Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Nepal Wildlife: Most Popular 14 Wildlife, National Parks, Wildlife Reserve, Conservation Areas, and Hunting Reserve


Nepal wildlife is amazingly beautified from the vibrant chorus of tigers, pandas, birds, and serpents to the protected reserves steeped in ancient wisdom. Trek through emerald valleys and witness the dance of endangered jewels. Nepal awaits your exploration.



Diversity of Nepal Wildlife:

High Biodiversity:

Nepal Wildlife
Nepal Wildlife

Nepal boasts a stunning variety of plants and animals due to its diverse climate, ranging from tropical to arctic. This makes it a biodiversity hotspot with unique ecoregions.



Protected Areas:

Nepal Wildlife
Nepal Wildlife

To preserve this rich fauna, Nepal has established numerous national parks and reserves, categorized into four levels of protection. These cover over 893,200 hectares of land.




Nepal Wildlife
Nepal Wildlife

Over 208 mammal species thrive in Nepal, including iconic Bengal tigers, snow leopards, and Asiatic elephants. Sadly, some, like the snow leopard, face endangerment.




Nepal Wildlife
Nepal Wildlife

From pit vipers to monitor lizards, Nepal shelters many reptiles, with some unique species like the Sitana fusca and the Cyrtodactylus nepalensis.




Nepal Wildlife
Nepal Wildlife

The country boasts over 900 bird species, including the national bird, the danphe (a pheasant). The spiny babbler is endemic to Nepal.



Additional Fauna:

Nepal Wildlife
Nepal Wildlife

Aquatic species like catfish and minnows, diverse insects, and invertebrates like spiders and scorpions contribute to the vibrant animal kingdom.



Nepal’s Crimson Crown (Rhododendron):

Nepal Wildlife
Nepal Wildlife

Deep within the emerald tapestry of Nepal, nature paints with fiery strokes. The undisputed jewel of this verdant canvas is the lali guras, the crimson rhododendron, beloved as Nepal’s national flower.

From 1,400 to 3,600 meters, these blooms weave a vibrant chorus against the snow-kissed peaks, symbolizing the land’s spirit.

More than just a breathtaking sight, the lali gurus embodies the soul of Nepal. It whispers tales of unity and sovereignty, its petals echoing the “Lok tantra” spirit of inclusivity and equality.

Woven into the very fabric of the national emblem, it surrounds the flag, Everest’s majesty, and fertile plains, with joined hands embracing gender parity.

This ancient mantra, “Mother and motherland are greater than heaven,” etched below, reminds us of the profound connection between people and their land.

Yet, the lali gurus whisper not just of national pride but of ancient wisdom. Its petals have been woven into traditional medicine for centuries, offering solace and healing.

This timeless bond between nature and man speaks volumes, a testament to Nepali culture’s deep respect for the vibrant symphony of life that thrives within its borders.



Most popular Wildlife of Nepal:

Bengal tiger:

Nepal Wildlife
Nepal Wildlife

Tigers in Nepal are found in the Terai Arc Landscape area, which includes five protected areas. The Bengal tiger is protected under CITES Appendix I and Nepal’s National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act of 1973.

Nepal has implemented conservation efforts since the 1970s, resulting in a significant population increase. However, doubling the global tiger population by 2022 may be challenging.

Effective conservation requires transboundary cooperation and joint actions across borders. Currently, only around 2,670 Bengal tigers exist in the wild.

DietApex predator
HabitatForests, grasslands
Range (historical)7% of the historic range
Subspecies (extinct)3
Subspecies (extant)6
Countries:Nepal, India, Bhutan, Bangladesh
Home range needsExtensive
Population (Global)~2,670 (2018 estimate)
ThreatsPrey depletion, habitat loss, poaching, human-wildlife conflict
Conservation goalDouble national population by 2022 (Nepal)
IUCN Red List statusEndangered
CITES AppendixI




Nepal Wildlife
Nepal Wildlife

The Asian Elephant, a large mammal across Asia, prefers mixed forests, bamboo jungles, and grasslands.

