Nepal’s wildlife is officially classified into two main categories: common and protected. The common category lists such species as common leopard, spotted deer, Himalayan tahr, blue sheep and others. These species are commonly seen in the wild. The protected species include 26 mammals, nine birds and three reptiles. These rare animals are confined to their prime habitats.
The endemic fauna are: Himalayan field mouse, spiny babbler, Nepali kalij, 14 herpetofauna, and six types of fishes.
185 species of mammals are found in various parts of the Nepal. Nepal’s dense tarai jungles are home to exotic animals like the Asiatic elephant, the one-horned rhinoceros, the Royal Bengal tiger among others. Also found here are the leopard, monkey, langur, hyena, jackal, wild boar, antelope, wild cat, wolf, sloth bear, chital or spotted deer and barking deer. Wild buffalo locally called “Arna” is found in the Koshi Tappu region. The western Tarai jungles of Suklaphanta is home to the swamp deer, while the endangered blackbucks are found in the Bardia region.
Gangetic dolphins are found in the fresh waters of Narayani and Karnali rivers. The Himalayan region is also home to the elusive snow leopard and the red panda. Red panda, rarely seen because of its shy nature, are found around the Langtang region to Kanchenjunga. Other mammals that live at high altitudes are yak, blue sheep, Himalayan tahr and musk deer. While otters are found in the Rara region north west, the Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve is home to the blue sheep and the Himalayan tahr.
Reptiles:Nepal has two indigenous species of crocodile: the fish eating gharial with a long narrow snout and the marsh mugger which is omnivorous, eating anything it can catch. A very successful breeding project has brought the gharial back from extinction. Among the snakes found in Nepal there are: cobras, kraits, vipers, the Indian python etc. Other reptiles found in the country are turtles and monitor lizards. Some of these reptiles can be seen in the Chitwan National Park and Bardia National Park.
Nepal has more than 850 recorded species of birds. Amazingly, half of these birds can be seen in and around the Kathmandu valley alone. The hills around the valley especially Nagarjun, Godavari and Phulchowki are popular birding areas. Phulchowki at 2,760 m boasts about 90 bird species including the endemic spiny babbler, which was thought to be extinct until it was spotted in Nepal. Another rare species of bird, the red-headed trogan, was also sighted here in April 2000.
National parks like Chitwan and Bardia harbor a wide variety of birds. The Koshi Tappu region is home to an incredibly large species of resident and migratory birds. It has about 26 varieties of ducks alone. About 485 species have been sighted here, including black ibis, honey kites, ospreys, black headed orioles, peregrine falcon, partridges, ruddy shelduck, storks, vultures and eagles among others. The higher Himalayan region is home to many species of raptors and birds of prey. Nepal’s national bird, the Danphe or Impeyen pheasant, is also found in the Himalayan region. A rare bird known as Jerdon’s baza was sighted in Nepal as well while there is an effort to conserve Sarus cranes in Lumbini.
For more information about Nepal’s wildlife,
Please visit: http://www.dnpwc.gov.np/
(official web site of the Department of National Parks & Wildlife Conservation, Ministry of Forests & Soil Conservation).
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