Initially hunting reserve,386 sq. km Royal Karnali Wlildlife Reserve was gazetted in 1976 to increase the amount of protected lowland forest ecosystem in Nepal, the area was expanded to 968 sq. km and upgraded to national park. At present, Bardia National Park is one of the biggest park in the terai region of Nepal with an area of 968 sq. km including range of Churiya hills which is located in the Mid-West Region of Nepal.The park is rich with its diverse bio-diversity. There are over 56 species of mammals like gangatic dolphin, Bengal tiger, one horned rhino, sloth beer, blue bull, five species of deer, wild elephant, leopard etc.
Bardia National Park is the place where you are more likely to spot the tiger than in any other National parks.A hear of wild Asiatic elephants,including the biggest specimen ever recorded in the wild.Likewise, there are over 400 species of colorful birds like greater pied horned bill,peacock,paradise fly catcher,spiny babler,Saras Crane,Bengal Florican, etc.The park has been bordered by Nepal’s longest and himalyan originated river Karnali which has ever proved to be the pure natural habitat of over 200 species of fish including Maha Sheer, fresh water gengatic dolphin and Magar and Gharial crocodiles.More over,he park’s Karnali river catchments are really good habitat for aquatic avian fauna, mammals and reptiles like python.The river is a luring place for migratory aquatic birds like Rudicial duck and other native birds like cormorant,sand piper,black capped king fisher, etc.
In addition to its wildlife and natural flora, the other beauty of the park is its locality of indigenous Tharu People in the buffer zone with an area of 327 sq. km.The periphery of the national park was declared as buffer zone then government of Nepal with objective to create awareness and accountability including positive attitude in people towards conservation of wildlife for future posterity through different developments and awareness activities. There are several Tharu villages in the southern and west part of the park which are rich with their own interesting and fascinating indigeneous costume,cultural and ritual. Tharu people’s culture is still undisturbed by modern culture and have its own taste which gives you the sense of another world out the valley and other places of Nepal.
The revenue from foreign visitors is the main income of this park for its annual management. As per the buffer zone act, 30 – 50 % of total annual income goes to the community for its own chosen community work through Users Committee. This income is being used by the locals for school, road, drinking water, electricity, sanitation work and alternative energy like bio gas and solar system installation. So, the contribution from visitors in the name of park fee and other revenue seems like expensive at first, but ultimately conspicuous sum of revenue trickles down for the local community’s betterment.