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Cheer pheasant on the verge of extinction

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MYAGDI — Cheer pheasant, an endangered species of bird in the world, is likely to vanish for lack of environment conducive and proper habitat in the district.

Keshav Chokhal, an MSc student from Tribhuvan University (TU), has carried out his research in the district for a year confirming as high as 60 cheer pheasants living in Myagdi. The total number of the bird is around 1000 in Nepal, he shared.

Chokhal conducted his research on situation, number and reasons of extinctions of cheer pheasants in the district with supports from the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) and other organisations.

Known as Catreus Wallichii as its scientific name, the bird is named Cheer Kaliz in Nepali and Cheddu in the Far-Western regions.

The bird is enlisted in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Nepal’s National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act as well.

Researcher Chokhal said that the bird is found at an altitude of 1400 metres to 3,600 metres. The bird has the special feature of chirping just twice a day, before the sunrise and after the sunset.

He said, the endangered birds are spotted on the bank of Kaligandaki River, Myagdi River and Raghu Ganga River in Myagdi and also in neighbouring Baglung district and far-western regions.

Chokhal cited illegal hunting, decline in the habitat and lack of consciousness among people as the reasons for declining its number.

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Health

Regular bedtime beneficial for heart and metabolic health among older adults

Raghu Kshitiz

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KATHMANDU — Sufficient sleep has been proven to help keep the body healthy and the mind sharp. But a new study on sleep patterns has suggested that a regular bedtime and wake time are just as important for heart and metabolic health among older adults too.

Researchers at Duke Health and the Duke Clinical Research Institute, in a study of 1,978 older adults, have found that people with irregular sleep patterns weighed more, had higher blood sugar, higher blood pressure, and a higher projected risk of having a heart attack or stroke within 10 years than those who slept and woke at the same times every day.

The study  was published Sept 21 in the journal Scientific Reports.

“From our study, we can’t conclude that sleep irregularity results in health risks, or whether health conditions affect sleep,” said study’s lead author Jessica Lunsford-Avery.

“Perhaps all of these things are impacting each other.”

African-Americans had the most irregular sleep patterns compared to participants who were white, Chinese-American or Hispanic, the data showed.

Still, the data suggest tracking sleep regularity could help identify people at risk of disease, and where health disparities may impact specific groups.

Irregular sleepers were also more likely to report depression and stress than regular sleepers, both of which are tied to heart health.

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