Located in the shadow of the Himalayas the Terai Arc sweeps across millions of hectares of rich forests and grasslands, from Nepal’s Bagmati River in the east to India’s Yamuna River in the west.
The region is home to more than 6 million people who depend on its resources for their livelihoods, as well as a wide range of wildlife, including Bengal tigers, snow leopards and one-horned rhinos.
Poaching, overgrazing, unsustainable water projects and a number of other threats are degrading the grassland habitat and its wildlife.
Working to ensure that people and wildlife coexist, the Terai Arc Landscape project - a partnership between the government of Nepal and WWF Nepal - is connecting protected areas in Nepal and India to promote conservation and sustainable livelihoods.
Tigers in Nepal are monitored in some areas by camera traps. The photos are used to help confirm population numbers, as well as contribute to scientific research on tiger behaviour and ecology that forms the basis for planning for their conservation.
The Bengal tiger population in Nepal is estimated as low as 123 individuals, found in three main locations - Chitwan National Park, Bardia National Park and Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve. Sporadic distribution of tigers has been recorded in areas outside protected areas in the Terai Arc Landscape.
WWF, together with local partners, also works throughout the country to strengthen anti-poaching efforts, and to reduce threats to the natural habitat.
Tiger photographed in the Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve, Nepal. The local name of the tiger is 'Shikari Pothi'. Shikari means Hunter and Pothi means Female in Nepali.
The greater one-horned rhino was once commonly found throughout South Asia and Southeast Asia. Historically, the rhinos were distributed in the floodplain and forest tracts in the Brahmaputra, Ganges and Indus river valleys.
Today, however, no more than 2,000 remain in the wild. Nepal is home to about 350, with the majority found in Royal Chitwan National Park. The rhino population at Royal Bardia National Park is only 31.
The last rhino count - conducted in 2005 by WWF Nepal, Nepal’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, and the National Trust for Nature Conservation - revealed that poaching and a lack of adequate protection are contributing to a decline in the country’s population.
WWF has worked for the protection of the endangered species in Nepal since 1967, and continues to support the government of Nepal in its conservation efforts.
Rhino captured in a corridor restoration area. Wildlife frequently use this corridor to between protected areas. Khata Corridor, Terai Arc, Nepal.
Snow leopards are found only in the mountains of Central Asia and the Himalayas. In Nepal, it is estimated that 350–500 snow leopards exist in the wild, constituting one-tenth of the world’s population.
Despite Nepal’s continual effort to save the snow leopard, its long-term viability is threatened by habitat loss, poaching and human-wildlife conflict.
WWF works closely with wildlife officials in Nepal on snow leopard conservation.
Leopard captured by a camera trap. Babai Valley, Bardia National Park, Nepal.