Top Five Tiger Habitats in Nepal
August 09, 2022
Top Five Tiger Habitats in Nepal
Five Tiger Habitats protected areas in Nepal, namely, Chitwan National Park, Bardia National Park, Parsa National Park, Suklaphanta National Park, and Banke National Park.
1. Chitwan National Park
Chitwan National Park (CNP), established in 1973, was Nepal’s first National Park. Located in the Southern Central Terai of Nepal, it formerly extended over the foothills, It covers an area of 952.63 km2 (367.81 sq mi), and extends over four districts: Chitwan, Nawalparasi, Parsa, and Makwanpur. Chitwan National Park is the first national park in Nepal.
It was established in 1973 and was granted the status of a World Heritage Site in 1984. The headquarters of Park is located at the Kasara of Chitwan district of Nepal. The park is home to more than 50 mammal species, over 525 birds, and 55 amphibians and reptiles. The endangered fauna found in the park are the One-horned rhinoceros,
Gaur. Royal Bengal tiger. Wild elephant, four-horned antelope, Pangolin, Golden monitor lizard, Python, etc. Tiger numbers in Chitwan National Park, home to the country’s largest number of wild tigers, have also increased, from 91 in 2009 to 128 in 2022.
2. Bardiya National Park
Initially, a small area was gazetted as the Karnali Wildlife Reserve in 1976. At that time, 1500 households in the Babai valley were relocated outside the park allowing the vegetation and wildlife to flourish. In 1982, it was renamed Bardiya Wildlife Reserve, and in 1984 it was extended to its current size. In 1988, the name was changed to Royal Bardia National Park. Covering an area of 968 km2 (374sq mi) it is the largest and most undisturbed national park in Nepal’s Terai, adjoining the eastern bank of the Karnali River and bisected by the Babai River in the Bardiya District. Its northern limits are demarcated by the crest of the Siwalik Hills.
The Nepalgunj-Surkhet highway partly forms the southern boundary, but seriously disrupts the protected area. Natural boundaries to human settlements are formed in the west by the Geruwa, a branch of the Karnali River, and in the southeast by the Babai River. Bardiya National park is the largest national park in the lowland Terai covering an area of 968 sq. km. The park situated in Nepal’s Western Terai was established for protecting the representative ecosystems and conserving the habitat of the tiger and its prey species. Together with the neighboring Banke National Park.
The headquarters of Park is located at the Thakurdwara of Bardiya district of Nepal. Bardia National Park is home to endangered animals like Royal Bengal Tiger, Wild Elephant, Big One Horned Rhinoceros, Swamp Deer, and Blackbuck Deer and Gharial crocodile, dolphin. Here are found 121 species of fish 57 species of mammals and 513 species of birds, including great horn-bills, Bengal Florican, Lesser Florican, White-rumped Vulture, peacocks, Sarus cranes, and Asian paradise birds. Bardia National Park has played a big role for Nepal in the TX2 program provided by the world. The park has also earned praise for its impressive growth in tiger numbers, with the national tiger count nearly five-folding to 125 in 2022 from less than 25 in 2009.
Tiger population year of 2022
3. Parsa National Park:
This area served as a vacation site for the Rana Rulers of the country. In 1984, it has been gazetted as a wildlife reserve to preserve the habitat for wild Asian elephants and a variety of other fauna. It is contiguous with Chitwan National Park in the west. In 2017 it was gazetted as National Park. It covers an area of 627.39 km² in the Parsa, Makwanpur, and Bara districts and ranges in altitude from 435 m to 950 m in the Siwalik Hills. The headquarters of Parsa National Park is located at the Aadhavar of Bara district of Nepal.
Sal forests compose about 90 percent of the reserve’s vegetation. Along the banks of the rivers, riverine forests are found containing species like Khair and Silk cotton trees. In the north-eastern part of the reserve, at higher altitudes, Sal and Pine’s forests are occurring. On the southern slope of the Siwalik Hills, the forests are dominated by pine. Sabai grass is a commercially important species, that grows well on the southern face of the Churia hills. The reserve supports good populations of various endangered species including wild Asian elephant, Royal Bengal tiger, Sloth bear, and Leopard. Blue bull, Sambar, Chital, Hog deer, Barding deer, Langur, Rhesus macaques, striped hyena, Jungle cat, and Palm civet are also found in the reserve. The reserve also provides a habitat for more than 500 species of birds.
