Different between Hunting reserve and Wildlife reserve of Nepal

Different between Hunting reserve and Wildlife reserve of Nepal

  • 26/07/2021

Both hunting reserves and wildlife reserves protect the flora and fauna. The main difference between a hunting reserve and a hunting reserve is; one can kill/hunt some birds and animals in a hunting reserve but not in a wildlife reserve.

A hunting reserve is an area allocated by the government to preserve endangered species. Along with it, one can hunt animals and birds in the reserve. It doesn't mean you can hunt anything that breathes in the allocated space. The animals which can be hunted are pre-listed by the government and can only be hunted for a given period of time in a specific time of the year.

Whereas a wildLife reserve is a piece of land that has been allocated for the uniqueness of its fauna and flora found in the particular region. It can also apply to geological or other areas of special interest. These areas are often created to preserve the site's ecological and even historical significance. Sometimes, it's focused on the preservation of a unique species.

Hunting reserve

A hunting reserve is an area of land where the pursuit and killing or capture of game animals is allowed. Here certain non-endangered wild animals are preserved for the purpose of hunting. For cultural and recreational reasons., at one point of the season; people are allowed to hunt listed animals. Generally, animals with an excessive population are allowed to hunt.

Nepal has only one hunting reserve named Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve. The hunting reserve is further divided into six blocks for hunting management purposes. It was founded in 1987 and encompasses a total area of 1,325 sq km (512 sq mi). The reserve is located in the Rukum, Myagdi, and Baglung Districts of western Nepal. The elevation of this reserve starts at 2,850 and the highest elevation of the reserve is at 8,167 meters on the top of Dhaulagiri.

Usually, the alpine grasslands and mellows in the region invite herbivores like Tahr and Blue Sheeps. These two animals are permitted as game prey. Hunting season in Dhorpatan starts in the month of September and ends in November.

Dhorpatan is home to plants such as fir, pine, birch, rhododendron, hemlock, oak, juniper, and spruce. At higher elevations, pasturelands comprise more than half of the reserve's total area. The reserve also houses a total number of 852 blue sheep within its boundary. Similarly, the hunting reserve also records the presence of snow leopard, goral, serow, Himalayan tahr, Himalayan black bear, barking deer, wild boar, rhesus monkey, langur.

Alongside animals, the reserve is a common home for 137 different bird species such as Pheasants, Partridge, and Chukar. Likewise, the reserve isn’t only for hunting, but it also preserves endangered animals like Musk deer, Wolf, Red panda, Cheers pheasant, and Danphe.

Criteria for Hunting reserves

A hunting reserve should have an adequate number of birds or animals that can be hunted. It should not disturb, harm, or endanger other animals and even the hunters while hunting the prize animals. Likewise, the number of animals that can be hunted is fixed so overkill is prohibited. Like a national park, a hunting reserve can also preserve other endangered species which shouldn’t be harmed in any way.

Wildlife reserve

Wildlife reserve is an area generally allocated to preserve rare or endangered flora and fauna in a particular region. Formerly, there were three wildlife reserves in Nepal. Among the three wildlife reserves, Parsa and Suklaphata have gained the recognition of a national park and now, Koshi Tappu wildlife reserve is the only remaining wildlife reserve in Nepal.

Koshitappu wildlife reserve lies in the flood lands of Koshi. It is an island-like structure formed by Ganges's greatest tributary river Koshi. Established in 1976 in an area of 173.5 sq. km in 2002, it has added an extra 173.5 sq. km of the buffer zone.

Alongside being a wildlife reserve, it's also an important Ramsar site and has 27 most important bird species enlisted in the IBA list (66.7957 sq. mi). The wildlife reserve occupies parts of Sunsari, Saptari, and Udaipur.

Mainly people get to see the beautiful Koshi river and Koshi Bridge Dam in eastern Nepal. The reserve is also the second biggest grassland after Shuklaphanta.

Further, the region flaunts 31 species of mammals such as Asian Elephants, Spotted Deer, Hog Deer, Wild Boar, and Smooth-Coated Otter, Gauras, Wild Water Buffaloes, and Blue Bulls.

It also houses 441 species of birds with 14 endemic birds like 20 types of duck, 2 Ibis species, 30 shorebirds, 114 Waterbirds, Swamp Partridge, Bengal Floricans. Likewise, it is also an important stop for 87 types trans-Himalayan migratory birds. Koshi is the only river in Nepal which houses Gangetic Freshwater Dolphins.

Criteria for wildlife reserve

Any place with endemic animals, birds, or panelists can be turned into a wildlife reserve. Unlike hunting reserves, killing and hunting of any kind are strictly prohibited here. Koshi Tappu has endemic Gauras, and 14 endemic birds which make it eligible to enter the category of a wildlife reserve.


1) Can we kill all the animals in the Hunting reserve?

Yes, you can kill animals in a hunting reserve. These reserves are established to keep the ecological balance in nature but hunting reserves open only in specific hunting seasons.

2) Who can kill animals and birds in a hunting reserve?

People who go through the registration process and get a license to hunt can only kill the specified animals and birds in the hunting reserve.

3) How many hunting reserves are there in Nepal?

Nepal only has one hunting reserve so far. Despite having 20 protected areas consisting of twelve national parks, one wildlife reserve, six conservation areas, the nation has only one hunting reserve.

4) Which animals are allowed to hunt in the hunting reserve of Nepal? 

Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve is the only hunting reserve of Nepal established in 1987. The reserve allows game hunting from September till November and only a few blue Sheep and Tahrs are to be killed. As some of the endemic animals like Musk Deer, Wolf, Red Panda, Cheer Pleasant, and Danphe live in this Reserve, the reserve prohibits killing any other species here.

5) Can we hunt in Nepal? 

Only Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve is open for hunting and a limited number of blue sheep and Himalayan Tahr are allowed to be hunted in Dhorpatan. This is the only hunting reserve at the highest altitude and offers people a beautiful mountain hunt experience.

Some other species like Indian muntjac or barking deer, wild boar, and hog deer are hunted in the Terai region of Nepal as well.

6) Why is hunting reserve important? 

As the environment needs a healthy balance and we need to keep a check over the carrying capacity of any protected area, hunting reserves are very important. As wildlife is a renewable natural resource, any surplus can always be harvested.

7) How many wildlife reserves are there in Nepal? 

Nepal has only one wildlife reserve which is the Koshitappu wildlife reserve. Previously, Nepal had three wildlife reserves and one hunting reserve but after Suklapnahta and Parsa were converted into a national park in 2017, it now has only one wildlife reserve.

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