17: Flora and Fauna of Nepal
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and Fauna of Nepal (Click here for more information on Flora and Fauna
Microsoft Encarta 99 Find: Image - Calendula
The students will be able to identify some of the
flora and fauna that are found in Nepal. The students
will compare the flora and fauna on Nepal to the flora
and fauna found in the United States
1. Brainstorm with the class examples of flora and
fauna that are typical to the United States. Write the
responses on the chalkboard. Tell the class that today
they are going to be studying the flora and fauna of
2. Have the students read the paragraphs on the flora
and fauna of Nepal either orally or silently. Discuss
the reading restating the key ideas.
3. Show pictures of different types of Nepalese flora
1. Read the paragraphs on the flora and fauna of Nepal
and answer the questions.
2. Select a plant or an animal that is found in Nepal
and research information on that particular species.
Sketch a picture of your species and include interest
information below the drawing.
1. Choose a climate zone of Nepal (tropic, sub-tropic,
alpine) and create a food web of that area.
2. Research any parks or wildlife reserves that are in
Nepal. Find out where they are and how they are
helping the plants and animals of Nepal.
Nepal, as we have discovered, is not only a diverse
country in terms of its landscape, but also the people
that reside here. The flora and fauna of Nepal are
quite diverse as well. There are many similar plant
and animals in Nepal that are similar to those in the
The flora of Nepal contains trees that are conifers or
deciduous. Oaks, blue pine, birch, magnolia, and the
spruce are some of the examples of trees you could
find. The rhododendron, orchids, bamboo, and nettle
plants can be found in the United States, but in
Nepal, these plants have some unique qualities.
The national flower of Nepal is the rhododendron.
These plants can be found growing in altitudes from
3,600 feet to 8,200 feet. As the altitude rises, the
color of the rhododendron begins to fade. A
rhododendron that is red at 3,600 feet, will go from a
pink to white color at the higher elevations. These
plants are found in a variety of colors from white,
purple, red, cream, and lilac. At altitudes of 18,000
feet a dwarf species of rhododendrons can be found.
These dwarf plants only grow to be two inches tall.
In Nepal, you can find 319 species of orchids and 20
species of bamboo. Orchids grow in the tropic and
sub-tropic climate zones. The orchid is protected by law and it is
unlawful to take them out of the country. The bamboo
plant is used in a variety of ways for the people of
Nepal. Baskets, mats, cradles, and even bows and
arrows are made from the bamboo plant.
Nettles are an extremely important plant in Nepal.
These plants may grow to 10 feet in height, and are
found in altitudes of 5,000 to10,000 feet. The
nettle's leaves are rough and sharp. When the leaves
are touched, they give off quite a sting. The younger
leaves of the nettle plant are used as a vegetable.
Nepalese people will use the fibers of the stem of a
nettle plant for a variety of things. To make the
fibers usable you must strip of the bark, soak the
fibers, pound them, boil the fibers, and spin them
into yarn. This whole process takes at least four
weeks. Once the fibers have been treated, they are
used to make cloth.
The fauna of Nepal contains some unique qualities as
well. There are more than 614 species of butterflies
and 11 out of the 15 families. The swallowtail
butterflies that are found in the Terai are the most
impressive species. In Nepal, you will also find more
than 5,000 species of moths. There are so many moths
that some have not even been described by scientists.
The world's largest moth, the giant atlas moth, is
found in Nepal. The wingspan of this moth is almost
one foot in length.
Nepal is a bird watcher's paradise. There are more
than 800 species of birds, representative of
approximately 10 percent of the earth's birds. Many
are found in the Terai. Some birds that you would see
in Nepal are the golden eagle, mountain finches, blood
pheasant, the brown parrotbill, and the rufous-bellied
Elephants, rhinoceros, and tigers are found in the
Terai. Brown bears and black bears are found in higher
altitudes. These bears are often hunted and the gall
bladders are used in some Chinese medicines. Blue
sheep live above the tree line at 13,000 to 16,500
feet. Another animal that lives in this high altitude
is the snow leopard. Snow leopards have been hunted
for their beautiful fur. The snow leopard often will
eat sheep or yaks.
1. Why is the nettle plant important to the Nepalese
2. Why does the Terai seem to have more flora and
fauna than the rest of Nepal (recall the lesson on the
regions of Nepal)?
3. Compare the flora and fauna of Nepal to the flora
and fauna of the United States.
Lisa Choegyal, Insight Guides Nepal, Langenscheidt
Publishers Inc., New York, 11378, p. 39-43.