Nepal is amazingly rich and varied in its biodiversity due to the altitudinal variances. The lowlands and middle hills are rich in its natural biodiversity. The mountainous region also shelters some of the world’s most rare species of fauna. Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park and Chitwan National Park with their typical natural, cultural and landscape characteristics were listed as World Heritage sites in 1979 and 1984, respectively.
Established in 1973, Chitwan National park is the first protected area of Nepal, that is listed as a world heritage site of nature. And the protected areas now includes ten national parks, wildlife reserves, one hunting reserve and conservation areas and eleven buffer zones covering an area (23.23%) of the total area of the country.
Nepal has the record of some 7000+ species of flowering plants and ferns for Nepal, which is about 4 times as many the UK, 300 of which are endemic to Nepal. Nepal’s importance to world conservation is further highlighted by the international recognition of the Himalayan Region as one of the World’s top 20 global biodiversity hotspot: a region of which Nepal is a major component.
Protected Medicinal Plants of Nepal
Dactylorhiza hatagirea, Okhar Juglans regia, Kutki Picrorhiza scrophulariiflora, Jatamansi Nardostachys grandiflora, Sarpagandha Rauvolfia serpentina, Sugandhakokila Cinnamomum glaucescens, Sugandhawal Valeriana jatamansi, Jhyau Lichen spp., Talispatra Abies spectabilis, Lauth sall Taxus spp., Yarsagomba Cordyceps sinensis, Champ Michelia champaca, Khayar Acacia catechu, Sal Shorea robusta, Simal Bombax ceiba, Satisal Dalbergia latifolia and Bijayasal Pteocarpus marsupium
Birds and birdlife in Nepal
Nepal is one of richest country for birdlife and is bestowed with 9% (887 sp.) of the total birds of the world including numerous endangered, globally threatened with one endemic species, Spiny Babbler. Himalayan Monal (Impeyan pheasant) or Danphe, Lophophorus impejanus is the national birds of Nepal. By the law of country, following nine species are protected birds.
Protected birds of Nepal
Chir pheasant (Kalij) Catreus wallichii, Impeyan pheasant (Danphe) Lophophorus impejanus, Crimson-horned pheasant (Monal) Tragopan satyra, White stork (Seto Sarus) Ciconia ciconia, Bengal floricans (Khar major) Eupodotis bengalensis, Lesser floricans (Sano khar major) Sypheotides indica, Sarus crane (Sarus) Grus grus, Giant hornbill (Thulo dhanesh) Buceros bicornis and Black stork (Kalo sarus) Ciconia nigra
Orchids are the nature’s, one of the best display in their flowering patterns. The world has some 600 genera of this group in plant families, and out of this, Nepal has 57 genera (27 Terrestrials and 30 Epiphytic) with a few lithophytes. Wide spread into different ecological zones, from the foothills of the Himalayas to the plains in the Terai, the orchid-world in Nepal is immensely interesting for nature lovers and horticultural experts. Over 300 species of orchids are found in Nepal, among which 11 species are endemic to Nepal and they are: Bulbophyllum ambrosia subsp. nepalensis, Eria baniaii Bajracharya, Eria nepalensis, Eria pokharensis, Liparis olivacea, Neottia nepalensi, Malaxis monophyllos, Malaxis tamurensis, Oberonia nepalensis, Oreorchis pporphyranthes and Pleione coronaria
11 of world’s 15 families of butterflies making over 643 species are in Nepal (Butterflies of Nepal, Collin Smith)
There are 167 mammal species in Nepal or l4% of mammals on earth, of which 1 is critically endangered (Pygmy Hog Sus salvanius), 11 are endangered, 20 are vulnerable, and 4 are near-threatened. Following are the protected animals of Nepal: Assamese monkey (Assamis rato Bandar) Macaca assamensis, Indian pangolin (Salak Manis) pentadactyla, Hispid hare (Hispid kharayo) Caprolagus hispidus, Wolf (Bwanso) Canis lupus, Himalayan Bear (Himali rato bhalu) Ursus arctos, Red panda (Habre) Ailurus fulgens, Spotted linsang (Silu) Prionodon pardicolor, Leopard cat (Chari bagh) Felis bengalensia, Lynx Lynx Felis lynx, Clouded leopard (Dwanse chituwa) Neofelis nebulosa, Royal Bengal Tiger (Pate Bagh) Panthera tigris, Snow Leopard (Hiun chituwa) Panthere uncia, Asiatic elephant (Hatti) Elephas maximus, One Honed Asiatic Rhino (Gainda) Rhiniceros unicornis, Pygmi hog (Pudke Bandel) Sus salvanius, Musk deer (Kasturi mirga) Moschus moschiferos, Swamp deer (Barhasingha) Cervus duvauceli, Gaur (Gauri gai) Bos gaurus, Wild yak (Yak) Bos grunniens, Wild buffalo (Arna) Bubalus bubalis, Great Tibetan sheep (Nayan) Ovis ammon, Tibetan antilope (Chiru) Pantholops hodgsoni, Blackbuck (Krisnasar) Antilope cervicapra, Four-horned antilope (Chauka) Tetraceros quadricornis, Striped hynae (Hundar) Hyaena hyaena, Gangetic dolphin (Shons) Platanista gangetica
The species of reptiles found in Nepal exceeds well over hundred, among which crocodiles, Monitor lizard and Python are ther largest and there are three of them listed under the protected animal in Nepal as Ghariyal (Gharial gohi) Gavialis gangeticus, Python (Ajingar) Python spp and Monitor lizard (Sun gohoro) Varanus flavescens
Bird Conservation Nepal: www.birdlifenepal.com