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Wildlife Reserves in Nepal

  • Angie Ong
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  • September 21, 2014
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Wildlife reserves are particular area of land that is protected and managed in order topreserve a particular type of habitat and its flora and fauna.


1.Koshitappu wildlife reserve

KoshiTappu Wildlife Reserve lies on the flood plain of the Sapta-Koshi in Saptri and Sunsari Districts of eastern Nepal. The area is defined by the eastern and western embankments of the river.KoshiTappu Reserve, gazetted in 1976, was established mainly to preserve habitat for the remaining population of wild buffalo in Nepal. KoshiTappu is a rectangular shaped reserve, approximately 10 km wide and 10 km long, stretching northward from the Nepal/India border along the SaptaKoshi River. The SaptaKoshi is one of the three main tributaries of the Ganges. The reserve offers important habitat for a variety of wildlife. The last surviving population (about 100 individuals) of wild buffalo or arna are found here. They are distinguished from domestic animals by their much bigger horns. Other mammals occurring here are hog deer, wild boar, spotted deer and blue bull. The reserve also assists the local economy by providing fishing permits and allowing the collection of edible fruits and ferns in season. A total of 280 different species of birds have been recorded in the reserve. These include twenty species of ducks, two species of ibises, many storks, egrets, herons and the endangered swamp partridge and Bengal florican. The Koshi Barrage is extremely important as a resting place for migratory birds and many species recorded there are not seen elsewhere in Nepal. The endangered Gharial crocodile and Gangetic dolphin have been recorded in the Koshiriver.


2.Parsa Wildlife reserve

Parsa Wildlife Reserve was established in 1984 with an area of 499 sq. km. It occupies part of Chitwan, Makwanpur, Parsa and Bara Districts in Central Nepal. The reserve headquarter is situated at Adhabar on the Hetauda-Birgunj highway (22 km south to Hetauda and 20 km north to Birgunj).The dominant landscape of the reserve are the Churia hills ranging from 750 m to 950 m, which run east-west. The soil is primarily composed of gravel and conglomerates making it very susceptible to erosion. The hills present a very rugged face with numerous gullies and dry stream beds. As the foothills are very porous, water flows underground and surfaces at a distance of about 15 km from the hills base. The forest is composed of tropical and subtropical forest types with sal (Shorearobusta) forest constituting 90% of the vegetation.There are nearly 300 species of birds in the reserve. Giant hornbill, one of the endangered species, is found in certain forest patches. Peafowl, red jungle fowl, flycatchers and woodpeckers are a few of the other common birds found in the reserve.


3.ShuklaPhanta Wildlife Reserve

The Royal Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve is situated in the southern part of Far-West Nepal in KanchanpurDistrict.The reserve had been a famous hunting area for many years and was declared a Royal Hunting Reserve in 1969. The reserve was gazetted in 1973 as Royal Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve.The reserve covers an area of 305 sq. m after completion of an extension.The riverine flood plain of the reserve comprises of hill wash and alluvial deposits. Sal (Shorearobusta) is the dominant tree species. Extensive grasslands (locally called phanta) provide an ideal habitat for swamp deer (Cervusduvauceli). The species is endangered and there is a population of about 2000 in the reserve. A total 268 species of birds has been recorded in the reserve. Many grassland birds along with the rare Bengal florican can be seen in the phantas. Marsh mugger crocodile, Indian python, monitor lizard and snakes like cobra, krait and rat snake have been recorded in the reserve. The extensive open grasslands of Suklaphanta are worth visiting for a breathtaking view of the largest herd of swamp deer in the world and other grassland birds including Bengal florican. Wetlands such as Ranital, Sikarital and others in the extension area like Kalikitch Lake, Lalpanital and Taratal, support a healthy population of many kinds of waterfowl, reptiles and other wildlife.Another major attraction is Ranital, 18 km. from the reserve headquarter, is a beautiful lake for viewing waterfowl, with viewing towers.

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