Simikot is the administrative headquarters of Humla District of Karnali Zone in the mountain region of northwestern Nepal. Access to Simikot from developed parts of Nepal is by air. Simikot Airport's short 549 metres runway at nearly 3,000 metre elevation requires passenger planes with STOL characteristics such as Dornier Do 28 and de Havilland Twin Otter. Roads from the south have only reached Jumla 86 kilometres to the southeast, however a rough road has been built from the Tibet Autonomous Region border crossing at Hilsa, 51 kilometres WNW Simikot has two Community radio Stations: Radio Karnali Aawaz at 94.2 MHz and Radio Kailash at 103.4 MHz. UN map of Colin. To a Mountain in Tibet. New York: Harper Collins. Retrieved Dec 14, 2013
Geography of Nepal
Nepal measures about 800 kilometers along its Himalayan axis by 150 to 250 kilometers across. Nepal has an area of 147,181 square kilometers. Nepal is landlocked by China's Tibet Autonomous Region to the north. West Bengal's narrow Siliguri Corridor or Chicken's Neck separate Bangladesh. To the east are India and Bhutan. Nepal depends on India for goods transport facilities and access to the sea for most goods imported from China. For a small country, Nepal has tremendous geographic diversity, it rises from as low as 59 metres elevation in the tropical Terai—the northern rim of the Gangetic Plain, beyond the perpetual snow line to some 90 peaks over 7,000 metres including Earth's highest 8,848 metres Mount Everest or Sagarmatha. In addition to the continuum from tropical warmth to cold comparable to polar regions, average annual precipitation varies from as little as 160 millimetres in the rainshadow north of the Himalaya to as much as 5,500 millimetres on windward slopes. Along a south-to-north transect, Nepal can be divided into three belts: Terai and Himal.
In the other direction, it is divided into three major river systems, from east to west: Koshi, Gandaki/Narayani and Karnali, all tributaries of the Ganges. The Ganges-Yarlung Zangbo/Brahmaputra watershed coincides with the Nepal-Tibet border, however several Ganges tributaries rise inside Tibet. Terai is a low land region containing some hill ranges; the Terai region begins at the Indian border and includes the southernmost part of the flat, intensively farmed Gangetic Plain called the Outer Terai. By the 19th century and other resources were being exported to India. Industrialization based on agricultural products such as jute began in the 1930s and infrastructure such roadways and electricity were extended across the border before it reached Nepal's pahad; the Outer Terai is culturally more similar to adjacent parts of India's Bihar and Uttar Pradesh than to the Pahad of Nepal. Nepali is taught in schools and spoken in government offices, however the local population uses Maithali and Tharu languages.
The Outer Terai ends at the base of the first range of foothills called the Siwaliks or Churia. This range has a densely forested skirt of coarse alluvium called the bhabhar. Below the bhabhar, less permeable sediments force groundwater to the surface in a zone of springs and marshes. In Persian, terai refers to marshy ground. Before the use of DDT this was dangerously malarial. Nepal's rulers used. Above the bhabhar belt, the Siwaliks rise to about 700 metres with peaks as high as 1,000 metres, steeper on their southern flanks because of faults known as the Main Frontal Thrust; this range is composed of poorly consolidated, coarse sediments that do not retain water or support soil development so there is no agricultural potential and sparse population. In several places beyond the Siwaliks there are dūn valleys called Inner Terai; these valleys have productive soil but were dangerously malarial except to indigenous Tharu people who had genetic resistance. In the mid-1950s DDT came into use to suppress mosquitos and the way was open to settlement from the land-poor hills, to the detriment of the Tharu.
The terai ends and the Pahad begin at a higher range of foothills called the Mahabharat Range. Hilly is a mountain region which doesn't contain snow, it is situated south of the Himal, the hilly is betw altitude. This region begins at the Mahabharat Range where a fault system called the Main Boundary Thrust creates an escarpment 1,000 to 1,500 metres high, to a crest between 1,500 and 2,700 metres; these steep southern slopes are nearly uninhabited, thus an effective buffer between languages and culture in the Terai and hilly. Hindu Paharis populate river and stream bottoms that enable rice cultivation and are warm enough for winter/spring crops of wheat and potato; the urbanized Kathmandu and Pokhara valleys fall within the Hill region. Newars are an indigenous ethnic group with their own Tibeto-Burman language; the Newar were indigenous to the Kathmandu valley but have spread into Pokhara and other towns alongside urbanized Pahari. Other indigenous janajati ethnic groups -— natively speaking localized Tibeto-Burman languages and dialects -— populate hillsides up to about 2,500 metres.
