Environmental Impacts of Hydropower Developmen on Vegetation and Wildlife Resources at Kali Gandaki 'A' Hydroelectric Project Area, West Nepal

  • B. Pandey Scientific Center for Enviromental Consulting, Kumaltar; Kathmandu
  • V. N. P. Gupta Central Department of Botany, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur; Kathmandu
  • S. Devkota Scientific Center for Enviromental Consulting, Kumaltar; Kathmandu

Abstract

Effects of infrastructure development on the natural vegetation and wildlife habitat were studied at the Kali Gandaki 'A'  Hydroelectric Project site, western Nepal. Five major habitats observed in the area were: hill Sal (Shorea robusta) forest, mixed hardwood forest, mixed pine forest, Khayer (Acacia catechu) forest and open shrub and grassland. Mixed hardwood forest was the dominant forest in the study area whileA. catechu and Ficus semicordata were dominant trees. The prominent impacts observed were vegetation clearance, removal of wood and threatening of rare and endangered species. The vegetation resources and natural habitat at the dam site were found more degraded than at reservoir area. The natural habitat of wildlife was also disturbed in vicinity of the project site. However, most of the impacts were of temporary nature and expected to be reduced after the project completion. There has been reasonable success in the implementation of mitigation measures for minimization of adverse impacts on vegetation and wildlife.