In Nepal, they primarily inhabit the Terai region and are listed as endangered due to habitat loss and human-wildlife conflict.

Nepal protects them under Appendix I of the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1973 and CITES law.

HabitatMixed, deciduous, and evergreen forests, bamboo jungles, grasslands
DistributionBangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam
Population (Nepal)255-265 wild + 150 domestic
Population (Global)30,000-50,000
IUCN Red List StatusEndangered
ThreatsHabitat degradation, loss of connectivity, human-wildlife conflict, disease
Legal Status (Nepal)Protected (Appendix I) under National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1973
Legal Status (CITES)Appendix I (wild) & II (domestic)



Snow leopard:

Nepal Wildlife
Nepal Wildlife

The snow leopard (Uncia uncia) is a large cat native to the high mountains of Central and South Asia.

It is listed as an endangered species by the IUCN Red List due to several threats, including habitat loss, poaching, and human-snow leopard conflict.

HabitatCold, arid, and semi-arid shrubland, alpine and subalpine areas, grasslands, and open forests
DistributionAfghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Nepal
Population3,921-6,290 globally, 301-400 in Nepal
IUCN Red List statusEndangered
ThreatsHabitat loss, poaching, human-snow leopard conflict
Legal status in NepalProtected (Appendix I) under the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1973 and Appendix I in CITES law




Nepal Wildlife
Nepal Wildlife

The Himalayan Brown Bear (Ursus arctos) is a large mammal in Asia, Europe, and North America.

It is listed as a vulnerable species by the IUCN and is protected by law in Nepal.

The bear is traded in national and international markets for its bile, used in traditional medicine.

HabitatAsia, Europe, North America
Lifespan20-30 years
Body colorReddish brown
Height1.5-1.7 m
Length1.5-2.8 m
Weight130-550 kg
Gestation period180-266 days
IUCN Red List statusVulnerable
CITES AppendixI
National Red List status in NepalCritically endangered
Legal status in NepalProtected
ThreatsHabitat loss, poaching



One-Horned Rhino:

Nepal Wildlife
Nepal Wildlife

The rhino population has shown a noticeable increase of 16.6% between 2015 and 2021.

However, the census faced several challenges, including COVID-related issues and unfortunate incidents, such as a fatal tiger attack.

The distribution details are provided by location, gender, and age categories, which offers a comprehensive overview of the rhino population in each area.

National Rhino Count 2021

Rhino Population (2021)752 individuals
Distribution by Location
  • Chitwan NP: 694
  • Bardia NP: 38
  • Shuklaphanta NP: 17
  • Parsa NP: 3
Population Increase107 rhinos compared to the 2015 census (645 rhinos)
Census MethodDirect capture method using 57 elephants and 350 personnel deployed over 23 days (Chitwan-Parsa), 12 days (Bardia), and seven days (Shuklaphanta)
Challenges Faced
  • Covid-related obstacles
  • Fatal tiger attack on an elephant mahout in Bardia NP
  • Ongoing hospitalization of an NTNC-BCC program officer from a wild elephant attack in Chitwan


Rhino Population Distribution by Location (2021)

Parsa NP11121330130257
Chitwan NP, Buffer Zone, and Adjoining Forests12817439247495125694
Bardia NP, Buffer Zone, and Adjoining Forests14195311638938
Shuklaphanta NP34101304130417




Nepal Wildlife
Nepal Wildlife

Gharial and Mugger crocodiles reside in the rivers of Nepal. The Gharial Breeding Center in Chitwan National Park has released over 1,200 gharials back into the wild since 1984.

Nepal has two crocodile species: marsh mugger and gharial. Unfortunately, gharials were almost extinct in 1974. Conservation efforts include protected areas, breeding centers, and community engagement.

