Nepal’s 20 protected areas cover 23.23 percent of its land. Nepal has 10 national parks, three wildlife reserves, six conservations areas and one hunting reserve which cover various geographical locations from the sub-tropical Terai jungles to the arctic Himalayan region. Two of Nepal’s natural areas are listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. They are Chitwan National Park and Sagarmatha National Park. Comprising only 0.1 percent of the total land area on a global scale, Nepal, however, possesses great natural diversity. Of the total number of species found globally, Nepal possesses 2.80 percent plants, 3.96 percent mammals, 3.72 percent butterflies and 8.9 percent birds. Of 6,391 species of flowering plants recorded in Nepal, 399 are endemic which are found only in Nepal. Among the 399 endemic flowering plants in Nepal, 63 percent are from the high mountains, 38 percent from the mid hills, and 5 percent from the Terai and Siwaliks. Similarly, the central region contains 66 percent of the total endemic species followed by western (32 percent) and eastern regions (29 percent).
Nepal’s wildlife belongs to the Palaearctic and Indo-Malayan realms. The 136 ecosystems are confined to 11 bio-climatic zones and 9 eco-regions that are defined by ecological features, climate and plant and animal communities. The endemic fauna are: Himalayan field mouse, spiny babbler, Nepali kalij, 14 herpetofauna, and six types of fishes. Wildlife also include like endangered animals like the Royal Bengal Tiger and the one-horned rhinoceros. Nepal is home for 850 species of birds and more than half of these are found in the Kathmandu Valley.The natural resources of Nepal are water, hydropower, scenic beauty, quartz, timber, lignite, copper, cobalt, iron ore, among others. Vast expanse of land in the country is used for agriculture with about 16 percent of total arable land.