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Nepal Wildlife

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Animals and birds found in Nepal


Despite its relatively small size, Nepal punches well above its weight in terms of biodiversity. According to a recent report, Nepal is home to 208 species of mammal, 867 of bird species, 123 reptile species, 55 amphibian species, 230 fish species and 651 butterfly species.

Of course, we’re not going to tell you about each and every one, but here’s a little rundown of Nepal’s most famous animal residents, and where you might be able to spot them.

One-horned rhino

Once close to extinction, these animals have found sanctuary in Nepal thanks to the 1973 rehabilitation programme.

Found in : Chitwan National Park

Rhino in Chitwan National Park
Bengal tiger relaxing
Bengal Tiger

Nepal’s tiger population has almost doubled over the past decade, and there are around 250 roaming wild in the country’s lowlands.

Found in : Parsa National Park, Chitwan National Park, Banke National Park, Bardia National Park and Suklaphanta National Park

Asian elephant

Seeing these giants close up is a dream for so many travellers, and it can come true in Nepal!

Found in :  Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, Chitwan National Park, Parsa National Park, Bardia National Park and Suklaphanta National Park

Elephant in Bardia National Park

ELEPHANT RIDING : You may be offered the chance to ride an elephant in Nepal. Many of the national parks still rely on the income from rides to support their conservation work. This is an uncomfortable truth, since there is certainly some cruelty involved in making these animals compliant. Our partners no longer offer elephant riding as part of their tours. Our hope is that this practice will end as public opinion changes and alternative funding is available for conservation.

Nepali snow leopard
Snow leopard

It is estimated that Nepal is home to around 10% of the world’s population of these elusive creatures, with some 350-500 living wild in the mountains.

Found in : well, they’re rarely found! They roam in the high mountains of the Himalayas, and whilst you’re incredibly unlikely to see one yourself, it’s comforting to know that they still have a home in Nepal.

You best chance of spotting one is in the Mustang region


You can find both Gharial and Marsh Mugger crocodiles lurking in shallow waters and rivers across Nepal’s lowlands.

Found in : Various rivers, as well as Bardia National Park, Chitwan National park, and the Shukla Panta Wildlife reserve

Crocodile in Nepal
Nepali Sloth Bear
Sloth bear

Once found widely across the Indian subcontinent, their numbers have been sadly dwindling. They at least have a safe home in Nepal’s national parks.

Found in : Chitwan National Park

Himalayan Tahr

A large wild mountain goat native to the Himalayas. They’re incredibly comfortable in the most difficult terrain.

Found in : the high Himalayas

Himalayan Tahr
Yaks in the Himalayas

They may seem like strange creatures to you, but these are very common in Nepal and have been kept by farmers for centuries.

Found in : highland areas across the country

Other creatures


Other famous mammals found in Nepal include leopards, jackals, hyenas, civets, bats and foxes, as well as various species of bear, deer and antelope.


Famous species include monitor lizards, tortoises, pythons and the King Cobra!


There are over 50 species in Nepal, with frogs, newts, salamanders, toads and caecilians all numerous across the country

Insects and Arachnids

The list is huge, but amongst the jungles, lowlands and highlands of Nepal, you might encounter Black Widow Spiders and Asian Giant Hornets……..don’t worry, they’re quite rare!

Responsible animal tourism

  • Don’t feed wild animals. Food handouts can change their behaviour and cause problems.
  • Avoid animal performances and sports like elephant polo. These practices invariably involve a lot of suffering for the animals, and shouldn’t be supported.
  • Don’t buy any souvenirs made from Chiru (a Tibetan antelope) as these creatures are now endangered due to overhunting.
  • Elephant riding involves animal cruelty. Please think hard before you take part.

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