14 July 2016

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(41 sq mi) 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 (9,810 ft). The park was established to protect the unique flora and fauna of the HumlaJumla Region of Nepal.

The park ranges in elevation from 2,800 m (9,200 ft) to 4,039 m (13,251 ft) 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, which is the largest lake in Nepal with a surface of 10.8 km2 (4.2 sq mi) and a maximum depth of 167 m (548 ft). It is oval-shaped with an east-west axis, a length of 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) and a width of 3 km (1.9 mi) 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 very cold during the winter, because of the altitude. The best times to visit the park are in September, October, April, and May. During the winter, temperatures drop below freezing, and 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. Rhododendronfir, brown oak, and birch species are found in the sub-alpine region. Below 3,200 m (10,500 ft), the vegetation consists of mainly blue pine (Pinus excelsa), rhododendron (Rhododendron arboretum), west Himalayan spruceblack juniper and Himalayan cypress. Above 3,200 metres (10,500 ft), the vegetation changes to a coniferous forest consisting of a mixture of firspruce and pine.

Fifty-one species of mammals, 241 species of birds, two species of reptiles and amphibians, and three species of fish have been recorded from the park including musk deer, red panda, snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, Indian leopard, jackal, Himalayan tahr, yellow-throated marten, otter, dhole, gray langur, and rhesus macaque.


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