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GPN begins vulture census in Annapurna region

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MUSTANG — A vulture census has started in popular tourist destination of the nation, the Annapurna Conservation Area in western Nepal.

The Global Primate Network (GPN) is counting the number of vultures along the Annapurna trekking route from Muktinath of Mustang to Ghandruk of Kaski district.

The team would also study other details of the vultures found there.

The vulture census was not held for last 10 years though it was continued from 2001 to 2006 in coordination with the Annapurna Conservation Area Project.

The GPN Programme Director Dikpal Karmacharya hoped that the number of vultures in the region had not significantly changed over the years.

However, some other studies have suggested that the number of vultures decreased in the region owing to lack of foodstuffs and safe habitats as a result of anti-wildlife activities of human beings.

So far, the census team has completed the study in Muktinath, Lopra, Marpha and Kobang region and  preparing to head to Ghasa, Chisapani, Chitre and Ghandruk areas for the study.

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NAC aims to bring more tourists

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KATHMANDU — Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) — the national flag carrier which bought two wide-body aircrafts — is exploring new destinations in Europe, North America and South East Asia to bring in more tourists to the country.

The NAC, with the new destinations, expects to increase its business and carry 400,000 tourists on board the NAC planes to Nepal every year.

The NAC’s move is expected to serve largely for the government’s announcement to mark 2020 as Nepal Visit Year.

The NAC is also planning to procure narrow-body planes that would make regional flights while the wide-body planes would fly to the new international destinations.

For the new destinations, the NAC has appointed issue manager.

With the agreement, the NAC planes would make flights to 14 destinations in a week. If things go as planned, the NAC planes would fly to Narita and Tokyo in Japan, easing the tourists visiting Nepal from there.

After getting approval from Japan and South Korea for flights, the inclusion in the significant safety concern list by the EU to Nepal would remove automatically while the flights to South Korea shall open up the golden door for Nepal Airlines.

South Korea is regarded as the safest country in the world in terms of civil aviation. Likewise, the ICAO has already removed Nepal from its blacklist.

Furthermore, the NAC is preparing to operate flights to bring in tourists from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Similarly, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari has directed the NAC for announcing new business plans by targeting the Indian and Chinese tourists, realizing the crucial role of the national flag carrier to make the Nepal Visit Year 2020 a success.

“Top priority has been given to the NAC as it is the major basis to bring in tourists,” Minister Adhikari shared.

Likewise, Minister Adhikari shared that expansion of services and facilities of the Tribhuvan International Airport has been prioritized.

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