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Protected areas are considered important for biodiversity conservation, however, studies have shown that habitats outside protected areas can also support high diversity and are important for biodiversity conservation. In this context, we compared the bird diversity between protected (Rani Taal in Shuklaphanta National Park) and non-protected (Sati Karnali Taal) wetlands in western Nepal. Bird surveys were conducted from February to August 2019, using open width point count method in 100 m intervals along transects. A total of 122 species belonging to 18 orders and 44 families were recorded from the protected wetland, and 107 species belonging to 16 orders and 41 families from the non-protected wetland area. Insectivores had high abundance in both wetlands (43% and 47% in protected and non-protected wetlands, respectively). Forest-dependent birds were more abundant in protected wetland compared to non-protected wetland. Our study showed that both protected and non-protected wetlands along with agricultural landscapes, support a richness of birds. Hence priority should be given to both wetlands for the conservation of birds.
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