:•Wetlands are among the world’s most productive and diverse
ecosystems & are susceptible to even minor changes in precipitation
and temperature and may be degraded if no action is taken to
counteract climate change impacts. (State of the bird, 2010).
•Birds use wetlands for breeding depend on the physical and
biological attributes of the wetland. Birds have daily and seasonal
dependencies on wetlands for food and other life-support systems.
(Stewart. R et.al, 2007).
•The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
(UNFCCC) defines climate change as “A change of climate which is
attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the
composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to
natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods”
• The climate is changing in Nepal, like elsewhere in the world.
According to a recent study, Nepal’s temperature is rising by about
0.41ºC per decade (SAGUN, 2009).
• For many water birds, fluctuations in water levels change bird-
perched micro-habitats (Fragos, 2012) and directly affect the length of
exposure and availability of food in these habitats (Kushlan,1978)
• Climate change will often act in combination with major threats such
as habitat loss , alien and invasive species, making their impacts
To understand the impact of climate change on
wetland birds and its effect on their habitat.
Different journals, literature, research articles, thesis
Websites, Newspapers and other related materials from
Wetlands are among the most productive but threatened
ecosystems on earth. Wetlands provide many benefits –
environmental, economic and social –yet there is a limited
assessment of these multiple values and therefore, have little
attention in national accounts (Gautam, 2008).
Wetlands offer sanctuary to a wide variety of plants and animals
including millions of both migratory and sedentary water flows.
It has been estimated that freshwater wetlands, through
covering 1% of the earth surface hold 40% of the entire world’s
species and 12% of all animal species (Schuyt, 2004).
Finding and Discussion
The Ramsar Convention has recognized six major wetland
types. They are Marine, Estuarine, Lacustrine, Riverine,
Palustrine and Human-made wetlands (RCS, 2006).
Nepal’s wetlands covers 5% (7,435.63 sq.km.) area of the
country and among them 10 wetlands are listed in Ramsar
site (IUCN-N, 20016).
Although Nepal posses rather few wetlands, the ecological
diversity of the wetlands is very great (Scott, 1998).
The highest number of water birds is often found in wetlands
which have the greatest diversity of plant species and
vegetation types, or where there is permanent water (Balla,
Birds that use wetlands for breeding depend on the physical
and biological attributes of the wetland. Birds have daily and
seasonal dependencies on wetlands for food and other life-
support systems. (Stewart. R et.al, 2007).
Climate change is one of the most serious challenges of this century. It is
impacting people, animals, plants and natural environments–from the
deepest ocean to the highest mountain (Shrestha et al., 1999).
The projected change in temperature above the base line average is 1.2
degree Celsius for 2030, 1.7 for 2050 and 3.0 degree Celsius for 2100
According to a recent study, Nepal’s temperature is rising by about 0.41ºC
per decade (SAGUN, 2009)
“Climate change will often act in combination with
major threats such as habitat loss and alien and invasive
species, making their impacts considerably worse…”
(Bird life, 2004).
Birds’ habitats will be altered through changes in sea
level, fire regimes, vegetation and land use (IPCC,
Wetlands of Nepal are getting dry day by day due to the
increment in the global temperature. The phenomenon
seems more evident these days. It was studied on the
basis of present water availability these days in the
area compared to 15 years back (LFP, 2009).
Because some species are adversely affected by
temperature increases as small as 1°C (Hilbert et al.,
2004; Shoo et al., 2005), they face an uncertain future
if they cannot shift their distribution to track their
optimum climate envelope.
The report finds that: ( WWF, Nature Australia,2006)
1) climate change now affects bird species’ behavior,
ranges and population dynamics;
2) some bird species are already experiencing strong
negative impacts from climate change; and
3) in future, subject to greenhouse gas emissions levels
and climatic response, climate change will put large
numbers bird species at risk of extinction, with estimates
of extinction rates varying from 2 to 72 per cent,
depending on the region, climate scenario and potential
for birds to shift to new habitat.
