Since 2001 The Parahawking Project has been supporting various raptor research and conservation projects in Nepal.
Here are some of the projects that we are actively involved with
Himalayan Raptor Rescue
The only dedicated raptor rescue and rehab facility in Nepal: A sister project to The Parahawking Project and almost entirely funded by Parahawking, Himalayan Raptor Rescue is a non profit, privately run Bird of prey rescue, rehabilitation and release facility. HRR was set up in 2001 and is based in Pokhara, Nepal. Our primary objective is to care for sick, injured and orphaned birds of prey with a view to rehabilitating and releasing them back into the wild where possible.
Income Generation Project
The Parahawking Project is not only supporting the vulture conservation effort but we are also actively involved in helping the communities that have given up their land to have a Vulture Safe Zone and vulture feeding site in their village. We will be providing financial assitance to the Gachowk community to support a number of income generation projects, the first being an organic tomoto and vegetable plantation which will be managed by the local community.
Conservation in any form must start with education and awareness and this is no more evident than with the Asia Vulture crisis. There's no denying that vultures suffer from an image problem. People opinions of vultures is usually one of a disgusting, unsavoury bird, circling above a suffering nearly dead animal ready to swoop in once it draws it's last breath. In order to help the vultures survive, we must change our opinion and educate our children.
Raptor Trafficking Research
A disturbing story recently came to my attention. 5 birds were seized by local police at the Nepal/India border, they were confiscated by officials but tragically all died that night. We don't know the full details so it's very difficult to say what they died of. I was sent pictures of the seized birds which are all clearly Saker Falcons. My guess is that they were being trafficked to the middle east for falconry purposes.
Vulture Safe Feeding Site
Background: Vultures are the primary consumers of carrion in both Asia and Africa, they consume carcasses of both domestic and wild animals; thereby, cleaning the environment (Thakur et al.,2012). In the last 20 years, vulture numbers across South Asia have plummeted. Studies have shown that up to 99.9% of some species of vultures have been lost, this equates to about 40 million birds, leaving only an estimated 11,000 vultures left in the wild. Vultures play a vital role in our eco system, they are natures cleaners, feeding from the dead animals. Without them, millions of tonnes of animal carcass' would be left to rot causing health problems in humans.
Shree Shukla Gandaki Higher Secondary School - Ghachok
Background: As part of our ongoing support for Vulture Conservation in Nepal, we firmly believe that in order to conserve nature, it’s important to support the very communities that live amongst it. by educating the local communities of the importance of vultures in our our ecosystem, we can encourage an better understanding of the roles they play and how their very existence directly helps the people and actually benefits their lives.
Our raptor workshops are for local students of wildlife, conservation and environment. The main aim is to teach this young group of educated enthusiasts the complexities of rehabilitating birds of prey. We have seen so many times where birds have been rescued or confiscated by Animal Rights organizations and wildlife groups then fed a completely unnatural diet, sometimes rice and lentils, then literally thrown back into the sky expecting the bird to survive.