Dear Frog Lovers,
Greetings from the Himalayas! It gives me great pleasure to share with you that I have won a Future Leader of Conservation Award and will be participating in the Amphibian Conservation Research Symposium (ACRS) to be held at Canterbury, UK this year from June 23-26. The award funds my travel expenses from Nepal. This will be my second time leaving Nepal (my first international trip was to Indonesia). I will be giving an oral presentation at the conference entitled “Saving Stream Dwelling Frogs (Paha) in the remote mountains of Manaslu Conservation Area, Nepal”.
The Budhi Gandaki River in Manaslu, Nepal
My research and conservation education efforts in Manaslu — funded in part through the generous donations of SAVE THE FROGS! supporters — have helped make people aware of amphibians and encouraged their conservation in the remote corners of Manaslu.
I am very much thankful to my greatest supporter of all time - SAVE THE FROGS! USA, and Dr. Kerry Kriger and Michael Starkey from the organization. I also thank the local people of Manaslu who welcomed our initiative; and Friends of Nature (FON) Nepal, Rufford Small Grants, and The Pollination Project for funding my efforts. This award is dedicated to all of you and yes together we can SAVE THE FROGS!
SAVE THE FROGS! Task Force Member, Nepal
Spreading amphibian awareness at Pemathang Monastery in Lokpa, Manaslu, March 2017
Saving Stream Dwelling Frogs (Paha) in the remote mountains of Manaslu Conservation Area, Nepal
Community members of Manaslu Conservation Area are often involved in hunting and consumption of stream dwelling frogs, locally called *Paha,* from the genera *Amolops*, *Nanorana* and *Ombrana*. The frog’s meat is considered a delicacy, free of cost, and is presumed to have health benefits. Hunting frogs is also considered a mode of recreation in remote villages. Local use of *Paha* has been rampant in most of the mountainous regions of Nepal from time immemorial, which spells grave danger for frog survival as the Nepalese human population is growing rapidly. Lower reaches of Manaslu - Sirdibas and Bihi villages have the dire problems of *Paha* collection for local consumption from male members in the community. People opined it’s their unparalleled taste, protein supplement, medicinal benefits and recreational value that tempts them to wander nearby streams.
My project helped to set up amphibian conservation initiatives in Manaslu Conservation Area (Gorkha district, western Nepal), through a blend of research and conservation education activities. We conducted amphibian surveys, collected ecological data and threat information, mapped spatial distribution of *Paha* occurrence, educated the local community about amphibian conservation and raised efforts to empower the local community in stream frogs’ protection. The outreach programs were appreciated by the community, but we need long-term monitoring and continual support to change people’s habits in exploiting *Paha* of Manaslu.
Biraj Shrestha spreads the SAVE THE FROGS! message on Choice FM 94.0, Manaslu, Nepal
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