Nepal’s natural resources and their using in the economy

The flora and fauna of Nepal

The flora and fauna of Nepal are amazing. There are 600 species of plants, including 319 species of exotic orchids. Nepal is home to 848 bird species (8% of all studied), 500 varieties of butterflies of 11 types out of 15 studied, 4% of mammals.

The country is home to humid tropical forests, oaks, pines, rhododendrons, firs, larches and birches.

The plant and animal life of Nepal is classified into five different types:

– tropical monsoon deciduous forests;

– subtropical mixed forests;

– temperate evergreen forests;

– flora and fauna characteristic of the subalpine and alpine zones.

The main tree species growing at an altitude of 1000-1200 m above sea level is shorey giants (sal tree). This tree has very tasty fruits, with a large bone and juicy flesh.

In the tropical forests of the country, there are deciduous forests dominated by rosewood and terminalia felt. The forests are home to buffalo, tigers, deer, leopards, and many other animal species. Rhinoceroses, barking deer, and spotted deer are found in swampy meadows. Dolphins and crocodiles inhabit the rivers.

Subtropical forests grow in the middle mountains, on the Mahabharat range, at an altitude of 1 to 2.5 km above sea level. There are three stages of vegetation. In the lower part grows Castanopsis indica and Schima wallichii. At an altitude of 1200 to 2000 m, there are evergreen, mixed and deciduous forests dominated by laurel (Cinnamomum glanduliferum), litsea (Litsea lanuginosa), Nepalese alder (Alnus nepalensis), waxberry (Myrica esculenta), rhododendrons, photinia (Photinia integrifolia).

At an altitude of 2-2.5 km grow oak forests. The most common oaks are the blue oak (Q. glauca), the sharp oak (Q. acutissima), the flag oak (Quercus semecarpifolia) and the lamellosa oak (Q. lamellosa). The forests are abundant, orchids, epiphytes, ferns, and long pine (Pinus roxburghii) are found. In these forests there are gorals, bears, wild boars, barking deer.

The evergreen forests of the temperate belt are located at an altitude of 2.5 – 4 km. In the lower part there are coniferous forests with the admixture of deciduous species. They are dominated by Himalayan spruce (Picea smithiana), Nepalese cherry (Prunus nepalensis), yew, rhododendrons and maples. In the upper part grows Himalayan fir (Abies spectabilis), utility birch (Betula utilis), and rhododendrons. These forests are home to gorals, wild boars, Himalayan tars, and pandas. Danfe pheasants, protected by the state, live here.

Shrubs in the subalpine and alpine belts grow at an altitude of 4 – 5.2 km above sea level. In this belt also grow rhododendrons, juniper and honeysuckle. Above 4.2 km, alpine meadows, mosses, lichens, thickets of sedges prevail. Animals at such a height are few, you can meet a Himalayan marmot, musk deer, pika, snow leopard, sometimes – a blue sheep. Most of the yaks and llamas are domesticated.

Among the birds found here are the snowcock (mountain turkey, Tetraogallus), bearded bunting (Gypaetus barbatus), clovercrow (red-billed alpine crow, Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), bunting (Emberiza), snow (Himalayan) partridge (Lerwa lerwa). Cinclus (Cinclus) and Phoenicurus (Phoenicurus) are found near streams. The yak, which inhabits these latitudes, serves as a draught and riding animal, and its meat and milk are used as food. The wool of this animal is used to knit shawls and sweaters, and its milk is used to make cheese that can be stored for a long time.

Diverse, unique flora and fauna of Nepal will not leave indifferent photographers, naturalists and lovers of wildlife.

Mineral Resources

Nepal is located in the central part of the Himalayan folded-rock mountain system, which began to form at the end of the Paleocene. A number of zones are distinguished from north to south.

The Central Crystalline Zone of the High Himalayas is composed mainly of Precambrian metamorphic complexes – crystalline schists, gneisses, quartzites, and migmatites, torn by Miocene leucogranites. This zone is thrust along the Main Central thrust on the Low Himalayan zone, formed by the Upper Proterozoic – Lower Eocene sedimentary strata (sandstones, clays, limestones, tillites), which underwent green-slate metamorphism.

In the south, the Low Himalayan zone borders along the Main Frontier thrust with the Predhimalayan (or Outer Himalayan) zone, which is an advanced trough that arose in Neogene-Quaternary time before the front of the growing Himalayan orogen and is filled with Miocene sand-clay and Pliocene coarse-clastic molasse (up to 7 km thick).

Along the southern border of Nepal stretches the northern margin of the Indo-Gangetic Trough, separated from the Predhimalayas by a system of gentle breaks of the Frontal Himalayan thrust; the trough molasse is not deformed and is not involved in the Himalayan uplift.

The territory of Nepal retains tectonic mobility, accompanied by intense seismicity, which is concentrated mainly along thrust faults. A strong destructive earthquake occurred on August 20, 1988 in the eastern part of Nepal (magnitude 6.8, intensity 8).

In the subsoil of the country there are many minerals, but their development is very difficult because of the mountainous terrain. Deposits of non-ferrous and precious metals, iron ores, mica, graphite, coal and talc have been explored. There is artisanal mining of coal, copper ore, marble, limestone, and natural gas.

There are deposits of natural building materials. Known six small deposits of lead-zinc ores; Ganesh Khimal (Hunguigkhat) 150 km north-west of Kathmandu can be of industrial interest. Deposits and manifestations of iron ores (in the central part), tin and tungsten, gold, phosphorites (phosphorite-bearing belt in the west) and brown coal (in the central, western and eastern parts of the country) were found.

In many areas of Nepal, there is no electricity at all, and hotels use diesel generators and solar panels to generate electricity. For this reason, refrigerators in hotel rooms are not very common.