Nepal is very rich in natural resources. Nepal is very rich in biodiversity because of its altitudinal variations. Nepal is the habitat for various species of plants and animals. As per the data recorded by the botanists, Nepal has about 1120 non flowering plants and 5160 species of flowering plants. Similarly, in Nepal there are more than 181 species of mammal, 844 species of bird, 110 species of reptile, 43 species of amphibian, 185 species of freshwater fish and 635 species of butterflies. In Nepal, currently there are 17 protected areas.
Animal encroachment and poaching is increasing day by day. So, the securities in those areas have been tightened.
National parks work on the conservation of flora and fauna. There are 10 national parks in Nepal.
- Chitwan NP
It is the oldest national park of Nepal. It is located to the south west part of Kathmandu. It has covered 932 sq km of total land area. It lies in Chitwan district. This park provides habitat for more than 700 species of wild animals.. It is famous for endangered species of mammals like Bengal tiger and one horned rhino. It has been enlisted in the world heritage sites by UNESCO. In this park there are 68 species of mammals. The park is also famous for Ghariyal (alligator).
- Sagarmatha NP
It lies in Solukhumbu district. This park was established in 1976. It is located to the north east part from Kathmandu valley. This park covers 1,148 sq km of total land area. World’s highest peak Mt. Everest lies within the boundary of this park. The major attraction of this park is Mt. Everest. Musk dear, Himlayan black bear, snow leopard, red panda are the mammals found in this park. Along with Mt. Everest this park includes other mountains like Mt. Choyu, Lhotse, Nuptse, Amadablam etc.
- Langtang NP
It is situated in Rasuwa district. It was established in 1976. It lies to the north of Kathmandu valley. It covers 1710 sq km of total land area. The major attractions of this park are wild dog, red panda, Himalayan black bear, ghoral musk dear, etc. Various species of Rhododendron flower make the scenery of the park more beautiful.
- Rara NP
It lies in Mugu and Jumla district. This park was established in 1967. It is located in the north western part of Kathmandu valley. It is the smallest national park of Nepal. Rara Lake is the main attraction of this park. Rara Lake is quoted as the nymph of heaven by various travelers. Rara Lake is the biggest lake of Nepal. It provides habitat for various species of wild animals. Some of the wild animals found in this area are musk dear, ghoral, jharal, Indian leopard, Himalayan black bear, snow leopard, etc.
- Khaptad NP
It is located to the west of Kathmandu. This park was established in 1984. It covers the land area of four different districts namely Doti, Achham, Bajhang, Bajura. Its area stretches to 225 sq km. The main attraction is the ashram of Khaptad baba. It is one of the Hindu pilgrim sites. This national park is the habitat for 23 mammals, 287 birds, 23 amphibians and reptiles. The mammals found in this national park are Himalayan black bear, Asiatic wild dog, and musk deer.
- Shey Phoksundo NP
It is the largest national park of Nepal. It was established in 1984. It covers an area of 3555 sq km. The main attractions are Shey Phoksundo Lake and Kanjirowa Himal. This national parks lies in the north-west part of Nepal. This national park covers the area of two districts Mugu and Dolpa. It is the habitat of various wild animals like Himalayan thar, ghoral, snow leopard, blue ship, grey wolf, Himalayan black bear, musk deer, jackal, martens, etc. Similarly, various flowers like rhododendron, juniper, etc are available in this national park.
- Bardia NP
It is located in the terai to the southwestern part of Kathmandu valley. It was established in 1988. It covers an area of 968 sq km. It lies in Bardia district. It provides the habitat for the Bengal tiger. Other mammals found in the park are wild elephants, one horned rhino, swamp deer, etc. Similarly, various species of floral plants can be found in Bardia.
New national parks:
- Makalu Barun NP
It was established in 1992. World’s fifth highest mountain Mt. Makalu and the Arun valley lie here. It covers an area of 1500 sq km. 78 species of fish, 43 species of reptiles, 16 species of amphibians, and 315 species of butterflies inhabit in this national park.
- Shivapuri NP
It lies in the northern part of Kathmandu. It was established in 2002. It covers three districts Kathmandu, Sindhupalchok, Nuwakot, etc. It covers only 159 sq km of total land area. Various wild animals and birds inhabit in this park. Some of the wild animals found in this park are wild cat, wild boar, barking deer, Himalayan ghoral, porcupine, etc.
- Banke NP
It is the newest national park of Nepal. The park was established in 2010. This park covers an area of 550 sq km. This park covers an area of three districts Banke, Salyan and Dang.