Chitwan National Park to add two more wildlife species

Chitwan, March 7

Chitwan National Park, popular for its wildlife sanctuary, is set to soon acquire two more species of wildlife as initiatives are on to bring in wild buffaloes and swamp deer with a view to diversifying wildlife species and broadening the tigers’ prey base.

According to chief conservation officer at the park Ramchandra Kandel, preparations for the same have already started.

“We’ve identified Purano Padampur area in the national park as the most suitable habitat for the newcomers,” he said, adding, “The old ponds are being renovated and grasslands are being expanded as part of the campaign.”

As per the 2013 count, there were around 326 wild buffaloes in Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve. As of now, the reserve is the only sanctuary where wild buffaloes are found.

Similarly, there are some 2,200 and 100 swamp deer at Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve and Bardia National Park, respectively, said Kandel.

He also expressed confidence that Chitwan would make a good habitat for both the species.

“As both the other sanctuaries and Chitwan National Park lie in the Tarai region and experience similar climate, we are hopeful that the transfer will be easy for animals as well,” he said, adding, “Both of them need more water, bushes and grassy land which are ample in Chitwan National Park.”

Chitwan National Park currently boasts over 265 species of birds, 64 species of mammals and over 100 species of amphibians and reptiles, besides the notable attractions, including one-horned rhinoceros, elephants, tigers and wild boars.

Lately, five rhinos from the park were transferred to Barida National Park.

The addition of the new species is expected to help promote tourism by ensuring the diversification of wildlife species at the park.