Baseline biodiversity and physiochemical survey in Parvati Kunda and surrounding area in Rasuwa, Nepal

Main Article Content

Jessie Anna Moravek
Mohan Bikram Shrestha
Sanjeevani Yonzon


Parvati Kunda, a small, alpine wetland located near the village of Gatlang in Rasuwa, Nepal, is a major source of drinking water for the village, possesses spiritual significance, and is a reservoir of local biodiversity.  This study presents the first scientifically conducted biodiversity survey of the wetland.  Here, biodiversity data (wetland plants, birds, mammals, aquatic insects), basic water chemistry (nutrients, pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity), and basic bacterial tests (total coliform, Escherichia coli, Giardia, Salmonella, Shigella) for the Parvati Kunda wetland is presented from November 2016 and February and May 2017. Parvati Kunda, two of three alternate village water sources, and several village taps were found to be contaminated with E. coli bacteria. Within and around the wetland, 25 species of wetland plants, nine tree species, 10 macroinvertebrate taxa, 37 bird species, and at least six mammal species were documented.  Acorus calamus was the dominant wetland plant and the rapid proliferation of this species over the past twenty years has been reported by community members.  Future studies that further document and monitor wetland biodiversity are necessary.  This study provides a valuable baseline for future research in this culturally and ecologically important wetland.

Article Details

How to Cite
Moravek, J.A., Shrestha, M.B. and Yonzon, S. 2019. Baseline biodiversity and physiochemical survey in Parvati Kunda and surrounding area in Rasuwa, Nepal. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 11, 6 (Apr. 2019), 13734–13747. DOI:
Author Biographies

Jessie Anna Moravek, Wildlife Conservaiton Nepal, Bafal, Kathmandu 44600 Nepal.

Research consultant at Wildlife Conservaiton Nepal. Currently an MSc. postgraduate student at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom.

Mohan Bikram Shrestha, Wildlife Conservaiton Nepal, Bafal, Kathmandu 44600 Nepal.

Former Conservation Officer at Wildlife Conservation Nepal. 

Sanjeevani Yonzon, Wildlife Conservaiton Nepal, Bafal, Kathmandu 44600 Nepal.

Program Director at Wildlife Conservation Nepal. 


Bartram, J. & S. Pedley (1996). Multiple fermentation tube technique 10.3. In: Bartram, J. & R. Balance (eds.). Water Quality Monitoring - A Practical Guide to the Design and Implementation of Freshwater Quality Studies and Monitoring Programmes. United Nations Environment Programme and the World Health Organization, 383pp.

Binzer, A., C. Guill, B.C. Rall & U. Brose (2016). Interactive effects of warming, eutrophication and size structure: impacts on biodiversity and foodâ€web structure. Global Change Biology 22(1): 220–227.

Boles, G.L. (1981). Macroinvertebrate colonization of replacement substrate below a hypolimnial release reservoir. Hydrobiologia 78(2): 133–146.

Botts, P. (1997). Spatial pattern, patch dynamics and successional change: chironomid assemblages in a lake Erie coastal wetland. Freshwater Biology 37(2): 277–286.

Britton, L.J. & P.E. Greeson (1989). Methods for Collection and Analysis of Aquatic Biological and Microbiological Samples. Techniques of Water-Resources Investigations of the U.S. Geological Survey, Book 5. 172pp.

Carpenter, S.R., N.F. Caraco & D.L. Correll (1998). Nonpoint pollution of surface waters with phosphorus and nitrogen. Ecological Applications 8(3): 559–568.

Ceschin, S., V. Zuccarello & G. Caneva (2010). Role of macrophyte communities as bioindicators of water quality: application on the Tiber River basin (Italy). Plant Biosystems 144(3): 528–536.

Connolly, N.M., M.R. Crossland & R.G. Pearson (2004). Effect of low dissolved oxygen on survival, emergence, and drift of tropical stream macroinvertebrates. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 23(2): 251–270.<0251:EOLDOO>2.0.CO;2

DNPWC (2019). Langtang National Park. Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Nepal. Accessed 22 April 2019.