This group includes Magar and Kham Magar west of Pokhara, Gurung south of the Annapurnas, Tamang around the periphery of Kathmandu Valley and Rai, Koinch Sunuwar and Limbu further east. Temperate and subtropical fruits are grown as cash crops. Marijuana was grown and processed into Charas until international pressure persuaded the government to outlaw it in 1976. There is increasing reliance on animal husbandry with elevation, using land above 2,000 metres for summer grazing and moving herds to lower elevations in winter. Grain production has not kept pace with population growth at elevations above 1,000 metres where colder temperatures inhibit double cropping. Food deficits drive emigration out of the pahad in search of employment; the Hilly ends where ridges begin rising out of the temperate climate zone into subalpine zone above 3,000 metres. Himal is a mountain region containing snow; the Mountain Region or Parbat begins where high ridges begin rising above 3,000 metres into the subalpi
Mugu District (Nepali: मुगु जिल्लाListen, a part of Karnali province, is one of the seventy-seven districts of Nepal. The district, with Gamgadhi as its district headquarters, covers an area of 3,535 km² and had a population of 55,286. Mugu is known for being both the most remote district in Nepal, as well as the least developed. Mugu's geography is rugged; the biggest lake in Nepal, Rara Lake known as Mahendra Daha, lies in Mugu District. It is one of the biggest districts of Nepal. Pulu is one of the famous village development committees of Mugu district. There are many villages in this VDC, such as Riusa, Mangri and Dawra. Seri Village Development Committee is one of the famous VDCs of the district, it is located west of Rara VDC. The remote Mugu district is rich in natural resources. Nepal's largest Rara Lake lies in this district. Many domestic and international tourists come to visit the beautiful Rara Lake; the lake is known as the Mahendra Tal. The Lake covers about 10.8 km2 of area. The Rara National Park surrounds it.
The district consists of nine municipalities, out of. These are as follows: Chhayanath Rara Municipality Mugum Karmarong Rural Municipality Soru Rural Municipality Khatyad Rural Municipality Prior to the restructuring of the district, Mugu District consisted of the following municipalities and village development committees: "Districts of Nepal". Statoids
Sagarmāthā was one of the fourteen zones of Nepal until the restructuring of zones into provinces. Sagarmāthā is a Nepali word derived from सगर् meaning "sky" and माथा meaning "head", it includes mountain districts of the Himalayas in the north, hill districts in the center, valley districts of the Terai in the south. It is bordered by China to the north, India to the south, the Koshi Zone to the east and the Janakpur Zone to the west. Sagarmāthā is divided into six districts: The main city of the Sagarmāthā Zone was Rajbiraj, the headquarters. Other towns of the Sagarmāthā hill area were Katari, Diktel and Namche Bazaar. Triyuga is an emerging city in the zone. Sagarmāthā Zone took its name from the Nepalese name for Mount Everest, located in the north of the zone within the Sagarmatha National Park in the Solu Khumbu district. Sagarmāthā means "the Head in the Great Blue Sky". Development Regions of Nepal List of zones of Nepal List of districts of Nepal Sagarmatha National Park List of districts of Nepal
Dunai is a village and former Village Development Committee, now part of Thuli Bheri Municipality in Nepal. Dunai is the district headquarters of Dolpa District; the town on the banks of the Thuli Bheri River resides at about 2,000 metres elevation. The 1991 Nepal census counted 1,773 persons in 334 households. Dolpa Airport offers flights to Nepalgunj. In education, there is the Dolpa Campus affiliated with Tribhuvan University, one high school: Sarswoti Higher Secondary School affiliated with HSEB, the Dunai Community Library, a community learning center. There is one hospital: the 15-bed Dolpa District Hospital. Dunai has one FM radio station: Radio Dolpa 101.4 MHz, a community radio station
The snow leopard known as the ounce, is a large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia. It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because the global population is estimated to number less than 10,000 mature individuals and decline about 10% in the next 23 years, it is threatened by habitat destruction following infrastructural developments. The snow leopard inhabits alpine and subalpine zones at elevations from 3,000 to 4,500 m, ranging from eastern Afghanistan to Mongolia and western China. In the northern range countries, it occurs at lower elevations. Taxonomically, the snow leopard was classified in the monotypic genus Uncia. Since 2008, it is considered a member of the genus Panthera based on results of genetic studies. Two subspecies were described based on morphological differences, but genetic differences between the two have not been confirmed, it is therefore regarded a monotypic species. Both the Latinized specific epithet uncia and the occasional English name ounce are derived from the Old French once used for the European lynx.
