Nepal Nature and Wildlife
The wildlife of Nepal can be divided into two categories, common and protected. Commonly protected species refers to those that are commonly spotted in the wild like leopards, spotted deer, the Himalayan tahr, and blue sheep among others. Protected species are those that are either endangered or threatened. In Nepal, there are twenty-six protected mammals, nine protected birds and three protected reptiles.
In total there are 185 mammal species found in Nepal. Asiatic elephants, one-horned rhinoceros and the Royal Bengal Tiger are all found in the Terai Jungles. Animals like leopards, various monkey species, hyenas, jackals, wild boars, sloths and deer are also found in the jungle. Wild Buffalos call the Kohsi Tappu Wildlife Reserve home while the endangered blackbuck (a type of antelope) is found in the Bardia Region. The government of Nepal is working to preserve the blackbuck and has declared an area in the Bardia Region as the Blackbuck Conservation Area. The Himalayan Region is home to snow leopards and red pandas while areas of high altitude are common habitats for yaks, blue sheep as well as musk deer.
Despite being a landlocked country, Nepal has its own variety of dolphins. These freshwater dolphins are found in the Narayani and Karnal rivers. River dolphins are severely endangered and many people estimate their numbers could be in single digits in Nepal. During the monsoon season, the migratory dolphins usually travel to the cooler waters of Nepal to breed, however, the increasing numbers of barrages and dams along the river significantly halts the dolphins’ journey.
There are more than 850 recorded species of birds in Nepal. More than half of these birds can be found in the Kathmandu Valley alone. Many of the national parks in Nepal also house varying bird species. The Koshi Tappu Region provides habitats for more than 26 varieties of ducks. The national bird of Nepal is the Danphe or Impeyan pheasant.
Regarding reptiles, there are two indigenous species of crocodile: the fish-eating gharial and the marsh mugger. The gharial is considered critically endangered and at one point was on the brink of extinction, however, successful breeding programmes are in effect to raise the numbers of one of the longest-living crocodiles in the world. Nepal is also home to snakes like cobras, vipers and the Indian python as well as various species of turtles and tortoises.
There are twenty protected areas in Nepal that cover approximately 23.3% of the land. Of these twenty, there are ten national parks, three wildlife reserves, six conservation areas and one hunting reserve. Spreading across the country, these areas are found in the subtropical Terai Jungles to the Himalayas. UNESCO has listed Chitwan National Park and Sagarmatha National Park as Natural World Heritage Sites. Due to the vast diversity of the protected areas, it is not surprising that they house approximately 6,301 species of flowering plants - around 400 of these species are endemic to Nepal. There are a further 2,532 species of vascular plants.
Nepal Travel Information
At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy-to-navigate travel information section dedicated to Nepal.
Learn about the history and culture of Nepal, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about Nepal's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, along with 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information, will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering Nepal for yourself. Start exploring… book one of our Nepal tours today!
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