Hidden valley with rich in natural resources
Makalu Barun National Park is a national park in the Himalayas of Nepal that was established in 1992 as eastern extension of Sagarmatha National Park. It is the world's only protected area with an elevation gain of more than 8,000 m (26,000 ft) enclosing tropical forest as well as snow-capped peaks. It covers an area of 1,500 km2 (580 sq mi) in the Solukhumbu and Sankhuwasabha Districts, and is surrounded by a bufferzone to the south and southeast with an area of 830 km2 (320 sq mi).
The rugged summits of Makalu, with 8,463 m (27,766 ft) the fifth highest mountain of the world, Chamalang (7,319 m (24,012 ft)), Baruntse (7,129 m (23,389 ft)) and Mera (6,654 m (21,831 ft)) are included in the national park.
The Makalu Barun National Park exhibits a high diversity of forest types that are characteristic for the Eastern Himalayas, ranging from near-tropical dipterocarp monsoon forest on 400 m (1,300 ft) altitude to subalpine conifer stands on 4,000 m (13,000 ft) altitude. Forest aspects vary depending on seasonal moisture availability, temperature and snow cover at different elevations and slopes. Forests below 2,000 m (6,600 ft) are strongly affected by subsistence agriculture, so that only some ecologically significant stands remain there. Above 2,000 m (6,600 ft) forests are usually extensive since the cool, humid climate suppresses agricultural activity. Forests span five bioclimatic zones:
- Tropical – below 1,000 m (3,300 ft) with stands of Sal;
- Subtropical – from 1,000 to 2,000 m (3,300 to 6,600 ft) with stands of Schima and Castanopsis;
- Lower and upper temperate – from 2,000 to 3,000 m (6,600 to 9,800 ft) with predominantly broadleaf evergreen species of oak and laurel families and broadleaf deciduous stands of maple and magnolia;
- Subalpine – from 3,000 to 4,000 m (9,800 to 13,100 ft) with stands of Himalayan birch and East Himalayan fir; along a transect from outer, southern slopes to the inner valleys these stands are dominated by conifers such as juniper and fir.
- On alpine pastures at altitudes above 4,000 m (13,000 ft) the religiously important dwarf rhododendron and juniper, aromatic herbs and delicate wildflowers prosper. The region above 5,000 m (16,000 ft) comprises mainly rock and ice with little vegetation.
- Botanists recorded 3,128 species of flowering plants, including 25 of Nepal's 30 varieties of rhododendron, 48 primroses, 47 orchids, 19 bamboos, 15 oaks, 86 fodder trees and 67 economically valuable aromatic and medicinal herbs.
The protected area is habitat for a wide diversity of faunal species. There are 315 species of butterflies, 43 species of reptile and 16 species of amphibians. 78 species of fish inhabit the many ponds, lakes and rivers. Ornithologists have recorded 440 bird species, ranging from eagles and other raptors to white-necked storks and brilliantly colored sunbirds. The 16 rare or protected bird species include the rose-ringed parakeet, Blyth's kingfisher, deep-blue kingfisher, blue-naped pitta, pale blue flycatcher, sultan tit, silver-eared mesia, spiny babbler and the white-naped yuhina.
The 88 species of mammals include snow leopard, Indian leopard, clouded leopard, jungle cat, leopard cat, golden jackal, Himalayan wolf, red fox, red panda, black bear, Hanuman langur, Assam macaque, Himalayan tahr, Himalayan goral, muntjac, musk deer, barking deer, Himalayan serow, wild boar, flying squirrel, otters, spotted linsang, weasel and marmot. In May 2009, zoologists obtained the first camera trap image of an Asian golden cat at an altitude of 2,517 m (8,258 ft).
LIST OF PROTECTED AREAS
CHITWAN NATIONAL PARK
SAGARMATHA NATIONAL PARK
BARDIYA NATIONAL PARK
LANGTANG NATIONAL PARK
SHEY-PHOKSUNDO NATIONAL PARK
BANKE NATIONAL PARK
SHIVAPURI-NAGARJUNA NATIONAL PARK
SHUKLA-PANTHA NATIONAL PARK
PARSA NATIONAL PARK
ANNAPURNA CONSERVATION AREA
KANCHENJUNGA CONSERVATION AREA
API-NAMPA CONSERVATION AREA
GAURISHANKAR CONSERVATION AREA