Chitwan National Park Facts

Chitwan National Park Facts
Chitwan National Park is a 360 square mile park located in Nepal. From the late 1800s to the mid-1900s the region now designated Chitwan National Park was used for the hunting ground of the ruling class in Nepal. It was so difficult to reach it was a trip on foot that was several weeks long. In the 1950s when settlement of the area began, poaching became an issue. Wildlife laws began to be implemented. By the late 1960s most of the jungles had been destroyed and rhinos were almost wiped out. In 1973 Chitwan National Park was created with 210 square miles of protected area. It was expanded to 360 square miles in 1977. In 1984 Chitwan National Park was designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Interesting Chitwan National Park Facts:
The word 'Chitwan' means 'Heart of the Jungle.'
Chitwan National Park is considered to be one of Asia's best national parks for viewing wildlife.
In the 1960s the population of rhinos in Chitwan's region had decreased to roughly 95 due to poaching and hunting. This number had been roughly 800 in 1950.
Chitwan National Park exists within a high humidity region that experiences a tropical monsoon climate. The monsoon season runs from the middle of June until the end of September.
There are at least 68 mammal species found within Chitwan including the Bengal tiger, leopards, sloth bears, smooth-coated otters, Bengal foxes, honey badgers, spotted linsangs, striped hyenas, golden jackals, jungle cats, Asian palm civets, tallow-throated martens, mongooses, fishing cats, rhinos, elephants, guars, wild boars, hog deer, sambar deer, rhesus monkeys, flying squirrels, antelopes, and the endangered hispid hare species.
Approximately two-thirds of the globally threatened species of birds found in Nepal are found in Chitwan National Park. There have been as many as 543 different bird species recorded in the park.
Birds found in Chitwan National Park include the grey-crowned prinia, Bengal florican, swamp francolin, Oriental darter, spotted eagles, grass warblers, storks, egrets, and many other species.
There are still butterfly, insect, and moth species being newly recorded in Chitwan National Park.
There are at least 113 fish species in the waters of Chitwan, along with mugger crocodiles. There are also monitor lizards, rock pythons, king cobras, and tortoises.
Chitwan National Park is a major tourist destination - one of Nepal's most popular with numbers of visitors increasing steadily. Between 1989 and 1999 the number of visitors grew from 31,000 to 77,000.
The illegal trade of the one-horned rhino horn and tiger parts continues despite efforts to stop poachers however numbers of these animals have increased greatly with protection efforts that have been implemented. Timber is also threatened by illegal activity.
There are lodges where visitors can stay when visiting Chitwan National Park. Because it takes several days to really experience the wildlife viewing in the park visitors are advised to spend a minimum of two days exploring.
Aside from the natural beauty and wildlife to be seen in the park, highlights of Chitwan National Park and its surrounding area include the Elephant Breeding Center, Wildlife Display and Information Center, Tharu villages that surround the park, Tharu Cultural Museum, and the Bird Education Society.

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