LocationTropical regions (Asia, Africa, Australia, America)
HabitatLakes, rivers, dams
Species in NepalMarsh mugger (vulnerable), gharial (critically endangered)
ThreatsHabitat loss, poaching, pollution, fishing practices
Conservation effortsProtected areas (Chitwan, Bardia National Parks), Gharial Breeding Center, community involvement
Population trendSlow recovery (increased from 645 in 2015 to 752 in 2021)
ChallengesIndustrial pollution, hunting, unsustainable fishing




Nepal Wildlife
Nepal Wildlife

Nepal has multiple deer species, including barking deer, southern red muntjac, and hog deer.

Their conservation is crucial, and protected areas like Chitwan and Bardia National Parks play a vital role.

Habitat management, anti-poaching, and community engagement are necessary. Some, like the sambar and barasingha, are vulnerable to hunting and habitat loss, while the chital and Indian muntjac are more widespread.

SpeciesScientific NameIUCN StatusDescriptionImage
LargeSambarRusa unicolorVulnerableShaggy appearance, prey of Bengal tiger
MediumIndian MuntjacMuntiacus muntjakLeast Concern“Barking Deer” sound
MediumIndian Hog DeerHyelaphus porcinusEndangeredRuns like a hog, preyed upon by tigers, leopards, and dholes
MediumChitalAxis axisLeast ConcernBrown with white spots, prey of Bengal tiger
LargeSwamp Deer (Barasingha)Rucervus duvauceliiVulnerableFound only in Nepal and India, population decline due to hunting and habitat loss



Nepal Wildlife
Nepal Wildlife

Nepal has four monkey species: Rhesus Macaques, Assam Macaques, Himalayan Gray Langurs, and Northern Plains Grey Langurs.

Each has unique characteristics and plays an essential ecological role. Respecting them in their natural habitat is crucial.

FeatureRhesus MacaqueAssam MacaqueHimalayan Gray LangurNorthern Plains Grey Langur
Scientific NameMacaca mulattaMacaca assamensisSemnopithecus schistaceusSemnopithecus entellus
Size (adult)47-53 cm body, 21-23 cm tail51-74 cm body, 15-30 cm tail51-79 cm body, 69-102 cm tail45-78 cm body, 80-112 cm tail
Fur ColorPale auburn/Grayish brownLight gray/Reddish brownBrown-gray/Lighter undersideSilvery/Darker back
HabitatGrasslands, woodlands, tropical forestsForestsHimalayas, mixed forestsDeciduous forests, shrublands, human settlements
Social BehaviorEnergetic, large troops (up to 200), rival groups fightFlexible, more miniature soldiers (up to 50), males leave at maturityFemale-bonded, playful malesFemales are affectionate, and males are competitive
DietFruits, roots, bark, insectsMainly fruits, young leaves, and sometimes farm cropsLeaves, fruits, insects, rocks/dirtPrimarily leaves, sometimes bread/biscuits
Interesting FactsCheek pouches, urban adaptabilityMales help care for young in the troopEat toxic leaves with neutralizing gumAssociated with the Hindu god Hanuman, rapid movement


Red panda

Nepal Wildlife
Nepal Wildlife

The Red Panda is a mammal found in the Himalayas. They have reddish-brown fur, short legs, and a long tail.

They eat bamboo and help with seed dispersal and pest control. Red Pandas are vulnerable due to habitat loss and hunting. Conservation efforts are ongoing to protect them.

ClassificationOrder: Carnivora, Family: Ailuridae
HabitatHimalayan region (Nepal, Sikkim, Myanmar, China)
Population in Nepal317-582 individuals (estimated)
Lifespan15 years
AppearanceRound head, triangular ears, short legs, shaggy tail, reddish-brown fur (except face and lower body, which are whitish)
SizeHeight: 0.4 m, Length: 0.7 m, Tail: 0.4 m
Weight3-4 kg
DietPrimarily bamboo
Conservation StatusIUCN Red List: Vulnerable, Appendix I of CITES
Legal Status in NepalProtected (Appendix I) under National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1973
ThreatsHabitat loss, hunting, competition
Conservation EffortsProtected areas, anti-poaching measures, research


Bengal foxes

Nepal Wildlife
Nepal Wildlife

The Bengal Fox is a small fox found in the Indian subcontinent. Their sandy brown fur, black-tipped tail, and ears make them distinct.

