Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve Flora and Fauna

Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve Flora and Fauna

Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve Flora and Fauna


Location:               The southwestern corner of Nepal in Kanchanpur district of Far-West State (State 7)
Area:                        305 km² (118 sq mi)
Established:          1976 as Wildlife Reserve, 2017 as National Park
Coordinates:         28°50′N 80°14′E
Governing body:  Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation

Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve is located in the Far-Western Development Region of Nepal. Initially, the reserve served as a hunting place. in 1969, it was declared as a Royal Hunting Reserve. Later with an area of 155 sq km was officially gazetted as Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve in 1976 to protect Nepal’s last remaining herd of Swamp deer (Cervus duvaucelli duvaucelli). It was extended to its current size as 305 sq km incorporating grassland, wetland, and mixed forest that create a mosaic of wildlife habitats.



In terms of flora diversity, the reserve is the richest Terai wildlife reserve. It protects more than 665 species of plants. Sal (Shorea robusta) is the predominant species in the reserve. The habitat is the three main types the forest, grassland, and aquatic habitat. The riverine forest is compos of sissoo (Dalbergia sissoo) and Khayar (Acacia catechu). 

Marsh vegetation dominates the wetland areas. The main grass species of the Phantas include Imperata cylindrical and Heteropogan contortus, which use for thatching.



The reserve is equally rich in faunal diversity. It supports more than 53 species of mammals among which Swamp deer (Cervus duvaucelli) is the most prominent species. Other important mammals are wild elephant (Elephas maximus), Royal Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris), One-horned rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis), and Hispid hare (Caprolagus hispidus) Black-buck.

The herd of Swamp deer currently stands at 2170 individuals. This is the largest herd of this species in the world. The reserve is home to about 25-30 Wild Elephants (Elephas maximus) an endangered species. About 17 Royal Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris), and endangered species, inhabit the reserve preying on the abundant Spotted deer and Swamp deer. In 2000 A.D., four rhinos were transferred to Suklaphanta to create a viable population of this species in this area. Currently, seven individuals of Rhinos are flourishing in the reserve.

The Reserve is also home to Golden monitor lizard (Varanus flovescens), Hispid Hare, Blue bull (Boselaphus tragocamellus), Barking deer (Muntiacus muntjak), Hog deer (Axis porcinus), Wild boar (Sus scrofa), Leopard (Panthera pardus), Jackals (Canis aureus), Langur (Presbytis entellus), and Rhesus monkey (Maccaca malatta) and different species of small mammals.

The reserve provides habitat for about 424 species of birds, including the highest population of Bengal florican. Others species are Sarus crane, Swamp francolin, Grass owl, warblers, and flycatcher. The reserve provides a habitat for 21 species of fishes including mahseer, Rahu, and tengara. The reserve also houses a diverse population of reptiles like marsh mugger crocodile, cobra, and python.

How to get there:


The reserve is accessible by road from any part of the country and India. A night bus from Kathmandu takes about 18 hours to get there (Mahendra Nagar). Flights start from Kathmandu to Dhangadi, it takes 1.5 hours from Dhangadi to Mahendra Nagar by bus. The reserve headquarter is 8km. south-west of Mahendra Nagar. There is no regular public transportation to the headquarters but Rikshaws, tempos, or sometimes jeeps are available. You can easily hire private transport over there.

More details:

Details of Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve

Wildlife Safari in Nepal

Tiger Encounter in Bardia National Park

Source: DNPWC