Conservation Issues and Utilization of Wetlands in Nepal: A case study from Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve
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- Institutt for biologi 
Wetlands, once considered as the wasteland, are one of the most productive ecosystems with high level of biodiversity on earth. Nepal has a number of wetlands, which are an integral part of local ecosystems, cultures and socio-economic conditions. This study was conducted in Paschim kusaha and Madhuban VDC of Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve of Nepal. It is the first wetland of Nepal designated as the Ramsar site in 1987. The study was mainly focused on the people´s dependency on wetland, type of resources extracted, people´s attitude towards conservation, distribution of Khair (Senegalia catechu) inside and outside the reserve area and the current conservation programs and issues on conservation. The data collection was done by questionnaire survey to obtain socio-economic variables; resources dependency and frequency of extraction and line transect survey to obtain Khair data. The result showed that 24.4% of respondents were only dependent on farming as a source of income, 56.2% use guitha as an energy for cooking and 75.1% are dependent on underground water as a source of drinking water. Similarly, 69.2% of respondents were literate and education has a significant relation with people´s attitude towards conservation. The firewood extraction was highest (33.8%) followed by reeds (26.9%) and fishing (22.4%) and the extraction was most frequently done by females, peoples having less than sufficient income and those who are residing their for generations. A total of 79.6% of respondents thinks that conservation of wetland is necessary and 37.8% show their willingness to pay for conservation. This shows the people have more positive attitude and the wetland conservation is going well. Also the number of individuals and saplings per individuals of khair plants are found more inside the reserve area. Likewise, 45% of respondents replied human wildlife conflicts like encounter and injury by wild elephant, wild buffalo, crop depredation and trampling, property loss, etc. is the major issue of conservation followed by adult literacy, especially women literacy. Finally the study supports that the alternative livelihood programs, education, involvement of locals in decision making, equitable sharing of benefits will encourage more, for the locals to participate in conservation activities and also helps to built positive attitude towards wetland conservation and management.