Nepal is abundantly blessed with natural beauties. Apart from the elegant crown of the White Himalayas she wears, the wildlife diversity of the country is exemplary.
The fact that facilitates such vast wildlife is the geographical location of the country. Nepal sees a variety of climatic conditions, from tropical to arctic. They provide favorable conditions for the growth and regeneration of elements of the natural ecosystem.
Nepal is also diverse and rich in its vegetation comprising of mountainous ecoregion, the savanna and grasslands ecoregion of the Terai (foothills), and the Rara Lake ecoregion, which has many endemic species. As a consequence, Nepal has diverse range of species residing in each of these regions.
As a matter of fact, wildlife tourism happens to be a major source of income for the country. Two of the National Parks- Sagarmatha National park and Chitwan National park are listed under the UNESCO world heritage site.
Nepal has in numerous variety of plants and animals and also a large number of rhododendron species. There is no such thing as a Natural Habitat in Nepal. It has instead established several National Parks and reserves to protect its diverse fauna. These natural reserves hold a significant importance and are legally protected by law. This national parks and wildlife conservation act Nepal regulates all the policies and rules and regulation.
According to Department of national parks and wildlife reserve Nepal-
- More than 30 species of big wild animals have been reported. Bears, musk-deer, leopards, wild yaks, squirrels, wolves, wild goats, wild dogs, etc., are the principal types of wild animals associated with the Himalayan region.
- There are about 800 species of wild birds in various ecological belts of Nepal. Moreover Giant kites, vultures, Tibetan pigeons, Monal and Danphe are some of the birds commonly found in all the regions. Danphe is the national bird of Nepal.
- A good number of poisonous Snakes species also have been reported. Some non-poisonous snakes are found in wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in Nepal, especially in the Terai region.
- Animals found in the hilly region (midland) are such as tigers, bears, wolves, boars, Jackals, foxes, monkeys, hares, deer, and so on.
- Among principal birds, doves, partridges, cranes, falcons, and peacocks are some of them.
- The Terai region consist of mammals like rhinos, wild buffaloes, wild elephants, tigers, bears, deer, stags, and monkeys.
- Beautiful species of birds like cranes, doves, parrots, peacocks, spiny babler, horn bill (Dhanesh), partridges, falcons, owls, quails, and vultures are also found in the Terai region.
- The reptiles residing in the National Parks and wildlife sanctuaries of the Terai regions are poisonous snakes (cobra, krait, and viper), scorpions, tortoises, crocodiles, alligators, Gangetic dolphins, etc.
National Parks and Conservation Areas of Nepal
It may seem like there are a lot of Natural reserves in Nepal but hey all still seem to be insufficient at the current growth rate of human population leading to massive deforestation.
The Government of Nepal takes keen interest in preserving endangered, vulnerable and rare wildlife. They are also concerned about conserving natural environment in its original form.
To attain the above two objectives, Nepal (under According to Department of national parks and wildlife reserve Nepal) has now established 9 national parks, 3 wildlife reserves, 3 conservation areas and one hunting reserve in various ecological zones of the country.
Altogether, the National Parks and the Conservation Area cover an area of 23,919 sq. km, most of which are located in the Himalayan zone and Terai belt. The name of all of the protected areas have been mentioned below.
- Chitwan National Park – 932 km2 (360 sq mi)
- Sagarmatha National Park – 1,148 km2 (443 sq mi)
- Langtang National Park – 1,710 km2 (660 sq mi)
- Rara National Park – 106 km2 (41 sq mi)
- Khaptad National Park – 225 km2 (87 sq mi)
- Shey Phoksundo National Park – 3,555 km2 (1,373 sq mi)
- Bardiya National Park – 968 km2 (374 sq mi)
- Makalu Barun National Park – 1,500 km2 (580 sq mi)
- Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park – 159 km2 (61 sq mi)
- Banke National Park – 550 km2 (210 sq mi)
- Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve – 175 km2 (68 sq mi)
- Parsa Wildlife Reserve – 637 km2 (246 sq mi)
- Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve – 305 km2 (118 sq mi)
- Annapurna Conservation Area – 7,629 km2 (2,946 sq mi)
- Kanchenjunga Conservation Area – 2,035 km2 (786 sq mi)
- Manaslu Conservation Area – 1,663 km2 (642 sq mi)
- Blackbuck Conservation Area – 15.95 km2 (6.16 sq mi)
- Api Nampa Conservation Area – 1,903 km2 (735 sq mi)
- Gaurishankar Conservation Area – 2,179 km2 (841 sq mi)
Wildlife attracts several tourist from all over the world. Only two of the National Parks permit jungle safari. You can explore the jungle on foot, by driving a jeep or by riding the elephant. Elephant ride is the most preferred option.