Once itself is believed to have arisen by false splitting from an earlier variant of lynx, lonce – where lonce was interpreted as l'once, in which l' is the elided form of the French definite article la, leaving once to be perceived as the animal's name. This, like the English version ounce, came to be used for other lynx-sized cats, for the snow leopard; the word panther derives from classical Latin panthēra, itself from the ancient Greek pánthēr. Felis uncia was the scientific name used by Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber in 1777 who described a snow leopard based on an earlier description by Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, assuming that the cat occurred in Barbary, East India, China. Uncia was proposed by John Edward Gray in 1854 who grouped Asian cats with a long and thick tail into this genus. Felis irbis was proposed by Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg in 1830 who described a skin of a female snow leopard collected in the Altai Mountains in Siberia, he clarified that several leopard skins were misidentified as snow leopard skins.
Felis uncioides was proposed by Thomas Horsfield in 1855 for a snow leopard skin presented to the Museum of the East India Company. Uncia uncia was used by Reginald Innes Pocock in 1930 when he reviewed skins and skulls of Panthera species from Asia, he described morphological differences between leopard and snow leopard skins. Panthera baikalensis-romanii was proposed by a Russian scientist in 2000 for a dark brown snow leopard skin from the Petrovsk-Zabaykalsky District, southern Transbaikal region; until spring 2017, there was no evidence available for the recognition of subspecies. Results of a phylogeographic study published in September 2017 indicate that three subspecies should be recognised: P. u. uncia in the Pamir Mountains range countries, P. u. uncioides in the Himalayas and Qinghai, P. u. irbis in Mongolia. The snow leopard is part of one of the eight lineages of Felidae; this lineage comprises the species of Neofelis. The Neofelis lineage diverged first from the remainder of the Felinae.
Subsequent branching between the snow leopard and clouded leopard began two to three million years ago, but the details of this are disputed. Results of a phylogenetic study published in 2006, based on nDNA and mtDNA analysis, indicate that snow leopard and tiger are sister taxa, whereas the leopard is sister taxon to two clades within Panthera – one consisting of the tiger and the snow leopard, the other of the lion and the jaguar. Results of a similar study published in 2009 corroborated this assessment. Results obtained during two subsequent phylogenetic studies indicate a swapping in the cladogram between the leopard and the jaguar. A 2016 study indicates that, at some point in their evolution, snow leopards interbred with lions, as their mitochondrial genomes are more similar to each other than their nuclear genomes; these results indicate that a female hybrid offspring of male ancestors of modern snow leopards and female ancestors of modern lions interbred with the male ancestors of modern snow leopards.
The snow leopard's fur is whitish to gray with black spots on head and neck, but larger rosettes on the back and bushy tail. The belly is whitish; the fur is thick with hairs between 12 cm long. Its body is stocky, short-legged and smaller than the other cats of the genus Panthera, reaching a shoulder height of 56 cm, ranging in head to body size from 75 to 150 cm, its tail is 80 to 105 cm long. Its eyes are grey in color, its muzzle is short and its forehead domed. Its nasal cavities are large, it weighs between 22 and 55 kg, with an occasional large male reaching 75 kg and small female of under 25 kg. The snow leopard shows several adaptations for living in a mountainous environment, its body is stocky, its fur is thick, its ears are small and rounded, features that help to minimize heat loss. Its broad paws well distribute the body weight for walking on snow, have fur on their undersides to increase their grip on steep and unstable surfaces, its long and flexible tail helps to maintain balance in the rocky terrain.
