Birds and Mammalian Species
Plant, Bird and Mammalian Species and More Protected Areas in Nepal
new bird species and four mammals, and more than 700 flowering species
were found in Nepal between 1996 and 2006, according to the Nepal Biodiversity
Resource Book, released in Kathmandu, Nepal.
new bird species include the Moustached Warbler, Greater White-fronted
Goose, Spot-winged Rosefinch, Pallas's Bunting, Red-throated Loon, Black-and-yellow
Grosbeak, and Rufous-tailed Wheatear; the new mammal species are the Binturong,
Indian Mongoose, Himalayan Marmot, and the Tibetan gazelle.
addition, Nepal has increased its protected areas by nearly 9,000 sq km.
These include the Shivapuri National Park, the Kangchenjunga and Manaslu
conservation areas, and 11 buffer zones. Three sites - Bishazarital, Jagdishpur
reservoir, and Ghodaghodital - were designated Ramsar sites in 2003.
areas cover nearly 20% of the country's land. Under the Forest Act 1993,
the Government of Nepal has banned the collection use, sale, distribution,
transportation and export of three species since 2001. They are the Pancha
ounle, Okhar ko bokara bark, and Kutaki. Similarly, the government has
banned the export of eight species of plants and rock as well as the transportation,
export, and felling of seven tree species for commercial purpose," the
network of protected areas includes 9 national parks, 3 wildlife reserves,
3 conservation areas and a hunting reserve. Four sites - the Sagarmatha
and Chitwan national parks and the Lumbini and the Kathmandu Valleys -
have been included in UNESCO's List of World Heritage Sites. Apart from
conservation of species in the wild, efforts have been made towards ex-situ
conservation and specimen preservation.
Nepal has only 0.1% of the global landmass, it has a disproportionately
rich diversity of flora and fauna. It has the 10th richest flowering plant
diversity in Asia, and ranks 31st globally. Mammal species comprise almost
4% of the global total, and bird species almost 9%. There are 11 bio-climatic
zones and 9 land-based ecoregions. Of these, three are classified under
critical/endangered, vulnerable and stable/intact.
natural resources are important for its economy. These include agricultural
land, wetlands, forests, and protected areas. Agricultural, which covers
20% of land area, is the major determinant of economic activities. Forests
cover 29% of land area.
high demand for agricultural land, however, has led to considerable deforestation
and loss of land cover. Forest cover in the Terai and hill areas decreased
at an annual rate of 1.3% and 2.3% respectively between 1978/79 and 1990/91.
Despite this, forest areas do contribute to the national economy. For example,
the majority of protected areas comprise forested land and their contribution
to the national economy is of major importance," the report added.
number of legal instruments govern management of protected areas. Of these,
the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act of 1973 is the principal
legal instrument. The Act prohibits the hunting of any animals or birds,
building any house, hut, or other structure, clearing or cultivation or
harvesting, cutting, burning, or damaging any tree, bush, or other forest
product, and mining in national parks, or protected areas. Additionally,
26 mammal species, 9 bird species, and 3 reptile species are protected
under the Act.
this, several species are listed as threatened. Among these, the pigmy
hog the slender-billed vulture, pink-headed duck, and the white-rumped
vulture are listed as critically endangered. It is believed that the pigmy
hog and the Indian Chevrotain have probably become extinct in Nepal. Of
plant species, the Andrewsianthus ferrugineus and Diplocolea sikkimensis
are considered endangered.
Nepal Biodiversity Resource Book was jointly produced by the Government
of Nepal, Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, the International
Centre for Integrated Mountain Development and the United Nations Environment
Programme and prepared by Nepalnature.com. The report focuses on the flora
and fauna diversity in the Protected Areas, Ramsar Sites, and World Heritage
Sites of Nepal as a means of having updated and comprehensive information
on Nepal's biodiversity profile.
ICIMOD, UNEP 2007
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Centre for Integrated Mountain Development
Nations Environment Programme