Area: 1148 sq km
Established: July 19, 1976
Coordinates: 27°56’N 86°44’E
The Sagarmatha is derived from the combination of two Nepali words ‘Sagar’ means sky and ‘Matha’ means head. The Sagarmatha National Park was established in 1979. It encompasses an area of 1148 sq km in Solukhumbu District. It ranges in elevation from 2845 to 8848m at the summit of Mount Everest. The Sagarmatha National Park is a protected area in the Himalayas of eastern Nepal that is dominated by Mount Everest. In the north, it shares the international border with the Qomolangma national nature preserve of Tibet and extends to the Dudh koshi River in the south. In the east is the Makalu Barun National Park.
Sagarmatha National Park became the country’s first National Park that was inscribed as a Natural World Heritage Site. This park contains the world’s highest ecologically characteristic flora and fauna, intricately blended with the rich Sherpa Culture. In January 2002, a Buffer Zone comprising 275 km2 was added. Under the Buffer Zone management guidelines the conservation of forests, wildlife and cultural resources received top priority. It is followed by conservation of other natural resources and development of alternative energy. The park contains the upper catchment areas of the Dudh Koshi River, Bhote Koshi River basin and the Gokyo Lakes. It is largely composed of rugged terrain and gorges of the high Himalayas, ranging from 2,845 m at Monjo to the top of the world’s highest peak Sagarmatha at 8,848 m above sea level. The temperature and available oxygen decrease with altitude. Therefore, the species living at high altitudes are adapted to living on less oxygen and cold temperatures. The forests provide habitat to at least 118 species of birds. Sagarmatha National Park is also the home of a number of rare mammal species. Snow Leopard, Black Bear, Red Panda, Musk Deer are the mammal species found in the park. Himalayan Thars, Langur Monkeys, Martens and Himalayan wolves are also found in the park. Himalayan black Bears go into hibernation in caves during the winter when there is no food available. The protected area has been identified as an important bird area by bird life International. It is included in the sacred Himalayan landscape.
Tourism to the area began in the early 1960s. About 3500 Sherpa people live in villages and seasonal settlements situated along the main Tourist trails. The conservation oriented Sherpa culture is the backbone for the conservation of biodiversity in the Khumbu Region. Despite, the comparatively small area of the park, the surrounding landscape is adequate to ensure sustainable management of the Sagarmatha National Park. The park’s visitor centre is located at the top of a hill in Namche Bazaar. A company of soldiers from the Nepalese Army has been deployed for protection and law enforcement purposes. The Sagarmatha National Park is managed by the National Park and Wildlife Conservation Office, Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Ministry of Forests. The Government of Nepal provides a regular budget for the management and protection of the property and Buffer Zone.