Sites - Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs)
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Shey-Phoksundo National Park
82o 56.00' East 29o 26.00' North
A1, A2, A3
2,200 - 6,883m
Year of IBA assessment
Bird Conservation Nepal (Partner Designate)
Site description Shey-Phoksundo National Park lies in the Dolpo and Mugu districts in north-west Nepal. A buffer zone in Dolpo is planned. The northern boundary, stretching from the mountain pass of Namja in the west to that of Marim in the east, borders on the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China. About one-third of the park is situated south of the Kanjiroba Himal (6883 m), and comprises extensive high altitude grasslands interspersed with forests and scrub below 4,000 m. There are forests of oak Quercus semecarpifolia and conifers Pinus wallichiana, Abies spectabilis and Picea smithiana, and mixed deciduous forests along the Suli Gad river. Betula utilis forest is common in the Jagdula Khola and Garpung Khola valleys. Higher up there are limited shrubberies of rhododendron and juniper Juniperus. North of the Kanjiroba Himal lie the undulating hills of the Tibetan plateau where the vegetation is typically trans-Himalayan, dominated by Caragana, Cotoneaster and dwarf junipers Juniperus spp. (Prieme and Oksnebjerg 1995).
Key Biodiversity The park was established for its trans-Himalayan habitats and wildlife. It is also important for its populations of Kashmir Nuthatch and White-throated Tit, two restricted-range species from the West Himalayan EBA. The globally threatened Wood Snipe has also been recorded in the breeding season. A total of 178 species has been found (Prieme and Oksnebjerg 1995), but the park is very under-recorded. There are large temperate forest and alpine zone areas that support significant populations of characteristic species of the Sino-Himalayan Temperate Forest and Eurasian High Montane biomes respectively.
Non-bird biodiversity: Several globally threatened mammal species are found here including Asiatic Black Bear Ursus thibetanus, Bharal Pseudois nayaur, Grey Wolf Canis lupus, Himalayan Musk Deer Moschus chrysogaster and Snow Leopard Uncia uncia. The park is especially important for the population of Snow Leopard and its prey species.