The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Impact report of the proposed Sagu Khola Hydroelectric Project in Dolakha district states that a Fishing Cat was sighted during the field survey. This sighting would have been brilliant news for wildlife enthusiasts. If it was true.
The Fishing Cat actually prefers slow moving rivers and stagnant lakes in the Tarai with an abundance of fish, making it highly unlikely for the cat to be living in the mountains of Dolakha.
The West Seti Hydropower Project has been in the works for 20 years, and it never got built. But its EIA states that 140 bird species were observed in the project area inwestern Nepal, including the endangered yellow-cheeked tit.
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Again, this should have made headlines if the bird was actually sighted there. Except the yellow-cheeked tit is found specifically in eastern part of the country with no documented sighting ever west of the Arun River.
Nepal’s most grandiose infrastructure project is the proposed $6.7 billion Nijgad International Airport An EIA of the project located in the Tarai in 2018 was found to have copy-pasted entire paragraphs from a hydropower project in the mountains.
The Nijgad EIA says that the project site at 200m above sea level is the habitat for two species of pika Ochotons sp and Naemorhaedus goral when those are species found in the high mountains.
The EIA also mentions two species of langur found in the project area: common langur and langur monkey with the same scientific name Presbytis entellus. Actually this zoological name is not used, and the species is called Semnopithecus entellus and is only found in India. The langur species found in the project area should have been Semnopithecus hector, or the Tarai grey langur.
Naturally Nepal, Editorial
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Furthermore, the assessment claims to have also recorded wild cat Felis lybica ornata and jungle cat Felis chaus. Yet, the wild cat has never been spotted in Nepal before. The report also uses the Nepali ‘Hapsilo’ for jungle cat, which is in fact the name for rock eagle owl Bubo bubo.