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Hunting Reserve in Nepal

Hunting Reserve in Nepal
  • Angie Ong
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  • September 21, 2014
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Dhorpatan Hunting reserve is only one Hunting Reserve in Nepal.

The Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve is the only hunting reserve in Nepal. Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve lies in Rukum, Myagdi and Baglung Districts in the Dhaulagiri Himal range in West Nepal. Putha, Churen and Gurja Himal extend over the northern boundary of the reserve. Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve was established in 1983 and was gazetted in 1987. Management objectives of the reserve allow sports hunting and preserve a representative high altitude ecosystem in West Nepal. The reserve extends over an area of 1325 sq. km and is the only hunting reserve in the country to meet the sports hunting needs of Nepalese and foreign hunters of blue sheep and other game animals. The higher elevations remain snow-capped throughout the year. Altitudes vary from 3000 m. to more than 7000 m. The flat meadows above tree line (4000 m), locally known as Patan, is divided into six blocks for hunting management purposes.The reserve is surrounded by villages on all sides except the north. Local people depend on the reserve to meet their requirements for wood, fuelwood, fodder, and pasture. The refugee camp near the reserve headquarters has put more human pressure in the forest. Every year livestock grazing activities begin from February and last until October. More than 80,000 livestock enter the reserve.The reserve is characterized by alpine, sub-alpine and high temperate vegetation. Common plant species include fir, pine, birch, rhododendron, hemlock, oak, juniper and spruce. Pasturelands occupy more than 50% of the total area of the reserve at higher elevations.Besides national parks and wildlife reserves His Majesty’s Government of Nepal has also set aside a hunting reserve at Dhorpatan where controlled hunting of some species is allowed. Covering an area of 1,325 sq. km., the reserve is situated on the southern flanks of Mt. Dhaulangiri I (8,167 m.) in districts of Rukum, Baglung and Myagdi in western Nepal.

The area’s vegetation is characterised by well-developed mixed-hardwood forest at lower elevation and many plant species of drier climate to the north. Tree species include fir, pine, birch, rhododendron, hemlock, oak, juniper and spruce. As in many other protected environments of Nepal, the reserve includes several villages inhabited by hill tribes as well as people of Tibetan descent who supplement farming with trade and animal husbandry. The reserve is one of the prime habitats of blue sheep, a highly prized trophy animal, which is the main target of hunters. Other game species are ghoral, serow, Himalayan thar, black bear, pheasant and partridge. Endangered species of the area include the red panda and cheer pheasant. Controlled hunting is allowed with proper license and certain seasons of the year. Game license is issued by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation in Kathmandu and there are a few hunting outfitters who can make arrangements for expeditions. Besides hunting, Dhorpatan is also an attractive destination for the trekkers and wildlife enthusiasts as protection has enabled animal numbers to increase in this rarely visited area.