Nepal has very diverse varieties of animals. This section introduces animals of Nepal and their role in Nepal’s bio-diversity and economy.
High Himalayan Animals
Red Panda (Lesser Panda, Fire Fox)
Red Pandas are also known as Lesser Panda, Bear Cat and Fire Fox. They are slightly larger than a cat but are related to Panda bears. Red Panda have thick fur on their feet, tail and body so they can withstand cold winters. They share the characteristic of bears, skunk and raccoons. Red Pandas are native to the Himalayas, Nepal, Southern China and India.
Red Pandas are herbivorous animal. Their primary food source is bamboo leaves. They also eat fruits, roots, acorns, grasses, berries, and lichen. Because they cannot digest the bamboo leaves that well, they have to eat a lot of it. Similarly, because they eat very low calorie food, they spend most of their time in low energy activities such as eating and sleeping.
Animals of the plains (Tarai)
Tigers are carnivores animals of cat family. They were once found in every part of Asia
from Turkey, through southern Asia, to the islands of Sumatra, Java, and Bali. They are extinct from many parts of Asia now. Today tigers are no longer found west of India or on the islands of Java and Bali. The remaining populations in Southeast Asia, China, and the Russian Far East are mostly isolated in fragmented habitants and greatly reduced in number.
Bengal Tigers: They are the most common of all tigers and make up 80% of all tiger population. Bengal tigers are found in Nepal, India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Burma.Tigers can be found in tropical rainforest, evergreen forest, riverine woodlands, mangrove swamps, grasslands, savannas, and rocky country. There are many varieties of tigers found in various parts of Asia. They are briefly introduced here.
Siberian tigers: They are found in the Russian Far East, China, and North Korea.
Sumatran tigers: They are found only on the island of Sumatra.
Indo-Chinese tigers: They range from Eastern Burma to Vietnam and Malaysia.
South China tigers: They are found in Central and South China.
Tigers prey on large sized herbivores like deer and wild pigs. But they also pray on antelope, buffalo, guar, domestic livestock, peafowl, monkeys, porcupines, fish, frogs, crabs, large monitor lizards, pythons, and young elephants or rhinos.
Bones and nearly all body parts of tigers are used in traditional Chinese medicine for a range of purported uses including pain killers and aphrodisiacs. Poaching for fur, body parts and destruction of habitat have greatly reduced tiger populations in the wild.
Tigers give birth to about 5 babies with six months of gestation. They live for about 25 years.
Elephant are the largest land animals. The elephants found in Nepal are called Asian Elephants, which are a bit smaller than the African Elephants but still the largest of all other animals. These mammals are famed for many great characteristics such as their huge ears, long tusks, great size, high strength and stamina, long lives and complex herd behavior.
People of Nepal have long trained elephants for farming, logging, hunting, warfare, and ceremonies. Many of the elephants are kept and trained by people and many live in the wild, in the protected jungle of the National parks. Their old habitat has already been destroyed by building farmlands in the Tarai, where they once roamed freely. Sadly, people are still the greatest threat to their survival. There are incidence of poaching and illegal killings of elephants in the protected areas and their habitat gets encroached.
Elephants live together in small family groups. They move slowly and steadily, feeding mainly on grasses, bark, leaves, and twigs. They spend up to 18 hours feeding and consume about 330 pounds of food each day. An elephant walks at an average speed of (5km/h). However, if it senses danger, it can sprint away or charge at the attacker at up to (40km/h) faster than a human.
Elephants keep in touch with their herd members in several ways. They have a simple language of deep growls and rumbles, which carry for hundreds of yards in open country. They also sniff the air with their trunks, and they touch other herd members with their trunks. In fact the elephant’s trunk, an extra-long nose with a flexible tip, has many jobs. It is used for gasping food, squirting water or dust, greeting other elephants, and guiding babies or calves.
Information based on: The world of Animals
Rhinos of Nepal are one of the most exotic animals found in the world. They can reach up to one tone in weight. They have one horn (please note that African Rhinos have two horns). They have good hearing and sense of smell but poor eyesight. They live for about fifty years or more. Their skin is the thickest of any animals at 1.5-5cm. Nepalese people believe that shooting Rhinos with a gun would not affect them. The male rhinos are called bull, the females are called cow, the babies are called calf and a group of Rhino are called crash.
Rhinos in Nepal are poached by people for their horns. Similarly, Rhinos also cause the greatest number of wildlife related human death each year. However, Nepalese Rhinos are endangered animals and we have to save them from becoming extinct.
Rabbits are found in every region of Nepal. They live underground in burrows or warrens. These animals are very alert to danger and always ready to dash for safety. They live in open, grassy country, and have large eyes and huge ears to look and listen for predators. Their back legs are long and muscular, ideal for running at high speed from danger.
Rabbits look like rodents such as squirrels and rats but they belong to a different mammal group, the lagomorphs. This name means “leaping shape,” which is what these creatures do to survive. Rabbits are born blind and hairless.
Rabbits are animals that are sometimes domisticated. However, rabbits are also treated as food, pet and pest by the same culture. When used for food, rabbits are both hunted and raised for meat.
The content of this page is developed by Ashim Shrestha, a Grade 6 student of a Public School, Ottawa, Canada. The Nepali Language Class, to which Ashim is a student, was made possible due to collaborative efforts of Nepalese Canadian Association of Ottawa (www.nepalese.ca) and Ottawa Carleton District School Board (ocdsb.ca).
After our students research all the material and write their material with the best of their abilities, our teachers correct them and enhance the grammer and writing to make them presentable to all people around the world.