Shukla Phanta National Park

Name: Shukla Phanta National Park (IUCN Category: II)

Established: 1976

Area (km2): 305.00

Buffer Zone (km2): 243.50 (IUCN Category: VI)


Shukla Phanta National Park, initially managed as a hunting reserve from 1969, gained official status as a Wildlife Reserve in 1976 and was designated a National Park in 2017. Encompassing 305 sq. km, it is located in the extreme south-western region of Nepal’s Terai, specifically in Kanchanpur District.

The park shares a boundary with the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh to the south and west, marked by the Mahakali (Sarda) River, a significant tributary of the Ganges. The eastern boundary is formed by the Chaudhar River, and the northern edge is marked by a forest belt and cultivations.

Schaff (1978b) documented 24 mammal species, while Inskipp (1989) identified a total of 350 bird species, with 180 being breeding species. An annotated list of 14 fish species is provided by Bhatt and Shrestha (1977), and Schaaf (1978b) recorded 10 species of ectoparasites and biting flies.

Despite its modest size, Shukla Phanta National Park boasts a diverse range of biodiversity of national and global significance. The predominant vegetation types include sal forest and sal savanna, forming a continuum between climax forest and grassland, maintained by fire and floods. Notably, the park supports the largest population of Bengal florican, Houbaropsis bengalensis.

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