|Annapurna Conservation Area|
|अन्नपूर्णा संरक्षण क्षेत्र|
IUCN category VI (protected area with sustainable use of natural resources)
Annapurna range as seen from Pokhara
|Area||7,629 km2 (2,946 sq mi)|
|Governing body||Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation|
Annapurna Conservation Area is Nepal's largest protected area covering 7,629 km2 (2,946 sq mi) in the Annapurna range of the Himalayas. It ranges in elevation from 790 m (2,590 ft) to the peak of Annapurna I at 8,091 m (26,545 ft). The conservation area stretches across Manang, Mustang, Kaski, Myagdi, and Lamjung Districts. Annapurna Conservation Area encompasses Annapurna Sanctuary and is known for several trekking routes including Annapurna Circuit.
The Annapurna Conservation Area was established in 1985 and gazetted in 1992. It is managed by the National Trust for Nature Conservation.
Two climatic regions within a span of 120 km (75 mi) and an altitude of 1,000 to 8,000 m (3,300 to 26,200 ft) are distinguished. Rainfall in the southern part of the Annapurnas is higher than in the rain shadow to the north of the peaks. Annual precipitation is highest during the Asian monsoon between June and September ranging from 5,032 mm (198.1 in) on the southern slopes at 2,950 m (9,680 ft) altitude to 1,099 mm (43.3 in) in rain shadow areas at 2,760 m (9,060 ft) altitude. Snow accumulates between 2,000 and 3,000 m (6,600 and 9,800 ft). In the winter of 1999–2000, areas above 3,000 m (9,800 ft) were snow-covered until end of March, and until May above 4,400 m (14,400 ft). At this altitude, winter air temperatures range from −4.65 to −6.06 °C (23.63 to 21.09 °F).
Nepal measures about 880 kilometers (547 mi) along its Himalayan axis by 150 to 250 kilometers across. It has an area of 147,516 km2 (56,956 sq mi), of which 335 km2 (129 sq mi) is disputed with India.
The Himalayas, or Himalaya ; Sanskrit: himá and ā-laya ), is a mountain range in South and East Asia separating the plains of the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau. The range has many of Earth's highest peaks, including the highest, Mount Everest, at the border between Nepal and China. The Himalayas include over fifty mountains exceeding 7,200 m (23,600 ft) in elevation, including ten of the fourteen 8,000-metre peaks. By contrast, the highest peak outside Asia is 6,961 m (22,838 ft) tall.
Annapurna is a massif in the Himalayas in north-central Nepal that includes one peak over 8,000 metres (26,247 ft), thirteen peaks over 7,000 metres (22,966 ft), and sixteen more over 6,000 metres (19,685 ft). The massif is 55 kilometres (34 mi) long, and is bounded by the Kali Gandaki Gorge on the west, the Marshyangdi River on the north and east, and by Pokhara Valley on the south. At the western end, the massif encloses a high basin called the Annapurna Sanctuary. The highest peak of the massif, Annapurna I Main, is the tenth highest mountain in the world at 8,091 metres (26,545 ft) above sea level. Maurice Herzog led a French expedition to its summit through the north face in 1950, making it the first of the eight-thousanders to be climbed and the only 8,000 meter-peak to be summited with a safe descent on the first try.
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Manaslu is the eighth-highest mountain in the world at 8,163 metres (26,781 ft) above sea level. It is in the Mansiri Himal, part of the Nepalese Himalayas, in the west-central part of Nepal. The name Manaslu means "mountain of the spirit" and is derived from the Sanskrit word manasa, meaning "intellect" or "soul". Manaslu was first climbed on May 9, 1956 by Toshio Imanishi and Gyalzen Norbu, members of a Japanese expedition. It is said that, given the many unsuccessful attempts by the British to climb Everest before Edmund Hilary, "just as the British consider Everest their mountain, Manaslu has always been a Japanese mountain".
Sagarmāthā National Park is a national park in the Himalayas of eastern Nepal that is dominated by Mount Everest. It encompasses an area of 1,148 km2 (443 sq mi) in the Solukhumbu District and ranges in elevation from 2,845 to 8,848 m at the summit of Mount Everest. In the north, it shares the international border with Qomolangma National Nature Preserve of Tibet. In the east, it is adjacent to Makalu Barun National Park, and in the south it extends to Dudh Kosi river. It is part of the Sacred Himalayan Landscape.
Hemis National Park is a high altitude national park in Ladakh, India. Globally famous for its snow leopards, it is believed to have the highest density of them in any protected area in the world. It is the only national park in India that is north of the Himalayas, the largest notified protected area in India and is the second largest contiguous protected area, after the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve and surrounding protected areas. The park is home to a number of species of endangered mammals, including the snow leopard. Hemis National Park is India's protected area inside the Palearctic realm, outside the Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary northeast of Hemis, and the proposed Tso Lhamo Cold Desert Conservation Area in North Sikkim.
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The protected areas of Nepal cover mainly forested land and are located at various altitudes in the Terai, in the foothills of the Himalayas and in the mountains, thus encompassing a multitude of landscapes and preserving a vast biodiversity in the Palearctic and Indomalayan realms. Nepal covers 147,181 km2 (56,827 sq mi) in the central part of the Himalayas. Altitudes range from 67 m (220 ft) in the south-eastern Terai to 8,848 m (29,029 ft) at Sagarmatha within a short horizontal span. This extreme altitudinal gradient has resulted in 11 bio-climatic zones ranging from lower tropical below 500 m (1,600 ft) to nival above 5,000 m (16,000 ft) in the High Himalayas, encompassing nine terrestrial ecoregions with 36 vegetation types. Botanists recorded 1,120 species of non-flowering plants and 5,160 species of flowering plants. Nepal ranks 10th in terms of richest flowering plant diversity in Asia. Zoologists recorded 181 mammal species, 844 bird species, 100 reptile species, 43 amphibian species, 185 freshwater fish species, and 635 butterfly species. In recognition of the magnitude of biodiversity the Government of Nepal has established a network of 20 protected areas since 1973, consisting of ten national parks, three wildlife reserves, six conservation areas and one hunting reserve. In 2017, the Shuklaphanta and Parsa Wildlife Reserves were upgraded to National Parks.
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The Western Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows is a montane grasslands and shrublands ecoregion of Nepal, India, and Tibet, which lies between the tree line and snow line in the western portion of the Himalaya Range.
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The Annapurna Circuit is a trek within the mountain ranges of central Nepal. The total length of the route varies between 160–230 km (100-145 mi), depending on where motor transportation is used and where the trek is ended. This trek crosses two different river valleys and encircles the Annapurna Massif. The path reaches its highest point at Thorung La pass (5416m/17769 ft), touching the edge of the Tibetan plateau. Practically all trekkers hike the route anticlockwise, as this way the daily altitude gain is slower, and crossing the high Thorong La pass is easier and safer.
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