|Town/Region||Bardia National Park|
|Date||18 Oct 2016|
Two globally threatened crocodilian species: the Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) and Mugger (Crocodylus palustris) occur in Nepal. Both of these species are distributed in few isolated populations primarily within the boundaries of protected areas including the Bardia National Park (BNP). Given the status of crocodilians in Nepal, the Crocodile Specialist Group has accorded the need for conducting conservation education and awareness programs as a ‘high priority’ to ensure their long-term conservation. Lack of awareness, undoubtedly, has posed a major constraint to conservation of these crocodilians in BNP and ensuring their long-term survival necessitates support from multitude of stakeholders who can directly and indirectly contribute to this cause. If conservation of Gharials and Muggers is to be warranted in BNP, it is urgent to raise awareness regarding crocodilian conservation among (a) local communities living in vicinities of crocodilian habitat, (b) policymakers responsible for developing policies facilitating crocodilian conservation, and (c) vast urban population living distant from the protected areas. My project aims to address this awareness-gap by implementing a holistic approach to increase awareness among all these three target groups regarding crocodilian conservation using multitude of Communication, Education and Public Awareness tools.
The main purpose of this project is to conduct educational and awareness programs to set up platform for conservation of globally threatened crocodilians (Gharials and Muggers) and their critical habitat in the BNP. Our programs will be focused in various schools and communities located in the buffer zone of the BNP. We will be conducing conservation education programs in schools, awareness and consultation programs in local communities, legislative workshop for local leaders, national workshop for policy makers as well as advocate crocodilian conservation in the BNP using online social media to achieve our purpose. Upon the completion of this project, we aim to set up platform for crocodilian conservation by gaining support of all relevant stakeholders whose contribution is critical in this endeavour. This project will be implemented in collaboration with the Kathmandu University and Biodiversity Conservancy Nepal.
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