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Chitwan National Park




Chitwan National Park is surrounded in an area of 32 sq km, established in 1973.
It is the oldest national park in Nepal is situated in the subtropical inner Terai lowlands of south-central Nepal. Formerly known as the Chitwan Valley it was designated for big game hunting in 1846 by the ruling class of the Rana family, used exclusively by themselves and their guests.During this period many species were hunted to extinction .
The park covers a relatively undisturbed area with a unique ecosystem. It contains the Churiya hills which rise in elevation gradually from the south at 150m to over 800m. from Chitwan a major flood plain which contains rich alluvial soils. Approximately 70% of the park is covered with Sal forest, the remaining vegetation includes grassland (20%), reverine forest consisting mainly of khair, sissou and simal. (7%), with chirpine and other plants accounting for the remaining (3%). The grasslands form a diverse and complex community with over 50 species found. Sacharum often called elephant grass, can reach 8m in height, the shorter grasses are useful for thatching roofs.
Over 43 species of mammals and more than 450 species of birds have been recorded, the park also provides a habitat to more than 45 species of amphibians and reptiles.

Seasons:
Chitwan is influenced by a tropical monsoon climate with relatively high humidity. The year can be divided into three main seasons: winter, spring and the monsoon season. The cool winter season occurs from October to February, spring begins in March continuing through to June although the months of April and May are typically very hot, temperatures can reach 38C during the daytime. The monsoon usually begins at the end of June and continues until September, this season is the main contributor to the mean annual rainfall which is between 30 to 50mm a year, the rivers are flooded and most of the roads are virtually impassable.

Fauna:
The park is especially renowned for its protection of the endangered One-Horn Rhinoceros (estimated population 400).It is also a habitat to The Royal Bengal Tiger, Gaur, Wild Elephant, four horned Antelope, striped Hyena, Pangolin, gangetic Dolphin, monitor Lizard and Python Sambar, Chital, Hog, Deer, Barking deer, Sloth deer, common Leopard, Ratel, palm Civet, wild Dog, Langur and Rhesus Monkeys. More than 43 species of mammals have been recorded.
450 species of birds have been recorded to date; endangered birds include the Bengal florican, giant Hornbill, Lesser Florican, Black Stork and White Stork. A few of the common birds seen are Peafowl, Red Jungle Fowl, and different species of Egrets, Herons, Kingfishers, Flycatchers and Woodpeckers. The best time for bird watching is March and December.
45 species of amphibians and reptiles have been recorded; they include Marsh Mugger Crocodile, Cobra, Green Pit Viper and various species of frogs and tortoises. The park is actively engaged in the scientific study of several species of wild flora and fauna.













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