They play a vital role in ecosystem balance by controlling rodents. However, habitat loss, poisoning, and hunting pose potential threats.

Conservation efforts are crucial for their survival.

Scientific NameVulpes bengalensis
SizeHeight: 40-50 cm, Weight: 3-5 kg
ColorSandy brown/greyish with light underbelly
Distinctive FeaturesBlack-tipped tail and ears
HabitatGrasslands, scrub forests, wetland fringes (Terai region)
BehaviorCrepuscular/nocturnal, monogamous pairs, opportunistic feeders
DietInsects, fruit, small birds, rodents, eggs, carrion
ReproductionGestation: 50 days, Litter size: 4 pups
Conservation StatusMost Minor Concern (IUCN)
ThreatsHabitat loss, poisoning, hunting
Human-Wildlife InteractionsConflicts over poultry (mitigated by reinforced coops, guard dogs, and compensation)
Research & MonitoringLimited need for increased surveys and awareness
Wildlife TourismViewing opportunities in parks like Chitwan, Bardia, and Suklaphanta (responsible practices required)



Nepal Wildlife
Nepal Wildlife

Nepal has various bird species in different habitats, including wetlands, forests, grasslands, and urban areas.

The data shows the most common orders are Passeriformes, Anseriformes, Ciconiiformes, Columbiformes, and Coraciiformes.

SpeciesScientific nameNepali nameLocations (Altitude)Dates (Year)
Tufted DuckAythya fuligulaकालीजुरे हाँस (Kalijure Haans)Nagdaha, Lalitpur, Nepal (1,375m)9 July, 2022
Common MoorhenGallinula chloropusबगाले सिमकुखुरा (Bagale Simkukhura)Nagdaha, Lalitpur, Nepal (1,375m); Ghodaghodi Lake, Kailali, Nepal (200m)9 July, 2022; 11 May, 2013
White-breasted WaterhenAmaurornis phoenicurusसिमकुखुरा Sim KukhuraNagdaha, Lalitpur, Nepal (1,375m); Taudaha, Kathmandu, Nepal (1,300m)9 July, 2022; 16 November, 2014
Common KingfisherAlcedo atthisसानो माटिकोरे (Sano Matikore)Nagdaha, Lalitpur, Nepal (1,375m); Bardiya National Park, Bardiya, Nepal (170m)10 July, 2022; 30 April, 2013
Pheasant-tailed JacanaHydrophasianus chirurgusजलअप्सरा (Jalapsara)Nagdaha, Lalitpur, Nepal (1,375m)9 July, 2022
Pin-striped Tit BabblerMacronus gularisपीतोदर फिस्टेभ्याकुर (Pitodar Fiste Bhyakur)Bardiya National Park, Bardiya, Nepal (315m)21 August, 2022
Changeable Hawk EagleNisaetus Linnaeusशदलचील (Sadal Cheel)Bardiya National Park, Bardiya, Nepal (315m)20-21 August, 2022
Cinnamon BitternIxobrychus cinnamomeusरातो जुनबकुल्ला (Rato Junbakulla)Bardiya National Park, Bardiya, Nepal (315m)20 August, 2022
Black-headed MuniaLonchura malaccaकालोटाउके मुनियाँ (Kalotauke Munia)Bardiya National Park, Bardiya, Nepal (315m)21 August, 2022
Asian Plain MartinRiparia chinensisभित्तेगौंथली (Bhitte Gauthali)Bardiya National Park, Bardiya, Nepal (315m); Sauraha, Chitwan, Nepal (189m)21 August, 2022; 26 May



Blue Sheep

Nepal Wildlife
Nepal Wildlife

Blue Sheep hunting in Nepal is a top-tier experience the Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve offers. The hunt is regulated to ensure sustainable and conservation efforts.

