The Jatayu Restaurant, established 17 years ago at Kawasoti-13 of East Nawalparasi, is serving as a centre to study the biological diversity and eco-tourism.
Students and researchers in particular have frequented the facility feeding the vultures to carry out a study on biological diversity, eco-tourism and forest and environment. They also observed lifestyles and activities of various species of vultures here, said ornithologist DB Chaudhary, chairperson of the Jatayu restaurant management committee.
The vultures kept in the restaurant are fed twice a week, and one day is allocated for students and researchers, he said, adding that they come in a group of 15 to 30 people at once. "A group of around 20 researchers and tourists on average have visited the centre at a time. Sometimes, the number increased," he said.
Preparations are underway to let the centre open to visitors and researchers twice a week as it would be possible to observe activities of vultures on the days of feeding, he said. The vultures feed outside in the environment the rest of the days.
The restaurant was established to protect and conserve vultures that have been at risk of disappearance lately due to habitat loss and consumption of pesticide-laced preys, he said.
The restaurant spanning on approximately 50 hectares of land in the Namuna community buffer zone forest in Kawasoti-13 houses various nine species of vulture.
Old and feeble cattle have been raised for feeding the vultures, and dead animals provided by various agriculture farms have also been used for the same purpose after their autopsy, he said.
For the management of prey of vultures, the restaurant has put forward a plan to construct a shelter for old, diseased and feeble cows and buffalos, he said. Various organisations including the Bird Conservation Association, the Chitwan National Park, Kawasoti Municipality and the Division Forest have provided monetary assistance for the project. It charges Rs 1,000 each for foreign tourists as entry fees, and Rs 300 for Nepali nationals.