Nepal’s Wildlife Diversity

Additionally, Nepal is increasingly being promoted as a favored destination for tourists looking for high adventure, and this, the country promises in full through its many outdoors activities including adventure sports. Besides all these, it is also very probable that Nepal could well be promoted as an Asian safari destination due to its diverse wildlife.

Although Nepal occupies only 0.1 % of the earth’s surface, it supports globally, 4.2% of the butterfly population consisting of about 650 species.

Nepal is also a favored destination for bird watchers. Shivpuri, Pokhara, Chitwan, Lumbini and Koshi Tappu are prime locations where more than 870 species of birds can be viewed. The Sapta Koshi River, along with such wetlands, provides refuge for many migratory birds and waterfowls. Nepal has around 20 globally endangered bird species including the Lesser Adjutant Storshoi. The Barn Owl and the Eurasian Large Owl, in imminent danger in many countries, are relatively safe in Nepal. In the Terai, the white rumped vultures are now in the critically endangered list and there is an alarming increase in the population of crows that are displacing other birds.

Especially interesting bird specimens found in Nepal are the Lammergeuer (a large eagle with a 3-meter wingspan), the Eurasian Griffon and Mustang’s Black Kite, that is called the protector of the Himalayas. Among the large variety of cranes, the Sarus Crane of Lumbini is the tallest of flying birds. The migratory Demoiselle Cranes that travel from Dar Es Salaam over the Himalayas and on to Gujarat and Rajasthan in India can be seen during the second week of October.

The presence of such exotic birds is one reason Nepal could be promoted as an Asian safari destination. There are other reasons as well. The Suklaphanta Reserve has the largest herd of swamp deer (barah singhe) while more common deer like the Chital and Hog deer are found in all over the country. The sub continent’s largest antelope, the Blue Bull, is also found here. About 150 Arna, ancestors of the domestic buffaloes, can also be seen in the country. The Gaur Bison, the world’s biggest wild cattle, is found in the Churiya hills. The one horned rhinoceros, Royal Bengal tigers and Gharials are special attractions of Nepal’s wildlife. In addition, sloth bear, Himalayan black bear, brown bear, wild boar, common leopard, clouded leopard, snow leopard, red pandas, Jharal (mountain goat), Bharal (blue sheep), and many other wildlife, are also attractions that make Nepal a possible safari destination.

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