Area: 305 sq km
Governing body: Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation.
Coordinates: 28°50’25”N 80°13’44”E
Shuklaphanta National Park was established in 1976. It is a protected area in the far Western Region of Nepal. It is a small part of the Reserve extends north of the east west highway. It covers an area of 305 sq km. It is an open Grassland, Forests, Riverbeds, and Tropical Wetlands at an altitude of 174 to 1386m. It creates a corridor for seasonal migration of wildlife into the Sivalik Hills. The climate of the region is subtropical monsoonal with rainfall of 1,579mm that occurs from June to September. And the highest rainfall is in August. The December and January month are fairly cold with daytime Temperature of 7-12 Degree Celsus.
The Name Suklaphanta was derived from one of the Grasslands found inside protected Area. The main Grassland called Sukla Phanta is the Largest Patch of continuous grassland in Nepal. It covers an area of about 16 sq km. the jungle of the Shuklaphanta National Park were once the site of an Ancient Kingdom. The ruin of that Kingdom can be seen in some places. A brick girdle is still there in a lake in the reserve near Rani Tal. It is 1500m in circumstance. It is considered by locals to be a remnant of the fort of Tharu King Singpal. The area was a Favourite Hunting ground for Nepal’s ruling class. It was decleared a Royal Hunting Reserve in 1969. The area was gazette as Royal Sukla Phanta wildlife reserve comprising 155 sq km. In 2004, a Buffer Zone of 243 sq km was added. The status of the protected area was changed to a National Park in 2017.
The park has 700 species of flora. It includes the 553 Vascular plants, 18 Pteridophytes, 410 Dicots and 125 Monocots. The main grass species are Imperata cylindrical and Heteropogon contortus. But Saccharum Spontaneum and Khagra reed grow in the marshes surrounding the seven small Lakes. The trees encourage the growth of shade loving grass and inhibit growth of sun loving species. The process of succession usually converts grassland into woodland over time. The extensive open grasslands and wetlands around the lakes of the park are habitat for a wide range of fauna.
In the river side, twenty eight fish species and twelve reptiles and amphibian species were recorded. Mahseer, Mugger Crocodile, Monitor Lizard, Indian Rock Python, Indian cobra, Oriential Rat, snake and common Krait are the Fish species as well as Reptiles and Amphibian found in the park. Similarly, 46 mammal species are found in the park. The Bengal Tiger, Indian Leopard, Sloth Bear, Swamp Deer, Elephant, Hispid hare are protected in cites. The congregation of Swamp Deer in the parks grassland is the largest in the world. The park supports the highest population of Bengal Floricans in Nepal. The forests are important for great Slaty woodpecker and white Naped woodpecker. The white rumped vulture, Slender billed vulture etc are breeding residents. A total of four hundred twenty three Birds species has been recorded.