Formally established in 1973 with an area of 305 sq. km., Royal Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve is situated in the southern part of far-western Nepal in Kanchanpur District.
The riverine flood plain of the reserve comprises hill wash and alluvial deposits. Sal is the dominant tree species. Extensive grasslands (locally called phanta) provide an ideal habitat for swamp deer. This species is endangered but can be found in herds of thousands in the reserve.
The predominant sub-species found in the sal forests are asna, semal, Karma, while khair and sissoo are found along the riverside. Main grass species of phantas are Imperata cylindrica and Saccharum heteropogon which are used extensively by the local people for thatching.
The reserve provides prime habitat for swamp deer. An estimated population of 2,000 to 2,500 is found in the reserve. Other wild animals found in the reserve are wild elephant, tiger, hispid hare, blue bull, leopard, chittal, hog deer, and wild boar.
A total of 268 species of birds has been recorded in the reserve. Many grassland birds along with the rare Bengal florican can be seen in the phantas. Marsh mugger crocodile, Indian python, monitor lizard and snakes like cobra, krait, and rat snake are recorded in the reserve.
The months of December and January are fairly cold and misty with occasional frost. Temperatures during the winter range from 10 to 12 degree C, gradually rising to 22 to 25 degree C in February and March. In the pre-monsoon period (April to June) the temperatures range from 32 degrees to as high as 42 degree C with increasing humidity.
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