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