Flora and Fauna of Nepal

Nepal is a tiny but at the same time immensely diverse country in terms of culture, language, religion and flora and fauna. The elevation of the country ranges from the lowland of the Terai (southern part of Nepal) to the highest peak in the world, Nepal has the most magnificent sceneries in the world and the great variety of flora and fauna. Its rich feature of diversity is incomparable elsewhere in the world. Between Nepal’s geographical extremes, one may find every type of vegetation, from the treeless steppes of the Trans-Himalayan region, the birch, silver fir, larch and hemlock of the higher valleys to the oak, pine and rhododendron of the intermediate altitudes and the great Sal and Sissau forests of the south.

Nepal’s wildly varying ecosystems support a vast range of vegetation and wildlife. This includes over 6,500 known species of trees, shrubs and wildflowers, more than 800 bird species (at nearly 10 per cent of the entire world’s bird species, the figure is higher than that of Canada and the United States combined!), and a large number of reptiles and mammals.

There are several reasons for the tremendous diversity of plant and animal species found in Nepal. Its phenomenal topography contains ecological zones that in most other parts of the world are separated by thousands of kilometers. Nepal’s geographical location, climate, altitude and aspect all combine to make it a nature lover’s paradise.

Nepal’s Biodiversity: Statistics

Class Species No. Nepal % Nepal‘s Endemic No.
Global Nepal
Flowering plants 5700 2.7 246
Insects 750,000 5,000 0.06
Butterflies 15,000 656 4.2 29
Fresh water fishes 8,500 185 2.2 8
Amphibians 4,500 43 1.1 9
Reptiles 6,500 100 1.5 2
Birds 9,883 844 8.5 2
Mammals 4,327 181 4.2 1

Nepal covers an area of 0.03 % (Globe) and .0.3 % of Asia

The rolling densely forested hills and broad Dun valleys of the Terai along with other parts of the country were formerly, renowned for their abundance and variety of wildlife. Though somewhat depleted as a result of agricultural settlements, deforestation, poaching and other causes, Nepal can still boast richer and more varied flora and fauna than any other area in Asia.