Nepal is a land of diverse topography, climate, ethnicity and biodiversity. Within an average breadth of about 150 km, the altitude varies from 60 meter above sea level to the world’s highest peak Mount Sagarmatha scaling 8.848m, it has three large river basins namely Koshi in the east, Narayani in the central and Karnali in the west.
Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve
Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve was established in 1976, and covers an area of 175 sq.km. The reserve is named after the biggest river of Nepal, the Koshi. It is a major residing, staging and wintering site for waterfowls and waders in the sub-continent. Due to its international importance for the conservation of waders and waterfowl, it has been accorded the Ramsar Site by the Wetlands Convention in 1987.
The waterbody supports more than 100 species of fish including the human size catfish known as Gonch, famous sporting fish the Mahasheer and delicious species the Jalkapoor. The large reptiles inhabiting this reserve includes the longest snake species of the sub continent the rare Indian Rock Python, globally threatened fish eating Gharial Crocodile and number of lizards and turtle species.
The reserve and the adjacent area, supports more than 450 bird species. During October to April one could be able to spot more than 100 species in a single day birding. Massive flocks of ducks numbering more than 50,000 chiefly of Northern Pintails, Mallard and Northern Shoveler are a common sight during fall and winter. Globally threatened species occurring in this area includes Black-necked Stork, Greater Adujtant Stork, Lesser Adjutant Stork, Peregrine Falcon, Bengal Florican, Great Stone Plover, Black-bellied Tern, Dusky Eagle Owl, Swamp Francolin, Marsh Warbler etc.
Koshi Tappu supports large ungulates such as Wild Water Buffalo, Blue Bull Antelope, Hog Deer etc. It is the last refuge for the globally threatened Wild Water Buffalo (Arna in Nepali) in Nepal. Currently their population is about one hundred only. These bovine possesses the longest horn (about two meters in length) among any surviving mammals in the world and are aggressive in nature. The small wetland carnivore includes the rare Fishing Cat and Smooth-coated Otters. There are few rare Gangetic Dolphins found in the Koshi River.
Nepal is the nature lover’s paradise
Out of many attractions, the Wetlands and lush green forests in Nepal have nestled a wide varieties of bird species. There are some 862 species of birds identified in Nepal. Below are some of the best locations for bird watching in Nepal.
|Bagmati & Manohara|
|The Shivapuri Watershed & Wildlife Reserve|
|Outside Kathmandu Valley|
|Chitwan National Park|
|Koshi Tappu Barrage & Kohsi Tappu Wildlife Reserve – East Nepal|
|Bardia National Park – West Nepal|
|Langtang National Park|
Makalu – Barun National Park and Conservation Area
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