I am a co-founder of Biodiversity Conservancy Nepal (Biocon)—a non-profit dedicated to wildlife conservation in Nepal. I have been studying genetics and ecology of crocodylians since 2009. I have a B.S in Environment Science from the Kathmandu University and M.S in Zoology from the Texas Tech University. Currently, I am a National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow and have been working together with RanjanaBhatta (EDGE Fellow) and Phoebe Griffith (D.Phil. student at the ZSL’s Institute of Zoology and the University of Oxford) for gharial conservation in Nepal.
I was fortunate to experience wilderness from my childhood. When I was a kid, my father used to take me to the Chitwan National Park where I had opportunities to see many wildlife including gharials. I think those ‘close- to -nature’ experience during my childhood pretty much got me interested into gharials and shaped my desire to be a wildlife biologist. When I grew up and came to understand that we had fewer gharials than tigers left in wild in Nepal and still not much scientific studies has been done on them, it caught my interest and inspired me to work to protect gharials.
I am a Principal Investigator of Nepal Gharial Conservation Initiative (NGCI) which is a long-term project aimed at safeguarding future of critically endangered gharials in Nepal. This project aims to establish healthy and protected populations of gharials in Nepal by generating comprehensive baseline scientific information on their ecology and genetics. Importantly, NGCI also aims to build in-country expertise for gharial research and strengthen the capacity of local communities for gharial conservation.
NGCI has accomplished the followings to date:
- Assessment of population and habitat ecology of gharials in Bardia National Park
- Preliminary assessment of nesting and reproductive ecology of gharials in Bardia National Park
- Prediction and assessment of impact of climate change on nesting and reproduction of gharials in Chitwan National Park
- Assistance to Gharial Conservation Breeding Center at Chitwan National Park in optimizing captive rearing practices for gharials
- Design and implementation of course curriculum on teaching scientific models to high school students using crocodylians as model
- Implementation of conservation education programs in more than 20 schools reaching well over 2000 students and 40 teachers
- Community awareness programs and citizen science programs being implemented in over 10 villages
- Training and capacity building of more than 18 individuals including graduate students, research assistants, local nature guides and park rangers
- Involvement and contribution in the latest IUCN Red List Assessment of Gharials
My organization Biocon and I work in collaboration with universities, government agencies and conservation organizations including Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Gharial Conservation and Breeding Center, Chitwan National Park , Bardia National Park, National Trust for Nature Conservation, Kathmandu University, Texas Tech University and Gharial Ecology Project.
You can learn more about our work at :