Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve
The Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve was established in 1969 as a hunting reserve covering a relatively limited area of just 155 kilometers squared. Some years later though, in the early 1980s, this increased and now extends to just over 300 square kilometers, made up mostly grassland habitat. It is within the Southern part of the extreme west of Nepal in the district of Kanchanpur that you will find this beautiful wetland reserve.
It is here on the far-western part of Teraj that you will find one of the largest herds of endangered golden swamp deer, commonly known as the barasingha in Nepal. Their great efficiency within the soft marshy ground is attributed to the specialized design of the hooves that spread as they walk and make them extremely agile. It is only along the rivers and swampy areas that you will find them living most of their lives where the food is plentiful throughout the year. Although the Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve is of limited size, it supports an amazing array of flora and fauna considered to be of national and global importance.
Even though most of the vegetation is made up of grassland there is small selection of little trees such as sal forest and sal savannah, which take part between the high point of the forest to the lowlands of the grassy areas. It is the annual fires and floods that manage and keep the vegetation from spreading and destroying the other more delicate species living within this ecosystem. However, an experimental grassland management system has begun to take place and will be needed in the future to assist in the natural management of the vicinity. It has proved to be quite effective in the preservation of the rare swamp deer habitat. Within the Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve are some particularly famous wetlands such as: Sikari Tal, Tarapunal, Rani Tal and Kaliktch.
One of the major problems occurring between man and nature is their incapability to live in harmony, thus conflicts have begun to occur between the Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve and the local people who come to reside along the outskirts of the reserve. Many of the issues are related to livestock devastation, crop damage and the loss of life because of some of larger co-inhabitants such as the wild elephant, blue bull, tiger, leopard, chital, hog deer and wild boar that reside within the Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve.