Yureshiya Wagle, MSc Student, Central Department of Zoology, Institute of Science and Technology, Tribhuvan University (TU Road, Kirtipur 44618, Bagmati, Nepal); iD ORCID:; e-mail:
Bishnu Prasad Bhattarai, Assistant Professor, Central Department of Zoology, Institute of Science and Technology, Tribhuvan University (TU Road, Kirtipur 44618, Bagmati, Nepal); iD ORCID:; e-mail:
Jagan Nath Adhikari, Assistant Professor, Central Department of Zoology, Institute of Science and Technology, Tribhuvan University (TU Road, Kirtipur 44618, Bagmati, Nepal); iD ORCID:; e-mail:

Reference to article

Wagle Y., Bhattarai B.P., Adhikari J.N. 2022. Factors influencing distribution and habitat utilisation of Leptoptilos javanicus in and around Barandabhar Corridor Forest, Chitwan, Nepal. Nature Conservation Research 7(1): 19–26.

Section Research articles

The globally Vulnerable wetland-dependent bird species Leptoptilos javanicus was once thought to avoid farmlands, but recent studies in lowland Nepal showed that the species uses farmlands extensively for foraging and breeding. Identifying whether this preference of L. javanicus to these habitats is common throughout Nepal is essential to understanding the conservation needs of the species. This study aimed to explore the seasonal distribution and habitat utilisation by L. javanicus in and around the Barandabhar Corridor Forest by using 220 randomly selected squares within a 500 × 500 m2 grid. We visited centroids of each selected square to collect data on L. javanicus distribution, habitat types, and probable causes of disturbance in two seasons (rainy: August – September 2019 and winter: December – January 2019–2020). A total of 64 observations of L. javanicus (n = 29 in winter, n = 35 in rainy) were made. Leptoptilos javanicus were seen in more squares outside the Protected Area (65.2%) during the rainy season. Variables that negatively influenced L. javanicus sightings were distance to the road (few individuals seen close to the road), distance to the village (few individuals seen close to settlement), and areas under human disturbance (only few individuals seen in areas with more livestock and people) during both seasons. The farmlands around the Barandabhar Corridor Forest hosted many individuals of L. javanicus and are a new location in lowland Nepal with a resident population of this species. Past assumptions regarding L. javanicus conservation require revision, and including a focus on farmlands is an important requirement in Nepal's conservation planning.


bird conservation, Chitwan National Park, Lesser adjutant, paddy fields, point count, wetland birds

Artice information

Received: 16.05.2021. Revised: 15.12.2021. Accepted: 16.12.2021.

The full text of the article

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