April 07, 2019
The wildlife of Nepal includes all the plants and animals found in this naturally gifted nation. Due to the variation in climate from stifling to freezing and landscape from plains to mountains Nepal’s diversity in wildlife and vegetation is dazzling.
Mammals are the vertebrates mostly characterized by the presence of mammary glands in females which produces milk for feeding their younger once. Nepal has around 208 species of mammals found in different parts of the country. Among them, some are rare and endangered like snow leopard, one-horned rhino, royal Bengal tiger and red panda. Some notable mammals found in the wilds of Nepal are Bengal for, clouded leopard, monkey, hyena, jackal, wild boar, sloth bear, wild cat, wolf, antelope, spotted deer, barking deer, wild buffalo, Asiatic elephant, etc.
Reptiles are turtles, snakes, crocodilians, lizards, amphisbaenas and tuataras.
Several snakes like cobras, vipers, pythons are found in southern parts of the country. Other reptiles found in Nepal are turtles, lizards, and crocodiles. The fish-eating gharials (alligators) (which were nearly extinct but survived because of a successful breeding project) and the marsh muggers are the two species of crocodiles that reside in swamps, lakes, rivers, and wetlands of Nepal.
There are different varieties of birds all over the world with approximately ten thousand species. In Nepal alone over 900 species are found among them 30 species are in danger of extinction worldwide, 1 species; Spiny babbler is endemic (Locally termed as Kande Bhyakur, found only in the middle hills of Nepal) 1 species has just been introduced and 74 species are rare. The hills around Kathmandu valley like Phulchowki and Nagarjuna are famous birding areas.
National parks in the Terai region of Nepal also have large varieties of birds. Some rare species like black stork, white stork, Sarus crane, Bengal florican, giant hornbill, lesser florican, etc can be found in Chitwan, Bardia, Banke, Suklaphanta and Parsa National Parks. Similarly, Koshi Tappu Wildlife Conservation Area is also home to a wide variety of birds. About 485 species of birds including 26 varieties of duck alone are found in this area. Likewise in the Himalayan region, rare birds like Impeyan pheasant and crimson horned pheasant locally named are shaped (which is also the national bird of Nepal) and Munal can be found.
The biodiversity of aquatic fauna in Nepal is also very diverse. The freshwater rivers, streams, high altitude lakes, ponds, etc of Nepal comprise around 200 species of fishes that are found among which 59 species categorized as cold-water fish are available.
Plant and Vegetation
”Hariyo Ban Nepal Ko Dhan” is a popular phrase used Nepal which translates to ”green forests are the assets of Nepal” since 44.74 percent of Nepal is covered with forest and scrublands. (According to a joint five-year survey conducted by the Department of Forest Research and Survey and the National Forest Products Survey Project in between 2067 to 2071 BS)
A record from 2006 has shown that 6319 species of flowering plants and 26 species of non-flowering plants are found in high mountains, hills and the Terai region of Nepal among them 399 are endemic. Similarly, 2532 vascular plants have also been recorded in protected sites. The herbs and plants found in the Himalayas of Nepal are used as medicinal plants. Likewise wide varieties of orchids are also scattered around the greens of Nepal.
To protect and preserve these endowments of nature Nepal has established several protected areas since 1973. Nepal Governments Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation has been committed in the conservation of wildlife and vegetation by managing all the protected areas in Nepal which include 12 National Parks, 1 Wildlife reserve, 6 Conservation Areas and 1 hunting reserve. Besides this, DNPWC has also been doing an admirable job in supporting people living nearby as well as those living inside buffer zones, promoting ecotourism and conduct surveys about flora and fauna including the annual census of endangered animals like the Royal Bengal Tigers and snow leopard.