thrush, Chukar Partridge, Large-billed Crow, White Wagtail, etc.
Himalayan Langur, Himalayan Blue sheep .
Cabbage butterfly, beetles, dragonflies, Damselfly flies, Common Blue Butterfly, etc.
Aster, Edelweiss, Cosmos, Thistle and many other wildflowers.
Apart from having a good month up in the mountains, I was also fortunate enough to do a presentation in PechaKucha Night Kathmandu about this blog and conservation.
The weather is slowly clearing up in the mountains and autumn is coming. Another month of travel means that I get to see the change in the color of the vegetation around the mountain. Please do forgive me if I’m a bit late this month on posting the updates as up in the mountains means less time on the computer. Hoping that you guys had a very good month and this monthly segment has been able to present you with some insights on the flora and fauna of Nepal. Thank you for all the support and encouragement. Please do feel free to message me about the improvements needed or any other comments regarding the blog. Wishing everyone a very good month ahead and for my Nepali friends a very wonderful month of the festivals.
Ajay Narsingh Rana