ESRI (2014). ArcGIS Desktop: Release 10. Date of access is 2 November 2016.

Foote, A.L., S. Pandey & N.T. Krogman (1996). Processes of wetland loss in India. Environmental Conservation 23(1): 45–54.

Fore, L.S., J.R. Karr & R.W. Wisseman (1996). Assessing Invertebrate Responses to Human Activities: Evaluating Alternative Approaches. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 15(2): 212–231.

Fox, J., P. Yonzon & N. Podger (1996). Mapping conflicts between biodiversity and human needs in Langtang National Park, Nepal. Conservation Biology 10(2): 562–569.

Gautam, B., R. Maskey, R.P. Sapkota & D.R. Dangol (2014). Aquatic macro-invertebrates as bio-indicators: an approach for wetland water quality assessment of Rampur Ghol, Chitwan, Nepal. Journal of Institute of Science and Technology 19(2): 58–64.

Gerlitz, J.Y., S. Banerjee, N. Brooks, K. Hunzai & M. Macchi (2015). An approach to measure vulnerability and adaptation to climate change in the Hindu Kush Himalayas, pp151–176. In: Filho W.L. (eds.). Handbook of Climate Change Adaptation. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2198pp.

Glime, J.M., R.G. Wetzel & B.J. Kennedy (1982). The effects of bryophytes on succession from alkaline marsh to sphagnum bog. American Midland Naturalist 108(2): 209–233.

Google Earth (2016). Gatlang, Rasuwa, Nepal. Lat 28.156331, long 85.261294. DigitalGlobe, V. 7.3.2. Avaialble online at Accessed on 1 November 2016.

Gotelli, N.J. & A. Chao (2013). Measuring and estimating species richness, species diversity, and biotic similarity from sampling data, pp195–211. In: Levin S.A. (ed.) Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, second edition, Volume 5. Academic Press, Waltham, MA.

Gutser, R., T. Ebertseder, A. Weber, M. Schraml & U. Schmidhalter (2005). Shortâ€term and residual availability of nitrogen after longâ€term application of organic fertilizers on arable land. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science 168(4): 439–446.

IPCC (2007). Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007. In: Parry, M.L., O.F. Canziani, J.P. Palutikof, P.J. van der Linden & C.E. Hanson (eds.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA. Accessed 2 September 2017.

IUCN (2018). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, Version 2018-2. Avaiable online at Downloaded on 1 April 2019.

IUCN (2016). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, Version 2016-3. Avaialble online at Downloaded on 1 April 2019.

Jansson, A. (1977). Distribution of Micronectae (Heteroptera, Corixidae) in lake Päijänne, central Finland: correlation with eutrophication and pollution. Annales Zoologici Fennici 14(2): 105–117.

Khan, M.A., M.A. Shah, S.S. Mir & S. Bashir (2004). The environmental status of a Kashmir Himalayan wetland game reserve: aquatic plant communities and eco-restoration measures. Lakes and Reservoirs: Research and Management 9(2): 125–132.

Kharel, F.R. (1997). Agricultural crop and livestock depredation by wildlife in Langtang National Park, Nepal. Mountain Research and Development 17(2): 127.

Li, X. & R. Guo (2017). Comparison of nitrogen removal in floating treatment wetlands constructed with Phragmites australis and Acorus calamus in a cold temperate zone. Water, Air & Soil Pollution 228(4): 132.

Malla, S.B., A.B. Shrestha, S.B. Rajbhandari, T.B. Shrestha & P.M. Adhikari (1976). Flora of Langtang and cross section vegetation survey (central zone). Kathmandu Department of Plant Resources. Dept. of Medicinal Plants, Thapathali, Kathmandu (Nepal) Ministry of Forests.

Manandhar, Y. (2007). Parbati Kunda, Rasuwa. World Wildlife Fund. Available online at Accessed on 01 October 2016.

