Twenty-six mammal species, nine bird species and three reptile species have been fully protected under National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 2029. Altogether, 27 mammal species, 22 bird species and 9 reptile species are listed in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. There is also a high degree of endemism in Nepal. The most notable fauna among endangered species are The Greater One Horned Rhinoceros, Royal Bengal Tiger, Asian Elephant, Snow Leopard, Arna, Musk Deer, Red Panda, Black buck, Swamp deer, Gaur, Gharial and Dolphin. Periodic species survey/count, research, studies and monitoring, anti-poaching operations, mobilization of Nepal Army in protection of parks/reserves, community based anti poaching activities, strict law enforcement are some of the noticeable activities implemented by DNPWC. The Department has prepared and implementing One horned rhinoceros conservation action plan (2006-2010), Tiger Conservation action plan (2008-2012) and Snow leopard conservation action plan (2004-2009). The preparation of species action plan for elephant, vulture, blackbuck, swamp deer, gaur is underway.
Scientific habitat management is an essential prerequisite to conserve and manage wildlife. Corresponding to the variety of terrain, protected areas in Nepal have fairly good representation of ecosystems and habitats. Out of 118 ecosystems, 80 are represented in protected area system. Efforts are on to manage wildlife habitat aiming at conserving the endangered species.
Protection of natural habitats, creation of waterholes, wetlands management and restoration, grassland management in the form of grass cutting, controlled fire, fire line construction and maintenance, cutting down unwanted trees, clearing shrubs and uprooting of saplings are some of the specific activities currently carried out in Nepal. Sporadic research studies on habitat, invasive alien species also exist in different protected areas
Buffer Zone declared: 11
Buffer Zone Area (sq.km.): 5076.67
Buffer Zone Districts: 27
Buffer Zone VDCs: 183
Buffer Zone user group: 4,088
Buffer zone user committee: 143
Buffer Zone management Committee:
To kindle the conservation spirit in the hearts of people, Government of Nepal has timely introduced buffer zone approach in 1994. The Department adopts participatory approach in buffer zone resource management. Concerned laws and regulations allow sharing of 30-50% of the total income of the park, reserve and conservation area with the local communities to implement community development activities. Altogether, there are 11 buffer zones declared so far. Buffer zone program aimed at peoples participation in conservation for long term sustainability. The program is now spread over 83-village development committee of 27 districts and covers over 7 lakhs population.
Protected areas in Nepal are major tourists destinations. Protected areas alone attract more than 50% of the total foreign tourists in Nepal. Nepal's protected areas have continued to attract increasing number of visitors (more than 300,000 in F/Y 20065/066). Eco tourism is a major contributor to the income of protected areas. Considering the great potentials of eco tourism in protected areas, domestic elephants riding, visitor information center, information corners, flyers, jungle drive, camping, boating etc have been provisioning. Some regular activities like construction and maintenance of road, bridge and watchtower are being carried out in parks/reserves. Local people are benefiting from cultural tourism in buffer zone villages. Protected areas are imparted nature guide, trekking, cooking, hotel management, handicraft production training to local people jointly with other like minded Government, Non Governmental and Community based organizations. There is an inbuilt eco tourism theme plan in protected area management plan that aimed at promoting and concurrently regulating tourism in protected areas. The promotional activities are convened in coordination with other relevant organizations both at national and international arena
One and most important mandate of the Department is to raise conservation awareness among local public to save forest, wildlife and environment. It is imperative to convince the people that biodiversity conservation is vital for a better way of life. Biodiversity conservation can succeed only when people realize the values of biodiversity. The Department and the protected areas under it celebrating special days and weeks (World Wetland Day, International Mountain Day, Wildlife Week, International day for Biological Diversity, World Environment Day) with various activities that aimed at raising awareness on the importance of biological diversity and the need for conservation of the same. National parks and wildlife reserves are organizing public meetings, broadcasting conservation message through local and National mass media such as Radio, Television and local FM stations. Various program of conservation education such as school program, video shows, wildlife games, competitive events like elocution, essay, quiz, art etc targeting youths and school children are being conducted in Buffer zones and Kathmandu valley.
The Department regularly publishes and distributes promotional materials such as brochures, posters, newsletter and bulletins. In addition, print and electronic media are in use to disseminate conservation message.