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Koshi tappu wildlife sanctuary

Koshi tappu wildlife sanctuary

 

Koshi Tappu is the easternmost and the smallest of the Terai's national parks and wildlife reserves. It covers an area of 175 sq kms of the Sapt Koshi floodplian, immediatelykoshi northeast of the Koshi and Trijuga Khola rivers converge.

 

Fauna: On all but the southern side it is surrounded by forest which is home to small and decreasing numbers of mammals, including a population of about 100 wild buffalo, nilgai, spotted and hog deer, monkey and wild boar.

 

Reptiles: Gangetic dolphins, darker skinned relatives of the more familiar silver skinned bottle nosed dolphin, are occasionally seen jumping in the rivers. The endangered gharial crocodile inhabits the area in small numbers which have been hosted by the re-introduction of more from the Chitwan breeding center.

 

Birds: above all, Koshi Tappu is known for its bird life, with over 280 species including 20 species of duck, ibises, storks, swamp partridges, herons, egrets, Bengal floricans, and many other exotic and migratory waterfowl not found elsewhere in Nepal.

 

Flora and Environment: the vegetation is a combination of scrub grassland and deciduous riverside forest. The appearance of the environment changes dramatically with the seasons. It is at its most supreme during the monsoon when the river swells to become a wide and powerful torrent heading south and feeding into the Ganges. Much of the floodplain is submerged to depths of up to three meters. In the dry months leading up to the monsoon, meanwhile, the flow is radically reduced with numerous sandy islands appearing. The plains are flat and exposed to the strong winds, which are a prominent feature of Terai weather at certain times of year. Prolonged vigorous gusts often whip up water from the river to create oblique screens of mist to give the area a spectacular wild appearance.

 

There are a number of small villages around Koshi Tappu, notably in the western floodplains. Many rely on fishing in the rivers for their livelihood, and fish forms an important part of the local diet.