A view of Yangshila Pangolin habitat

NEPAL

 

The topography of Nepal extends from just 67m above sea level in the south of the country to the 8,848m summit of Mount Everest on the northern border. Within this vast altitudinal range is a diverse mosaic of climates and habitats that support a rich biodiversity. Nepal makes up less than 0.1% of the Earth’s landmass, yet contains over 2% of all flowering plant species, 3.9% of all mammal species and 8.9% of all bird species.

The wildlife of Nepal includes many highly threatened species, including the Gharial, Red Panda, Bengal Tiger, Snow Leopard, Asian Elephant and Greater One-horned Rhinoceros. The country also harbours two species of pangolin (the most trafficked mammal in the world) and four Critically Endangered vultures. Around 300 flowering plant species and 160 animal species are endemic to Nepal, most of which are concentrated in the alpine and subalpine zones.

 
 

Since 2014, WLT partner KTK-BELT has been designing and implementing a biological and cultural corridor – a “Vertical University” – that will stretch from the lowland Terai region through the Siwalik Hills and up to the Nepalese highlands and Himalayas. By doing so, our partner aims to preserve indigenous knowledge, foster sustainable farming, and support nature-based education, among many other goals. WLT is now supporting KTK-BELT’s landscape-level conservation with our first project together in the Yangshila region.

 

Our Partners in Nepal

Our projects in Nepal

Yangshila ICCA

WLT and KTK-BELT partnered in 2022 to establish a 31,284 ha Indigenous Community Conservation Area (ICCA) in Nepal’s eastern Siwalik Foothills

 
Yangshila ICCA

WLT and KTK-BELT partnered in 2022 to establish a 31,284 ha Indigenous Community Conservation Area (ICCA) in Nepal’s eastern Siwalik Foothills. The target landscape comprises thick, old-growth forests at the juncture where the Terai lowlands first rise to the Himalayas. It also touches the Char Koshe Jhadi, an eight-mile government forest that has migratory elephant populations. Because of its transitional location, this is a place of high biodiversity, with populations of Leopard (Vulnerable), Yellow Monitor Lizard (Endangered) and Chinese Pangolin (Critically Endangered).

Unfortunately, our project area is now facing a variety of threats, from poaching and illegal mining to the expansion of roads and encroachment of unsustainable agriculture. Once established, the Yangshila ICCA will be managed and operated by local indigenous communities to protect against these threats, with legal and technical support from KTK-BELT and others. WLT funds will support land acquisition, reserve management (through 13 forest guardians) and restoration activities.

Chinese Pangolin protected area, Siwalik Foothills of Nepal

Key Species

 

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