शनिबार, अशोज १०, २०७७

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Introduction – Shuklaphanta National Park

शुक्लाफाँटा राष्ट्रिय निकुञ्ज: पर्यटक संख्या (०७६/०७७)

Background

The Shuklaphanta National Park (ShNP) is situated at the southwestern corner of Nepal in Kanchanpur district of Far-West State (State 7). It lies between 28º45′ – 29º00′ N latitudes and 80º10′ – 81º45′ E longitudes. The altitude ranges from 175 – 1300 m above sea level. It lies at the middle of the transboundary Terai Arc Landscape which spreads between Bagmati River in the East and Yamuna River in the west covering 14 protected areas of India and Nepal

History

Historically, the grasslands and forests of Shuklaphanta was a famous hunting area for royalties of Nepal and their distinguished guests. It was declared as Royal Hunting Forest with an area of 131 km2 in 1969.  Later it was promulgated as the Royal Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve in 1976 covering an area of 155 km2 and extended to the present size of 305 km2 in 1994. The area of 243.5 km2 surrounding the reserve was declared as buffer zone in 2004 to bring local people for conservation mainstream and support their development needs. The protected area status was changed as a National Park in 2017. The Park was named after the largest grassland of Nepal, the Shuklaphanta, which is home to the largest herds of Swamp Deer Rucervus duvaucelii in the world.

Corridors and Connectivity

The park is connected to Dudhwa National Park of India towards South – East via Laljhadi Forest corridor and Nandoor Wildlife Sanctuary of  India towards North-West via Boom-Brahmadev forest corridor and Mahakali (called Sarada in India) River. Majority of the park lies on the Gangetic floodplains.

Climate

The area has a tropical monsoon climate with three distinct seasons: winter (cool dry, Oct – Feb), summer (Mar – Jun) and monsoon (Jun – Sep). The mean monthly minimum temperature varies from 10 to 12°C in winter and 26°C in the summer. Over 80% (1500-2000mm) of the annual precipitation occur during monsoon between June and September. Mean maximum temperature is 40-42°C in April-May (Balson 1976).