Nepal's biodiversity profile (2014)
- 6,973 spp. Angiosperms
- 1822 spp. Fungi
- 465 spp. Lichens
- 1001 spp. Algae
- 1,150 spp. Bryophytes
- 534 spp. Pteridophytes
- 26 spp. Gymnosperms
- 208 spp. Mammals
- 867 spp. Birds
- 123 spp. Reptiles
- 55 (+-) spp. Amphibians
- 230 spp. Fishes
- 3,958 spp. Moths
- 651 spp. Butterfly
- 5,052 spp. Beetles and other insects
Source – NBSAP (2014 – 2020)
Nepal's share in global biodiversity.
- 9.3% Birds
- 4.5% Mammals
- 4% Butterflies
- 2.7% Flowering plants
- 1.6% Reptiles
- 1% Amphibians
- 1% Fresh water fishes
Nepal's unique geography, with associated variation in the physiographic and climatic conditions have resulted in rich biodiversity. At the species level, the rapid change along the environmental gradient gives rise to high beta diversity. The country occupies only 0.1 percent of the global area, but harbors over three percent and one percent of the world's known flora and fauna, respectively. Nepal's biodiversity profile records 208 mammas, 867 birds, 123 reptiles, 55 (+-) amphibians, 230 freshwater fish and 651 butterfly species. This high species diversity is also accompanied by high endemism. Increasing steadily from low to high elevations, a total of 284 flowering plants, 160 animal species, including one mammal species, one bird species and 24 herpetofauna are endemic to Nepal.
Species conservation is challenged by multiple factors that arise from the growing human expansion and modern development. Many plant and animal species are threatened due to habitat loss, poaching and trade, conflicts with humans and climate change.
NTNC since its establishment has worked hand in hand with the government and conservation partners to achieve some notable success in species conservation. Bringing back the Bengal tiger and one-horned rhinoceros form their course to local extinction is a remarkable example of how successful species-focused conservation can save species that are in crisis. In just a few decades, NTNC has supported the government in numerous initiatives that has resulted in the following key achievement in species conservation.
- Playing an instrumental role in the government's commitment to double the wild tiger number to 250 individuals by 2022
- Major contributor in the successful recovery of greater one-horned rhinoceros population (from ca. 385 in 1986 to 645 in 2015)
- Reintroduction of vulnerable species such as greater one-horned rhinoceros, blackbuck, swamp deer and wild water buffalo to establish viable populations
- Gharial and vulture conservation breeding programs to supplement the wild populations
- Discovery of new species for Nepal such as Tibetan argali (Ovis hodgsoni), Tibetan antelope (Pantholops hodgsonii), Kashmir musk deer (Moschus cupreus), Himalayan wolf (Canis lupus chanco), Steppe pole cat (Mustela eversmanii), Pallas cat (Otocolobus manuli), Tibetan wild ass (Equus kiang), Rusty spotted cat (Prionailurus rubiginosus) and Tibetan sandgrouse (Syrrhaptes tibetanus)
- Establishment and mobilization of Human-Wildlife Conflict Management Fund to provide relief to wildlife victims, rescue of problematic wild animals; and human-wildlife conflict management in severely affected districts
- Wildlife rescue & problem animal management in buffer zone and urban areas
- Capacitating and mobilizing community-based institutions – Conservation Area Management Committees and Community-based Anti-poaching Units
- Capacitating enforcement agencies to combat wildlife crime
Animal welfare and human wellbeing is at the center of species conservation. NTNC's long standing involvement in species focused conservation recognizes its multifaceted nature and takes both in-situ and ex-situ approach. Engaging communities, ensuring animal welfare, promoting human-wildlife co-existence and combating wildlife crime are NTNC's working areas that carry the mantle of species conservation.