The beautiful Himalayan country of Nepal is immensely blessed with diverse blend of flora and fauna. Nestled amidst lofty mountain ranges and unending plains, it boasts of nearly 100 different species of mammals and about 750varieties of avian species which have been successfully preserved in its many wildlife sanctuaries.
Popular Wildlife Sanctuaries in Nepal
Royal Chitwan National Park
Spreading across an area of around 932sq. kms, it is the oldest and also the most famous wildlife reserve in this South Asian country. Located at about 120 kms south-west of Kathmandu in the valley of Narayani and Rapti Rivers, it is mostly covered with dense Sal forest. It is well known for one of the most endangered Asian species of one-horned rhinoceros and the Royal Bengal Tiger. Besides, one can also spot animals like leopard, rhesus monkey, bison, wild boar, to name a few in the vast jungles of Chitwan National Park. Moreover, the park is also home to about 450 species of birds.
Parsa Wildlife Reserve
Sprawling across an area of about 499 sq. kms, it is set in the Terai region of the country. The forest cover is mostly dominated by Sal trees with few patches of sissoo vegetation. Tiger, hyena and wild elephant are some of the animals found in the region while peafowl, woodpecker, giant hornbill, etc. are some of the avian species of this wildlife reserve. It was established in 1984.
Royal Shukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve
Located in the southern part of west Nepal, it is a well known wildlife reserve which is home to animals like blue bull, tiger and wild elephant among others. It is also famous for the swamp deer widely found in the area. It has nearly 200 species of birds, including Bengal florica. The wildlife reserve came into being in 1976.
Sagarmatha National Park
Covering an area of around 1,148 sq. kms, it is another popular wildlife reserve of this Himalayan country. World’s highest mountain peak, Mount Everest is situated here. It is home to alpine animals such as marten, Himalayan black bear and weasels, to name a few. Besides, it is also a wonderful abode to nearly 118 varieties of birds. This UNESCO world heritage site is also ideal for trekking purposes.
Makalu-Barun National Park
Located at the Nepal-Tibet border, it also boasts of its unique flora and fauna. Government has implemented severe laws to protect wildlife here. Spreading over an area of around 2,330 sq. kms, it is a natural habitat of animals like barking deer, red panda and marmot among others. This wildlife conservation area was inaugurated in 1992.
Koshi Tapu Wildlife Reserve
Situated in the flood plains of the River Sapta Koshi, it is a true haven for bird lovers and ornithologists. This 175 sq. kms area in mid-east Nepal is home to nearly 280 species of birds including egrets, floricans, herons, etc. Moreover, one can also spot many migratory avian species in the region. Wild boar, wild buffaloes, Nil Gai and hog deer are some of the animals found here.
Apart from these, Rara National Park, Royal Bardia National Park, Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, Annapurna Conversation Area, Langtang National Park and Kanchenjunga Conservation Area are some of the important wildlife reserves in Nepal which are equally worth visiting.