Merrey, D.J., A. Hussain, D.D. Tamang, B. Thapa & A. Prakash (2018). Evolving high altitude livelihoods and climate change: a study from Rasuwa District, Nepal. Food Security 10(4): 1055–1071.

Ministry of Physical Planning and Works (2005). National Drinking Water Quality Standards and Directives. Nepal Department of Water Supply and Sewerage. Downloaded on 23 January 2018.

Murray, A.B. (2009). A Manual for an Inventory of Greater Himalayan Wetlands. International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, Kathmandu, Nepal, 57pp.

Nurminen, L. (2003). Macrophyte species composition reflecting water quality changes in adjacent water bodies of lake Hiidenvesi, SW Finland. Annales Botanici Fennici 40: 188–208.

Pandit, A.K. (1999). Freshwater Ecosystems of the Himalaya. Parthenon, New York, 207pp.

Prasad, S.N., T.V. Ramachandra, N. Ahalya, T. Sengupta, A. Kumar, A.K. Tiwari, V.S. Vijayan & L. Vijayan (2002). Conservation of wetlands of India: a review. Tropical Ecology 43(1): 173–186.

R Development Core Team (2016). R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. Vienna, Austria: R Foundation for Statistical Computing. Available online at

Ralph, C.J., S. Droege & J.R. Sauer (1995). Managing and monitoring birds using point counts: standards and applications. In: Ralph, C.J., J.R. Sauer & S. Droege (technical editors). Monitoring bird populations by point counts. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-149. Albany, California: US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: p. 161–168, 149.

Rickey, M.A. & R.C. Anderson (2004). Effects of nitrogen addition on the invasive grass Phragmites Australis and a native competitor Spartina pectinata. Journal of Applied Ecology 41(5): 888–896.

Rion, V., J.D. Gallandat, J.M. Gobat & P. Vittoz (2018). Recent changes in the plant composition of wetlands in the Jura Mountains. Applied Vegetation Science 21(1): 121–131.

Romshoo, S.A. & I. Rashid (2014). Assessing the impacts of changing land cover and climate on Hokersar Wetland in Indian Himalayas. Arabian Journal of Geosciences 7(1): 143–160.

Schindler, D.W. (2006). Recent advances in the understanding and mnagement of eutrophication. Limnology and Oceanography 51(1): 356–363.

Tachamo-Shah, R.D., D.N. Shah & H. Nesemann (2011). Development of a macroinvertebrate-based Nepal Lake Biotic Index (NLBI): an applied method for assessing the ecological quality of lakes and reservoirs in Nepal. International Journal of Hydrology Science and Technology 1(1–2): 125–146.

Tse-ring, K., E. Sharma, N. Chettri & A. Shrestha (2010). Climate Change Impact and Vulnerability in the eastern Himalayas: Synthesis Report. International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Kathmandu, Nepal, 30pp.

Weber, M. & R. Brändle (1996). Some aspects of the extreme anoxia tolerance of the Sweet Flag, Acorus calamus L. Folia Geobotanica 31(1): 37–46.

Xu, J., A. Shrestha, R. Vaidya & M. Eriksson (2007). The Melting Himalayas: Regional Challenges and Local Impacts of Climate Change on Mountain Ecosystems and Livelihoods. International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Kathmandu, Nepal, 13pp.

Xu, J., R.E. Grumbine, A. Shrestha, M. Eriksson, X. Yang, Y. Wang & A. Wilkes (2009). The melting Himalayas: cascading effects of climate change on water, biodiversity, and livelihoods. Conservation Biology 23(3): 520–530.

Yao, T., Y. Wang, S. Liu, J. Pu, Y. Shen & A. Lu (2004). Recent glacial retreat in high Asia in China and its impact on water resource in northwest China. Science in China, Series D: Earth Sciences 47(12): 1065–1075.

Zhang, X., D. Wei, Z. Hu, A. Zhang, F. Li, J. Zhang, Y. Wu & Y. Tang (2018). Tolerance and physiological responses of Sweet Flag (Acorus calamus L.) under nitrite stress during wastewater treatment. Ecological Engineering 122: 107–111.