Koshi Tappu – Nepal’s Wildlife Reserve

Koshi Tappu - Nepal's Wildlife Reserve

By Holiday Dragons

“When it comes to conserving wildlife and the environment, It’s more important to be outspoken, than unspoken” Paul Oxton

The Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve is a wildlife conservation area in the Terai of eastern Nepal covering 175 km2 (68 sq mi) of wetlands in the Sunsari, Saptari and Udayapur Districts. The conservation area has an altitude from 75 to 81 meters (246 to 266 ft) and consists of extensive mudflats, reed beds, and freshwater marshes in the floodplain of the Sapta Kosi River.

Koshi Tappu Jungle Safari was established in 1976 and designated as a Ramsar site in December 1987. The conservation area was constructed to conserve the last remaining population of Wild Water Buffalo (Bubalus arnee), locally known as Arna.

Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve is also a bird lovers paradise. There are 527 species of birds recorded in the reserve. It is the area in Nepal where water cock, (Gallicrex cinerea) and Abbott’s babbler are found. Out of these 526 species of birds, 12 species are globally threatened and 101 species are nationally threatened.

There are about 215 settlements in the vicinity of the wetland. The inhabitants depend on the wetland for irrigation, livestock grazing, fisheries, and food production, and obtain construction materials from the forests.

Things to do

Bird watching inside Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve offers an exciting opportunity of sighting 526 species of birds while travellers explore the marshes on foot.

The Koshi River flows through part of the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve. Jeep Safari is ideal in the jungle along the belts of this river which is rich in birds and other animals. The river lagoons and wetlands draw deers, gharials (crocodiles), water buffaloes and elephants.

The life in and around the reserve on foot is equally interesting. Tharus community lives around Koshi Tappu area. The early inhabitants of the region, have their unique way of living. It is untouched by the western world. Their beautifully decorated homes and cultural style are delightful. The Tharu village is plastic-free zone. It is one of the few environmentally aware and clean villages in the country.

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