The national park is worldwide famous for bio-diversity because of its unusually varied geographical setting that begins from 450 metres to 8,463 metres high Mt. Makalu above the sea level.Ten VDCs of the northern part of Sankhuwasabha district and two VDCs of the neighbouring district of Solukhumbu occupying around 1,500 square kilometres of area were converted into the national park 10 years ago to protect the bio-diversity of the region. The park is located close to the Sagarmatha national park.
The park, jointly developed by a US non-governmental organisation-Woodland Mountain Institute-and the Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation, was handed over to the government about two years ago.
All activities of the Makalu-Barun National Park (MBNP) have come to a standstill after Maoist rebels set its headquarters on fire at Seduwa village. The park officials said that the rebel Maoists had already destroyed four other site offices, paralysing all the park activities. One of the officials said that the property destroyed by the rebels were yet to be assessed. The park office has been shifted to the district headquarters of Khandbari for security reasons.
Khaptad National Park lies about 446 km air distance northwest of Kathmandu covering the unique ecosyestem of the mid-hill region of far western Nepal. The grasslands intermixed with oak andconiferous forests cover the higher altitudes. The core area of Khaptad is of much religious importance. Among the fauna, langur and musk deer are famous in this Park. A good population of impeyan, koklas and kalij pheasants make the park rich in its avi-fauna. The park is accessible by air or road followed by a couple of days walk.
The Shey-Phoksundo National Park is in the trans-Himalayan region of Dolpa and Mugu in northwest Nepal. Usually large numbers of blue sheep are found in this park in addition to snow leopard, tibetan hare andother typical Himalayan fauna and flora. It also includes the famous lake phoksundo, shey monastry and the Kanjiroba Himal. It takes two days walk to the entrance gate of the park from Jumla airfield.
The Bardiya National Park, the largest wildlife reserve in tarai area of Nepal, is going to observe its silver jubilee in the near future. A 348-kilometre sanctuary including Thakurdwara and Karnali river-side areas, which was set aside as the forest preserve 31 years ago, was declared the Karnali Wildlife Reserve in 1977.
Two years later, the wildlife reserve was turned into the Bardiya Wildlife reserve with the extension of its boundary to the Babai valley and east Chisapani (increasing its total area to 968 km).
The wildlife reserve was renamed the Bardiya National Park in 1989. The national park is home to 54 species of mammals, 25 species of reptiles, over 60 species of fish and over 400 species of birds. Two major rivers criss-crossing it abound in geruwa dolphins, gharials, crocodiles and other aquatic creatures.
As the national park is dotted with patches of grassland and dense forests it is also a natural habitat for a rich variety of wildlife. In 1986, thirteen one-horned rhinos, the rare wildlife species found in Chitwan National Park, were relocated to this national park in the course of finding a suitable alternative habitat for the pachyderms. Twenty-five more pachyderms were added there in 1991 and 14 more just last year. Their total number now stands at 73.
Likewise, baby gharials hatched at Kasara hatchery of the Chitwan National Park have also been released in Babai and Karnali river in view of their dwindling number and a gharial hatchery has also been set up at Thakurdwara of the Bardia National Park.
the same way suitable habitat for the endangered black buck (Krishna Sagar),
which is found only in Khairapur of Bardiya district, was made in the national
park and twenty-five black bucks from Khairapur and the central zoo were
relocated there. However, the antlers could not survive in the new habitat,
as a result, Khairapur remains the only natural habitat for the black bucks.
Residents of the area which are lying adjacent to Parsa Wildlife Reserve are impatient to migrate to other safe areas due to the harassment caused by wild animals. Residents of Ramauli and Pratappur villages are particularly affected by the wildlife of the Reserve. They live in constant fear as they can be attacked by them at any time.
They are also raising their voice in favour of migrating to some safe places for years because they have also to bear the misbehaviour meted out to them by the soldiers and the employees of the Reserve from time to time.Tigers from the wildlife reserve have killed 150 domestic animals in the sheds over the last six months in Manahari VDC, which can be reached in one hour on foot from Manahari Bazaar by crossing the Rapti river.
A tiger had come to kill people in the village recently, but when the people fled , the tiger killed a cow from the cowshed. People of Danuwar Community, who are in the majority here, say they have not received compensation for the domestic animals killed by the tigers and food crops destroyed by the elephants, rhinoceros and boars. As the Reserve lies next to our doorstep, the villager's domestic animals rush to the Reserve the moment they are set free from the shed, but the employees of the Reserve do not allow them to enter it. A villager complained that last year, a tiger killed two cows and two oxen from the cowshed on the same night.
