Nepal has established its reputation as an ideal mountain tourist destination by successfully combining various tourism activities such as soft walking, mountain sightseeing, trekking, mountaineering, community based tourism, rural/village home-stay tourism, eco-tourism, adventure-sports tourism, and so on. Pokhara, in central Nepal, is cosmically blessed and naturally gifted among Nepal’s top tourist destinations. As a result, it has become one of the world’s most appealing tourist destinations, combining the unbeatable beauty of nature with the uniqueness of culture (Upreti and Upadhyaya, 2013). Pokhara is one of Nepal’s fastest-growing cities and second-largest metropolitan city after Kathmandu. Because of the prominent temples, monasteries, lakes, adventure sports, and being close to the well-known Annapurna Range, it is recognized as the tourism center of Nepal (Khatiwada and Adhikari, 2021). Tourism is considered as a growing industry and undoubtedly contributed significantly to the Pokhara region’s economic development and the general well-being of its residents as a result, in order to promote tourism in Pokhara in a sustainable manner, it is vital to conserve nature and its resources (Upadhyay, 2020).

The Pokhara name itself was derived from “Pokhari”, which is meant for Pond in Nepali vernacular-one of the wetland types (Gauli et al., 2016).Wetlands are intermediary ecosystems between land and water that include water, soil, and organisms that have adapted to the unique wet environment, resulting in one of the most dynamic ecosystems (Paudel et al., 2017). Wetland is known in Nepalese vernacular as “Simsar,” and it occupies around 5% of the country’s total land area (Rijal et al., 2021). Wetlands cherish high numbers of flora and fauna by providing suitable habitat to them and act as significant livelihood ingredient for the local communities residing in its vicinity (MoFE, 2018). The Ramsar List includes ten wetlands sites in Nepal, with Koshi Tappu being the first listed wetland and Lake Clusters of Pokhara Valley being the most recent addition (Shrestha et al., 2020).

Lake clusters of Pokhara Valley is located in Pokhara, also known as “City of lakes”. The three most well-known lake clusters are Begnas Lake, Phewa Lake, and Rupa Lake.  The lake area is documented as habitat to worldwide threatened and endemic flora and fauna (Paudel et al., 2017). Tamrakar (2008) discovered 60 aquatic plant species on the Pokhara Lake clusters, including 16 submerged, four free floating, six rooted floating, and the remainder emergent plant species. The same research revealed 203 terrestrial plant species with a wide range of applications. Threatened plants found in the cluster includes Alstonia scholaris; Apostasia wallichii and Michelia champaca; Asparagus racemosus; Bulbophyllum plyrhiza; Cymbidium iridioides, Dendrobium densiflorum, D. fimbiatum and Cyathea spinosa; Dioscorea deltoidea; Oberonia nepalensis; O. iridifolia; Oroxylum indicum and Papilionantheteres sp.; Oryza rufipogon (wild gene pool of cultivated rice); Tinospora sinensis and monogeneric species like Ceratophyllum demersum, Trapa natans and Typha angustifolia. Tamrakar (2008) reported 168 bird species in the Lake clusters, including endangered, endemic, and globally threatened species. Among these bird species, 10 species are included under CITES Appendix, while five are listed in the IUCN’s various threat categories. Some of the endemic/threatened birds available in the clusters include Spiny Babbler (Turdoides nepalensis), Nepal Wren Babbler (Pnoepyga immaculate), Comb duck (Sarkidiornis melanotos), Baer’s Pochard (Aythya baeri), Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca) etc. Also the lakes harbours 28 species of the fishes, 11 species of the frogs, 28 species of the reptiles and 36 species of the mammals.

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