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Dhumbarahi Marg, Kathmandu, Nepal
Of the total number of wildlife species found globally, 3.96 percent mammals, 3.72 percent butterflies and 8.9 percent of birds. Wildlife of Nepal is officially classified into two main categories: Common and Protected. The common category lists such species as common leopard, spotted deer, Himalayan tahr, blue sheep and so much more. These species are commonly seen in the wild in their natural habitat. In the national parks of Nepal, there are many species protected that include 26 mammals, nine birds and three reptiles species. These rare animals are confined to their prime habitats.
Chitwan National Park, the oldest national park in Nepal, is situated in the subtropical inner Terai lowlands of South-Central Nepal. The park contains the Churiya hills and flood plains of Rapti, Reu and Narayani Rivers. Approximately 70% of the park vegetation is sal forest. There are more than 43 species of mammals in the park. The park is especially renowned for the endangered one-horned rhinoceros, the tiger and the gharial crocodile along with many other common species such as gaur, wild elephant, four-horned antelope, striped hyena, pangolin, Gangetic dolphin, monitor lizard and python.
Royal Bardiya National Park is situated in mid far western Terai, east of the Karnali River. It is the largest and most undisturbed wilderness area in the Terai. About 70% of the park is covered with dominantly sal forest with the balance a mixture of grassland, savannah and riverine forest. It provides habitat for endangered animals like the rhins, wild elephant, tiger, swamp deer, black buck, gharial crocodile, marsh mugger crocodile and Gangetic dolphin. A number of resident and migratory birds, including endangered birds Bengal florican, lesser florican, silver-eared mesia and Sarus crane.
The Royal Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve is situated in the southern part of Far-Western Nepal in Kanchanpur District. The reserve provides prime habitat for swamp deer. An estimated population of 2,000 to 2,500 of this species is found in the reserve. Other wild animals in the reserve are the wild elephant, tiger, hispid hare, blue bull, leopard, chital, hog deer, and the wild boar. A total of 200 species of birds have been recorded in the reserve. Many grassland birds along with the rare Bengal florican can be seen in the phantas. Marsh mugger, Indian python, monitor lizard and snakes like cobra, krait, and rat snakes are recorded in the reserve.
Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve lies on the flood plains of the Sapta-Koshi in Saptari and Sunsari Districts of Eastern Nepal. The reserve is defined by the eastern and western embankments of the river. The vegetation is mainly tall kharpater grassland with a few patches of khair-sissoo scrub forest and deciduous mixed riverine forest. Mammals found are the hog deer, wild boar, spotted deer, and the blue bull. A total of 280 different species of birds have been recorded in the reserve. These include 20 species of ducks, two species of ibises, many storks, egrets, herons and the endangered swamp partridge and Bengal florican.
Rara National Park is located in north-west Nepal about 371 km air distance from Kathmandu. This is the smallest park in Nepal, containing the country's biggest lake (10.8 sq kms) at an elevation of 2990 m. The area around the lake is dominated by blue pine, black juniper, West Himalayan spruce, oak, Himalayan cypress and other associated species. Deciduous tree species like Indian horse-chestnut, walnut and Himalayan popular are also found. A small portion of the park serves as an ideal habitat for musk deer. Other animals found in the park include Himalayan black bear, leopard, ghoral, Himalayan tahr and wild boar.
Shey-Phoksundo National Park is situated in the mountain region of western Nepal. It is the largest national park in the country.The park contains luxuriant forests, mainly comprised of blue pine, spruce, cypress, poplar, deodar, fir and birch. The trans-Himalayan area has a near-desert type vegetation of mainly dwarf juniper and caragana shrubs. The park provides prime habitat for the snow leopard and the blue sheep. Some other common animals found are ghoral, Himalayan tahr, serow, leopard, wolf, jackal, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan weasel, Himalayan mouse hare, yellow-throated marten, langur and rhesus monkeys.