This research entitled “Impact of Climate Change on
Wetland Birds and their Habitat” deeds :
1. To explore the perception of wetland dependent people around the
Jagadishpur Lake about the impacts on wetland dependent birds (migratory
as well the residential) and
2.To find out change in the characteristics of wetland bird’s habitat due to
climate change over last 30 years.
Meteorological data of last 30 years were used to
calculate the trend of Temperature, Precipitation and
PRA tools and techniques were used to explore
experience of local people about the impact of Climate
A case study from Jagadishpur Reservoir, Kapilvastu District,
Nepal (Subedi, M., 2018)
Finding of the case study
The finding of this research revealed that the temperature has
been increased at the rate of and 0.41 degree celsius per decade.
The precipitation pattern is also fluctuating which directly
affects the aquatic & terrestrial life as well has strong negative
impacts on the wetland dependent birds.
Local indicators of climate change were such as high
temperature, scarcity of water, loss of local species and spread
of invasive species (Water hyacinth), reduction in bird
species and numbers as well other negative impacts on birds,
increment in diseases and pests are the major impacts observed
by local people.
The migration trend of birds has found changed, some birds are
extinct and some are in danger of extinction, overall habitat for
birds has found adversely affected by the change in seasonal
According to meteorological data there is increase in
temperature by 0.41°C/decade and rainfall trend is severely
The habitat is greatly affected by the climate change with
decrease in food availability, water resources, cover area, and
the space for different activities for birds are also minimized by
various invasive species in the lake area.
Climatic impacts were observed contributing to loss of bird
species of waterfowl, permanent, as well the migratory and
declining productivity, change in range ,distribution, extinction
of some bird species, rapid encroachment by alien and invasive
species such as Eichhornia crassipes, Mikania micrantha ,
water hyacinth etc have strong impact on the bird species at the
The invasive plant species in the wetland areas should be
Lake should be demarcated and buffer zone area should be
assigned and eco-zoning of lake should be done to maintain
the habitat of various animals.
Eco-tourism should be promoted in the area to increase
income generating activities of the local dwellers.
The people should be well educate regarding the importance
of lake area for bird species and their role in nature as well
the biodiversity conservation
Birdlife International, 20012. Threatened Birds of Asia. Birdlife International,
DOAD, 1992. National fisheries development plan 1992/1993. Fisheries
development division, Department of Agriculture development, HMGN, Kathmandu
Gautam, D., 2008. Status and biodiversity of Phewa Lake, ponds and associated
wetlands of Pokhara Sub-metropolitan. A B.Sc. Forestry Research Thesis, Tribhuvan
University, Institute of Forestry, Pokhara, Nepal.
IPCC, 2007. Fourth Assessment Report. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change Secretariat. Geneva Switzerland.
LFP, 2009. Impact of Climate Change on Forest and Livelihoods: Issues and Options for
Organization of economic co-operation development (OECD), 2003. Development and
climate change in Nepal: focus on Water Resources and hydropowers. Head of
Publications Service, OECD, 2 rue André Pascal, 75775 Paris, Cedex 16, France.
Sherestha, A.B., Wake, C.P., Mayewski, P.A. and Dibb, J.E., 1999. Maximum
temperature trends in Himalayan and its vicinity: An analysis based on temperature
records from Nepal for the period 1971-1974.Journel of climate 12,2775-2787.
Stewart, R.E., 2007. Jr. National Biological Service, 2007 United States Geological
Survey Water Supply Paper 2425
Subedi, M., 2018. Impact of climate change on wetland birds and their habitat (A
Case study of Jagadishpur Reservoir in Kapilvastu District). A Project paper
submitted for the partial fulfilment of BSc. in Forestry degree, TU,IOF, Hetauda Nepal.
WWF,2006. Bird Species and Climate Change, Nature Australia.