The name Ghodaghodi is used here to cover all the other smaller wetlands in the nearby area including Nakhrodi lake. This wetland complex is situated in the far southwestern terai and the main lake's southern tip is bordered by the East-West Highway. This area is a key link between the Churia Hills and the terai plains, and also acts as a corridor connecting Royal Bardia National Park with the Royal Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve.
Ghodaghodi lake is surrounded by subtropical broadleaved trees such as Sal Shorea robusta and Saj or Asna Terminalia alata. Other tree species include Amala Phyllanthus emblica, Mitho Neem Murraya koenigii, Kyamun Cleistocalyx operculata, Bael Aegle marmelos, Karma Adina cordifolia, Kusum Schleichera trijuga etc. Small patches of Phragmites karka grow in the shallower area of the lake. In other lakes, for example Nakhrodi, Bainsha trees Salix spp. are abundant.
A total of 140 species has been recorded in the lake area, including the globally threatened Lesser Adjutant and near-threatened Darter (Baral 1992).
Non-bird biodiversity: Most mammals have disappeared because of hunting and disturbance. Smooth-coated Otter Lutrogale perspicillata, Rhesus Macaque Macaca mulatta, Hanuman Langur Semnopithecus entellus and Sloth Bear Melursus ursinus have been recorded in the area (IUCN Nepal 2004a). Other species recorded include the Data deficient Bengal Fox Vulpes bengalensis, Leopard Panthera pardus, Golden Jackal Canis aureus, Wild Boar Sus scrofa, Jungle Cat Felis chaus, Fishing Cat Prionailurus viverrinus, Mongoose Herpestes edwardsii, Spotted Deer Axis axis and Indian Muntjac Muntiacus muntjac. A variety of reptiles including the Critically endangered Red-crowned Roofed Turtle Kachuga kachuga, Endangered Three-striped Roof Turtle Kachuga dhongka, Vulnerable Mugger Crocodile Crocodylus palustris and Asiatic Rock Python Python molurus are known to occur in the area.
Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
Ghodaghodi lake was designated a Ramsar site in 2003. A recent study by IUCN Nepal estimated the lake’s annual value of biodiversity, wetland products and services, and community dependence at over US$ 1.3 million (Anon 2003b). The lake's close proximity to the East-West highway could be a major environmental problem to the lake and its wildlife unless the area is carefully managed. The current locations of several temples and other structures also threaten the lake. Other threats are high grazing pressure, poaching, hunting, extraction of forest produce, encroachment, eutrophication, siltation, invasive species, exotic fish farming, pollution and draining of water for irrigation (IUCN 2004a). Haphazard recreational development initiated by the local government could cause a significant threat to bird and other wildlife in the area. Practical conservation programmes that benefit the community and help to maintain the biological diversity of the lake are necessary.
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ghodaghodi Lake. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 23/03/2023.