The tail is very thick due to fat storage, is thickly covered with fur, which allows the cat to use it like a blanket to protect its face when asleep. The snow leopard cannot roar, despite possessing partial ossification of the hyoid bone; this partial ossification was thought to be essential for allowing the big cats to roar, but new studies show that the ability to roar is due
Rara National Park
Rara National Park is a protected area in the Himalayas of Nepal and was established in 1976. Covering an area of 106 km2 in the Mugu and Jumla districts, it is the country's smallest national park, its main feature is Rara Lake at an altitude of 2,990 m. The park was established to protect the unique fauna of the Humla -- Jumla Region of Nepal; the park ranges in elevation from 2,800 m to 4,039 m at Chuchemara Peak on the southern side of Rara Lake. On the northern side, the peaks of Ruma Kand and Malika Kand frame the alpine freshwater lake, the largest lake in Nepal with a surface of 10.8 km2 and a maximum depth of 167 m. It is oval-shaped with an east–west axis, a length of 5 kilometres and a width of 3 km draining into the Mugu-Karnali River via Nijar Khola. Rara National Park is managed by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation and protected with the assistance of the Nepal Army; the climate of Rara National Park is pleasant during the summer, but becomes cold during the winter, because of the altitude.
The best times to visit the park are in September, October and May. During the winter, temperatures drop below freezing, many high passes become blocked by snow; the summer is warm, but June to August is monsoon season, making the trek to Rara National Park difficult. One thousand and seventy species of flora are estimated from Rara National Park. Rhododendron, brown oak, birch species are found in the sub-alpine region. Below 3,200 m, the vegetation consists of blue pine, west Himalayan spruce, black juniper and Himalayan cypress. Above 3,200 metres, the vegetation changes to a coniferous forest consisting of a mixture of fir and pine. Fifty-one species of mammals, 241 species of birds, two species of reptiles and amphibians, three species of fish have been recorded from the park including musk deer, red panda, snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, Indian leopard, Himalayan tahr, yellow-throated marten, dhole, gray langur, rhesus macaque. There are 241 recorded species including 49 wetland species.
Coots are found in the lake. During the winter, great-crested and black-necked grebes, red-crested pochards, common teal, common merganser are common. Other birds seen include the Himalayan snowcock, chukar partridge, Himalayan monal, kalij pheasant and blood pheasant. In 1979, three endemic snowtrout species were collected in Lake Rara and described as new species: the Nepalese snowtrout Schizothorax nepalensis, the Rara snowtrout, Nepalese snowtrout. In 1979, the frog species Paa rarica has been first recorded as endemic to the lake. Rara is not a tourist destination, as there are little to no accommodations within the park, no health post, it is difficult to get to. Visitors must fly from Kathmandu followed by a flight to Jumla or Kolti. From there, a three-day trek will bring them to the park office. Alternatively, visitors can travel from Nepalgunj to Surkhet, where it is a ten-day trek to the park; the lake has not received over 200 tourists in any year. Experienced trekkers can visit the national park via any of these routes, Rara National Park is an interesting destination for many interested in seeing various flora and scenery unique to the area.
GORP founder Bill Greer described Rara Lake as: "a shimmering blue jewel set in a ring of snowy peaks"Another travel writer describes a trek in the park: "Although more trampled than in the past, the road to Rara Lake is still without any of the comfortable services available along more popular trails. Logistically it is not an easy trek, it is tough on the bones, involving several 11,000-foot passes. However, once you overcome the obstacles, the rewards are legion: few if any other trekkers, incomparable natural splendor, "untouched" villages, blissful quiet…"There are no settlements within the boundaries of Rara National Park, as the two villages once inside the area and Chhapru, were resettled in the Banke District when the protected area was established. Agriculture is the basis for the local economy in the surrounding areas, which has led to pollution inside the park. Sediment from the surrounding hills as well as sewage and solid waste threaten the park. BirdLife International. "Important Bird Areas factsheet: Rara National Park".
Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Nepal: Rara National Park