Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Flora and Fauna


Tropical Deciduous Monsoon Forest
The Tropical Deciduous Monsoon Forest includes the plain of Terai and the broad flat valleys and successive hill ranges. The main tree species of this area are Sal (Shorea Robusta), sometimes associated with Semal, Asna, Dalbergia spp and other species. Similarly Pinus rosburghi occurring on the higher ridges of the Churia hills.Churia hill lies at around 1800m of altitude. Tall boorish grassland covered much of the Dun valleys but has now been largely replaced by agricultural settlements. The pipal and the Anyan (ficus bengalensis) are to be noticed with their explicit natural distinctiveness. The forests are the richest area for wildlife like gaurs, buffaloes, four species of deer, tigers, leopards and other animals. The Rhinoceros, swamp deer and hot deer are found in the valley grasslands and two species of crocodile and the  and the Gangetic  dolphins reside in the rivers. The principal birds are the peacock, jungle fowl and black partridge, while migratory duck and ducks swarm live in the ponds and lakes and big rivers of Terai. Terai forests are full of jasmin, minosa, accecia reeds and bamboo.
Subtropical Mixed Evergreen Forest
The Subtropical Mixed Evergreen Forest incorporates the Mahabharata Lek, which rises to a height of about 2400m.It comprises the outer wall of the Himalayan range. Great rivers such as the Karnali, Narayani, and Sapta Koshi flow through this area into the broad plains of the Terai. Among the tree species-Castenopsis indica in association with Schima wallichii, and other species such as Alnus nepalensis, Acer oblongum and various species of oak and rhododendron are found there. The Rhododendrons cover the higher slopes where deforestation has not yet taken place. Orchids clothe the stems of trees and gigantic climbers smother their heads. The variety and abundance of the flora and fauna are decreasing nowdays. This zone is generally poor in wildlife. The only widely distributed mammals are wild boar, barking deer, serow, ghoral and bears. Different varieties of birds are also found in this zone.
Temperate Evergreen Forest
Northward, on the lower slopes and spurs of the great Himalayas, oaks and pines are the dominant species up to an altitude of about 2400m. Above we find dense conifer forests including Picea, Tusga, Larix and Abies spp. At about 3600 to 3900m, we find rhododendron, bamboo etc. The composition of the forest varies considerably with coniferous predominating in the west and eracaceous in the east. The wildlife of this region includes the Himalayan bear, serow, ghoral, barking deer and wildboar, with Himalayan tahr sometimes being seen on steep rocky faces above 2400m. The red panda is among the most interesting of the mammals found in this zone; it appears to be fairly distributed in suitable areas of the forest above 1800m. The rich and diverse avifauna of this region includes several fabulous and beautiful pheasants, including the national bird of Nepal the Danfe pheasant.
Sub alpine and Alpine Zone
Above the tree line, rhododendron and juniper scrub may extend to about 4200m where the lands are covered by tundra-like association of short grasses, sedge mosses and alpine plants.. This continues up to the lower limit of eternal snow and ice at about 5100m. The mammalian fauna found there is rare. Implausibly, we find Himalayan marmots, mouse hare, tahr, musk deer, snow leopard and also occasionally blue sheep in this area. Until some time ago, the wild Yak and great Tibetan sheep could also be sighted in this region. Birds such as lammergeyer, snowcock, snowpatridge, choughs and bunting with redstarts and dippers are often seen along with streams and rivulets. Yaks are the only livestock which exist at high altitudes. The cheese prepared from the milk is edible for months. The female Yaks are good source of milk for the Sherpas. Nepal is a paradise with a unique bio-diversity & an ideal destination for the naturalists and lovers of wild animals.

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