The endangered Eurasian Eagle Owl, locally known as 'Huchil', is at the verge of extinction in the eastern belt of Udayapur district.
In the past, sights of the bird were common at the Sughachari cliff, Bopatang cliff, Champakot, Siddhipur and Katunjebabala in Belaka Municipality, said Ram Bahadur Magar, a resident of Chaudandi Babala.
"The bird would be commonly spotted at cliffs and forests in the locality until some years ago. But nowadays, their sights are rare," he said. Hunting and habitat destruction have been blamed for them facing extinction, he said.
Hunters from other districts visited and killed the bird in collusion with local people, he said.
A local Man Bahadur Rai said the endangered bird was rarely seen in the recent period. A live Eurasian eagle-owl is sold for Rs 20,000 in the local market, it has been said.
"A campaign has been launched to conserve the rare eagle and the Eurasian eagle-owl at Boptang and Sugachari cliff. The campaign should be continued," said former mayor of Belaka municipality, Durga Kumar Thapa.