On the other hand, the residents of Ramauli Pratappur are also facing threats
from the Rapti river, Maiga Khola and Bhalu Khola which are eroding the
fertile land of Ramauli Pratapur. Three houses were also washed away by
the floods last month. When children go to school there is a fear of them
being washed away by the river and rivulets. When they play in the open
space, they may be attacked by wild animals. Therefore the villagers want
to leave this place and migrate to a safe place.
Shivapuri, the lush green mountain range which is the primary source of drinking water of the capital city, is set to feature in the protected area map as the country's newest national park. Spread across an area of 120 square kilometers, the watershed area cum biodiversity hotspot is currently known as Shivapuri Watershed and Wildlife Reserve. Upon theformal declaration, Shivapuri will be the country's ninth national park, the others being Makalu Barun, Sagarmatha, Langtang, Chitwan, Bardia, Rara, Shey-Phoksundo and Khaptad.
area will come under the jurisdiction of the Department of National Parks
and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC), which is responsible for the management
and conservation of the eight national parks, the two wildlife reserves,
the three conservation areas and the lone hunting reserve in the country.Eighteen
percent of Nepal's land area has been brought under the protected areas
Situated about 13 kilometres away from the city centre, Shivapuri is surrounded by 23 village development committees of Kathmandu, Sindhupalchok and Nuwakot districts. Abundant in lower mized hard-wood and Rhododendron forests, Shivapuri is home to eight threatened mammal species, 177 species of birds including 9 threatenedspecies, 102 butterfly species and 129 species of mushrooms.
To top it all, the inner Himalayan mountain range that stretches from Kakani in the west to Bandarjhula in the east is a key watershed area, discharging at least 226.7 mld(million litres daily) of water. The Shivapuri watersheds have been collectively supplying at least 21 percent of the capital's water needs, in addition to carrying out supplies to the villages surrounding it. It is also the nearest recreation area or picnic spot for Valley residents. The highest point is the Shivapuri peak, which is 2,732 metres above sealevel.
Like in other protected areas, a contingent of Nepal Army guards the reserve, which is going to be the first national park in the country's mid-hills.
The biggest stumbling block in preserving Shivapuri, experts and officials say, is that the mountain and specifically its Foot Hills are being encroached upon by the people. Two village development committees (VDCs) - Okhreni and Mulkharka, with over 5,000 people - that are perched a top the key watershed area of Sundarijal should be relocated in view of the deteriorating water quality of Sundarijal area. They also said the two villages and the one surrounding the hill would be declared the park's buffer zone.
Officials said home work is also being carried out to declare Phulchoki and Chandagiri areas, the mountain ranges that lie south and south-west of the capital, as protected areas, bringing them under the protected area network.
All four Reserves Koshi Tappu, Parsa, Bardia and Shukla Phanta are situated in the southern Terai belt of the country and are easily accessible by air or road. Koshi Tappu is famous for its wild buffalo (Bubalis bubalis), Bardia for black buck (Antilops cervicarpa), Shukla phanta for swamp deer (cervus duvauceli and parsa for herds of elephants and dispersal ground for the subadult tigers born in Chitwan National Park.
One of the prime habitat of blue sheep, a highly prised trophy animal. Other animals are jhoral, serow, Himalayan thar, Himalayan black bear and barking deer. The pheasants and partridges are the most common birds in the reserve area. This area is only Hunting Reserve in the country. The Department of National parks and wildlife conservartion issues hunting licences permitting a controlled hunting programme on principle game animals based on the data provided by the office at Dhorpatan. The area is accessible by air followed by two days walk.
Besides the above described eleven conservation areas, the Annapurna region of the country has been proposed as a special conservation area. The principle objectives of the proposed Annapurna area are; to protect the natural values, including the wildlife of this spectacularly beautiful mountaioous area; to protect the fascinating cultural heritage of the people of the area; and to provide new economic benefits for the local communities. The overall plan could cover up to 500 sq. miles surrounding Annapurna I, the tenth highest mountain in the world, and one of the most popular trekking region in Nepal, with over 30,000 trekking visiting it each year.
National parks and Reserves in Nepal, with their unique scenic attractions
and rich variety of flora and fauna, could within a few years rival any
others in Asia and bring considerable prestige, ecological benefit and,
of course, the economical value.