For example, the White-breasted kingfisher, Paradise flycatcher, large racquet-tailed drongo, Golden-backed woodpecker, etc are some of the common sights. The giant hornbill, one of the endangered bird species is found in some forest patches. The reserve is also famous for reptiles and different kinds of snakes including common Cobra, Common, and banded Karit, Python, and King cobra. Parsa National Park has supported Nepal in the TX2 program. At the time of the 2007 tiger census, there were only 4 tigers in the reserve which increased to 7 in 2013, and now according to the tiger census 2022 there are 41 Royal Bengal tigers.
4. Shuklaphant National Park:
Shuklaphanta National Park was managed as a hunting reserve at the beginning of 1969. It has been gazetted as a Wildlife Reserve in 1976 and as National Park currently (2017), covering an area of 305 sq. km. It lies in the extreme south-western section of Nepal’s Terai in Kanchanpur District. The Park Head Office is located at Majhgau, Kanchanpur. The National Park shares a common boundary with the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh in the south and west which is formed by the Mahakali (Sarda) river, a major tributary of the Ganges.
It is bordered on the eastern side by the Chaudhar River and to the north by a forest belt and cultivations. A total of 700 floral, 24 mammal species are recorded, 56 reptiles, 15 amphibian species, 24 species of fish; and a total of 450 species of birds of which 180 are breeding species. Several species of endangered birds including the Bengal Florican (Eupodotis bengalensis) are found in the Reserve. Many grassland birds can be seen in the phantas. The park is famous for swamp Deer which is known by the Nepali name Barasingha. They are very sociable animals and are often found in large herds grazing amongst grassland in the National park.
During camera trapping surveys carried out in three cold seasons, 11 tigers and 9 leopards were identified in the southern part of the national park. In the spring of 2016, Shuklaphanta National Park also has a good number of tigers in 2022. Shuklaphanta National Park has also supported Nepal in the TX2 program. At the time of the 2016 tiger census, there were only 11 tigers in the reserve, which increased to 36 Royal Bengal tigers in 2022.
5. Banke National Park
Banke National Park (BaNP) was established as the 10th Park on the 12th of July 2010 which reflects the Government’s commitment to Biodiversity conservation at the landscape level. It was also recognized as a gift to the earth in 1998. Banke national park 550 sq km is spread and mainly lies in the Banke district The core area is delineated by the Chisapani-Obary section of the east-west. The Park Head Office is located at Obari, Banke. The Park is linked with a transboundary Landscape that joins Suhelwa Wildlife Sanctuary in India through national and community forests towards the south. It joins with Bardia National Park (BNP) towards the west which further links with Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary in India via Khata corridor, national forest, and community forests.
The Park has three distinct seasons: winter, summer, and monsoon, each providing a unique experience. From October to early April, the weather is dry, days are warm, and nights are cool and pleasant. From April to June, the temperature grows up to 450C in May/June. The hot humid days give way to monsoon rains that last until September. BNP contains an array of eight ecosystem types such as Sal forest, deciduous Riverine forest, savannahs and grasslands, mixed hardwood forest, flood plain community, Bhabar, and foothills of Chure range. It is home to 124 plants, 34 mammals, more than 300 birds, 24 reptiles, 7 amphibians, and 58 fish species. 90% of natural forest coverage is composed of mainly Sal, Karma, Khair, and Sissoo.
Three species of mammals (tiger, striped hyaena, four-horned antelope), four species of birds (giant hornbill, black stork, Bengal florican, and lesser florican), and two species of reptiles (gharial crocodile and python) residing in the Park are protected by the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1973. The habitat of a flood plain, foothill, and Churia hill is of prime concern to conserve major focus species such as the Royal Bengal tiger, Asiatic wild elephant, and four-horned antelope. Furthermore, the Rapti River on the south and Babai River on the north form the lifeline of the Park. Although this is the youngest national park in Nepal. There are 7 tigers in 2013 to 25 tigers in 2022 according to National Tiger Survey. Which has increased by about four times.
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