Terai Duar Savanna and Grasslands of Nepal
The Terai Duar Savanna and Grasslands is shared by Nepal and India. On the Nepalese side of the border the savannas and grasslands stretch from Bhutan to Banke, as well as along the Deukhuri Valley at the foot of the Himalayas. It is a region that is well protected, as it is home to extremely rare and endangered wildlife, and its diverse habitats have created a significant ecoregion that is vital to the survival of many species.
The nutrient rich plains of the Terai Duar Savanna and Grasslands include habitats such as tall grasslands, dense forests and riverine grassland. On the Nepal side, the Terai Duar Savanna and Grasslands stretch across various parks and Ramsar sites such as the Sukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve, Chitwan National Park, Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, Ghodaghodi Tal, Beeshazar Tal and the Jagdishpur Reservoir. It features the world’s tallest grasslands, with grass species such as Phragmitis kharka, Saccharum spontaneum, Themeda arundinacea, Aristida ascensionis, Erianthus ravennae and Themeda villosa, to name a few. But it is the bird life and wildlife found in this ecoregion that makes it so precious and important to conserve.
Due to the diversity of the region, numerous magnificent mammals, reptiles and birds have made the Terai Duar Savanna and Grasslands their home, including Bengal tigers, sloth bears, greater one-horned rhinoceros, Indian leopards, clouded leopards, Asian elephant, mugger crocodiles, wild water buffalo, soft shelled turtles, hog deer, Muntjac deer and gharial. During a survey in 2008, at least four hundred Indian rhinoceros were counted and in 2009 a healthy population of a hundred and twenty-five adult Bengal tigers was recorded, while on the Indian side of the grasslands region, at least a hundred tigers were counted.
The Terai Duar Savanna and Grasslands were once the royal hunting grounds, but deforestation for timber and farmland posed, and still poses, a great danger for the grasslands and the animals conservationists are trying to protect. Fortunately some of the region falls within national parks and low population areas, allowing the Terai Duar Savanna and Grasslands to retain their beauty and the animals to enjoy the protection they need to survive.