It includes trekking, camping, and guided stalking of Blue Sheep found at high altitudes (3,000-5,500m) in mountainous terrain. Only limited permits are issued, making it an exclusive and thrilling challenge.

AspectKey Information
Nepali NameNawar (नाउर )
LocationDhorpatan Hunting Reserve, Nepal
SpeciesHimalayan Blue Sheep (Bharal)
PriceContact the organizer for information
TransportationHelicopter to reserve, then hiking/trekking
ActivitiesTrekking, camping, hunting, wildlife observation
PermitsLimited number issued annually by the Nepal government
Physical demandHigh (steep hikes, rugged terrain)
Challenge LevelHigh (physically and mentally demanding)
Unique selling pointExclusive, regulated experience, challenging adventure


Himalayan Monal

Nepal Wildlife
Nepal Wildlife

The national bird of Nepal is polygamous, shy, terrestrial, and vocal during flight. Its habitat includes alpine and sub-alpine slopes and rhododendron forests (seasonal).

It feeds on tubers, insects, grubs, grassroots, seeds, berries, and mosses. The bird lays 4-6 eggs in ground nests during May/June, with a 28-day incubation period.

Its distribution includes Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, China, and Myanmar. In Nepal, the bird is a widespread resident (3300-4750m in summer, 2500m in winter) and faces threats of hunting and trapping (local consumption, feathers).

The global population is unknown, but 3500-5000 birds are estimated to live in Nepal. The bird is protected under Appendix I and is categorized as IUCN Least Concern and IUCN Nepal Near Threatened.

Common NameHimalayan Monal, Impeyan Pheasant
Scientific NameLophophorus impejanus
HabitatAlpine/sub-alpine slopes, rhododendron forests
BehaviorPolygamous, shy, terrestrial, vocal
DietTubers, insects, grubs, seeds, berries, moss
BreedingGround nests, 4-6 eggs, 28-day incubation
DistributionPakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Myanmar
Distribution in NepalWidespread resident (3300-4750m, 2500m winter)
ThreatsHunting, trapping
PopulationUnknown globally, 3500-5000 in Nepal
Conservation StatusIUCN Least Concern, IUCN Nepal Near Threatened
Legal Status in NepalProtected (Appendix I)



Himalayan tahr

Nepal Wildlife
Nepal Wildlife

The Himalayan tahr is a large mammal with even-toed hooves native to the Himalayas in southern Tibet, northern India, western Bhutan, and Nepal.

Unfortunately, the population of this animal is declining due to hunting and loss of habitat, which is why it is listed as “Near Threatened” on the IUCN Red List.

SpeciesHimalayan Tahr
Scientific NameHemitragus jemlahicus
HabitatRugged Himalayas
Conservation StatusNear Threatened (IUCN)
ThreatsUncontrolled hunting, other factors
Protected AreaSagarmatha National Park
LocationSolu-Khumbu district, Nepal
Area124,400 hectares
Elevation RangeUp to 6,000 meters
Notable FeaturesMount Everest (8,848 m), glaciers, valleys
Rare SpeciesSnow leopard, red panda
ResidentsOver 2,500 Sherpa people
FocusNature and culture


National Park in Nepal:

Park NameLocationArea (km2)Established DateNotable Features
Shey Phoksundo National ParkDolpa district3,5552040 BS

(1984 AD)

Phoksundo Lake, Himalayan tahr
Langtang National ParkRasuwa and Nuwakot districts1,7102031 BS

(1976 AD)

Langtang Himal, Langtang Valley
Makalu Barun National ParkSankhuwasabha, Solukhumbu districts1,5002048 BS

(1991 AD)

Makalu-Barun Valley, Makalu Himal
Sagarmatha National ParkSolu-Khumbu district1,1482032 BS

(1976 AD)

Mount Everest, Khumbu Glacier, Annapurna Himal
Bardia National ParkBardiya district9682032 BS

(1976 AD)

Karnali River, Royal Bengal Tigers
Chitwan National ParkChitwan district9322030 BS

(1973 AD)

Narayani River, rhinoceros, tigers
Banke National ParkBanke district5502067 BS

(2010 AD)

Rapti River, wild elephants
Khaptad National ParkBajhang and Bajura districts2252042 BS

(1984 AD)

Khaptad Hills, Himalayan tahr
Shivapuri-Nagarjun National ParkKathmandu district1592058


Shivapuri Hills, Nagarjun Forest
Rara National ParkJumla district1062032 BS

(1976 AD)

Rara Lake, Himalayan tahr
Suklaphanta National ParkKanchanpur district305(2017 AD)Mahakali River, rhinoceros
Parsa National ParkBara district627(2017 AD)Rapti River, rhinoceros



  • Shey Phoksundo National Park: Biggest National Park in Nepal
  • Sagarmatha National Park: World Heritage Site since 1979 AD
  • Chitwan National Park: First National Park of Nepal and World Heritage site since 1984 AD
  • Rara National Park: Small National Park of Nepal



Wildlife reserve in Nepal:

Wildlife ReserveLocationArea (km2)Key Features
Koshi Tappu Wildlife ReserveEastern NepalApprox. 175
  • Important bird area with diverse avian species
  • Habitat for endangered water buffalo, wild Asian elephant, and Gangetic dolphin
  • Ramsar site for conservation of wetlands
Parsa Wildlife ReserveCentral NepalApprox. 499
  • Home to the elusive Bengal tiger and one-horned rhinoceros
  • Diverse flora and fauna, including over 300 bird species
  • Habitat for other mammals like leopard, sloth bear, and various deer species
Shukla Phanta Wildlife ReserveFar Western NepalApprox. 305
  • Oldest wildlife reserve in Nepal
  • Significant population of the endangered swamp deer
  • Rich biodiversity with species like Bengal tiger, leopard, and wild elephant.



Conservation Areas in Nepal:

Conservation AreaLocationArea (km2)Established Date Key Features
Annapurna Conservation AreaCentral Nepal76292049 BS
  • It encompasses the Annapurna mountain range
  • Rich biodiversity, including diverse flora and fauna.
  • A popular trekking destination with cultural and natural attractions
Kanchenjunga Conservation Area (KCA)Eastern Nepal20352054 BS
  • Surrounds the Kanchenjunga mountain, the third-highest peak globally
  • Home to diverse flora, fauna, and indigenous communities
  • Offers stunning landscapes and trekking opportunities
Gaurisankhar Conservation AreaCentral Nepal21792067 BS
  • Named after the sacred Gaurisankhar peak
  • Features diverse ecosystems, including alpine meadows and glaciers
  • Provides habitat for various wildlife species
Api Nampa Conservation AreaFar Western Nepal19032067 BS
  • It encompasses the Api and Nampa peaks
  • Rich in biodiversity with unique flora and fauna
  • Remote and pristine region attracting nature enthusiasts
Manaslu Conservation AreaCentral Nepal16632055 BS
  • Surrounds the Manaslu mountain, the eighth-highest peak globally
  • Offers trekking routes with cultural and natural significance
  • Habitat for snow leopards, red pandas, and Himalayan tahr
Krishnasar Conservation AreaNot specified15952065 BS
  • Information not provided
  • Further details are needed for a comprehensive summary



Hunting Reserve in Nepal:

Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve

Nepal Wildlife
Nepal Wildlife
  • Only legal hunting reserve in Nepal
  • Located in the western part of Nepal
  • Established to promote sustainable and controlled hunting activities
  • Biodiversity includes Himalayan tahr, blue sheep (bharal), goral, and other species
  • Aims to generate revenue for local communities while supporting conservation efforts
LocationEstablishedArea (km2)
Western Nepal
(Banglung, Myagdi, Rukum)
2044 BS (1987 AD)1,325




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