Showing posts with label Jatayu Restaurant (JR). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jatayu Restaurant (JR). Show all posts

Monday, April 22, 2013

Jatayu Restaurant (JR) A Bird conservation project

Jatayu Restaurant (JR), the name might give you an eccentric feeling of curiosity and oddness but reality
is, it’s not a conventional restaurant that address the apatite, perhaps it’s a bizarre of its kind, a feast
that has been dedicated to birds conservation. To be specific, it is a conservational site, established
with the theme to conserve the decreasing population of three rare species of vultures’ namely white-
rumped vulture, slender-billed vulture and red-headed vulture.

Practically settling down from its name and visualizing its periphery is yet another amazement. The
restaurant not only evades the bad image of the natural scavengers but provides an overwhelming
platform to learn and to observe the behavioral aspect of this king of birds.

Nevertheless, synchronizing the graphic and bloody scene might be an interest for researchers but for
lighthearted people, it’s just a scene of a horror which explicates an open fest of bloody and fleshy
carcass where hundreds of birds line up for their meal. It has been recorded that vulture numbers
arriving at restaurant from 60 to as high as 274 vultures at one feeding scene.

The restaurant also houses a hide for the visitors to watch the fest where interested bird enthusiasts
can learn more about the bird species. The restaurant is famous among travelers, tourists and bird
enthusiasts as a wonder land where as for the locals, it’s a new concept of conservation adapting
the ecological demand. In the year 2006, when the number of Vulture population plumed down, a
situation of ecological turmoil ruled in. Suddenly attention was diverted towards the reasons behind
the turmoil where researchers came to know about implication of the Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory
Drug (NSAID) Diclofenac on the bird species. Highlighting the need of time, Bird Conservation Nepal
(BCN) played a crucial role in raising awareness about the issue. As the number of vulture population
decreased, the dead carcasses were left aside to decay, spreading diseases and threatening the
environment. The cause behind was the bird feasted on the contaminated dead animal carcass treated
with Diclofenac, which was toxic to the bird species. In addition, the consumption of the medicine
from the death carcass resulted in the death of the bird which slacked the vulture population. On the
result of that the BCN established a community-run sanctuary named Jatayu (Vulture) Restaurant at
Pithauli, Nawalparasi District which catered the extinct species with the fresh carcass uncontaminated
with Diclofenac. They first setup a community shed where cows and buffalos outgrown their productive
age are sheltered and after their death. They would be skinned out and fed at the JR to the birds.
Additionally, adapting the trend the community shelter pays NRs 200 per animal to the donors which
were previously exported to India. The community shed currently is running under the financial
support of United Nation Development Programme’s Global Environment Facility and Royal Society
for Protection of Birds (RSPB). The entire management of this restaurant is managed under the local
community with technical support from BCN. Likewise, a study of Nepal’s 75 districts by BCN finds that
the use of Diclofenac has dropped by 90 percent since 2006, thanks to work of BCN and its partners
like Nepalese government (Department of Drug Administrative and Department of National Parks and
Wildlife Conservation) the numbers are growing creating and alerting people about their ecological
importance and conservation of these nature scavengers. JR has established itself as a unique and
model sanctuary managed under public partnership.

According to BCN, “In addition to this, the centre also features collected fauna specimen, others birds,
mammals and natural history of area. There is increase in tourist numbers. A number of training such
as specimen collection and preservation for biodiversity museum management and cow rescue centre
management were held at the community level and a total of 96 beneficiaries directly benefited
from these training and seminars. Besides, these, various training for livelihood improvement of local
communities such wormi-composting ecotourism/nature guides, bee keeping, fisheries training,

ornithological training training have been conducted to encourage active participation of local people
in conservation. Conservation education and different awareness activities are also held to different
groups in the community which helped to generate a positive attitude towards vulture conservation.
Local VDCs/Veterinary professionals and vendor of East Nawalparasi declare area as Diclofenac Free
Zone (DFZs). There is home stay facilities if visitor want to live with local communities and simple
restaurants are also available in the quiet village Hotels are also available close by. There is opportunity
to gain experience of Tharu culture and religion and enjoy the delicious food made by them. There
is a religious temple of Tharu community. Visitors can take advantage of the trained guides that are
available for nature walks and cultural tours of Chitwan National Park and the nearby villages.”