Flora & Fauna
The Kingdom of Nepal covers an area of 147,181 square kilometers, and stretches 145-241 kilometers north to south and 850 kilometers west to east. The country is located between India in the south and China in the north. At latitudes 26 and 30 degrees north and longitudes 80 and 88 degrees east, Nepal is topographically divided into three regions: the Himalaya to the north, the hills consisting of the Mahabharat range and the Churia Hills in the middle, and the Terai to the south. Elevations are varied in the kingdom. The highest point is Mt. Everest (8848 m) in the north and the lowest point (70 meters above sea level) is located at Kechana Kalan of Jhapa District. Altitude increases as you travel south to north. In the north temperatures are below -40°C and in the Terai, temperatures rise to 40°C in the summer. During June, July and August, the kingdom is influenced by monsoon clouds.
About 850 species of birds are found in Nepal. With the opening of Koshi Tappu Reserve, bird watching is gaining grounds in Nepal. Koshi Tappu alone has recorded over 250 species of birds. Rare birds include Impeyean pheasant, the national bird, snow cock, snow pigeon, giant horn-bill, saras crane and babblers. The spiny babbler is a rare endemic variety found only in Nepal. Every year migratory birds from Tibet, Siberia and the northern mountains fly to the lowlands and Terai of Nepal. The Koshi Barrage is one of the most important migratory habitats. Bird watching is a very pleasant experience during late autumn and early spring when the migration occurs. Other parks and reserves also attract more birds and birdwatchers.
Nepal is rich in vegetation. The country’s diverse terrain provides ideal conditions for varieties from tropical to hill plants and flowers. Some orchids and certain varieties of rhododendron are very rare and found only in Nepal. Lali Guras or the red rhododendron is the national flower of Nepal. During the right seasons most visitors who come to explore the natural beauty of the country, are fortunate to have a glimpse of spectacular sights of hills covered with rhododendron flowers. Spring and autumn are the best seasons for flowers in Nepal.