Title: – A Photographic Pocket Guide to Butterflies of Nepal
Author: – Colin Smith
Pages: – 144
Edition: – 2011
Language: – English
Bound: – Soft Cover(pocket)
Short Introduction of the Book:
Nepal is a small country squeezed in between India and China, containing some 500 km. of the Himalayan Range. It is only 100 km. wide at the widest. The squeezing is actually quite literal! For it was formed by the Indian Tectonic Plate colliding with and going under the Asian one, forcing up the Himalayan ranges. These fold mountains form parallel ridges running (roughly) East-West, with the higher ones to the North. Thus they block the rivers, which want to flow North to South! So we get rivers flowing East or West till they can break through a ridge to go South, after which they may flow back the opposite way (West or East) before getting through the next ridge.
Nepal is bonded by rivers Mahakali in the West and Mechi in the East. Between these there are three major river systems (i.e. ones that come down from the snows of the high Himalaya.):-
KARNALI in the West, with tributaries Seti and Bheri,
NARAYANI in the Central Region with tributaries Ghandaki, Sheti, Trisuli,
KOSI in the East with Tributaries Arun and Tamur.
The watersheds of these rivers very conveniently divide Nepal geographically into these three regions. (So in this booklet we ignore the Political divisions!) Note there are also minor rivers that don’t come from the snows- Mai Khola in the East, Kamala Khola, Bagmati Khola from Kathmandu Valley, Rapti Khola in Chitwan, another Rapti Khola in the West, and the Babai etc.
The first ridge of mountains is the Churia Range or Siwalicks. These are very broken up and mostly not more than about 500 m. high, but next comes the substantial Mahabharat range- 2,000- 2,800 m. high, which has only about three major breaks for the rivers mentioned above. After that the Midland region of Nepal, starting with the deep river valleys below 1,000 m. and working up the higher hills. We name the lowest region the Terai– generally below 500 m.
Kathmandu Valley has a unique location. It is a saucer-shaped valley 1,400 m. at the floor surrounded by hills up to 2,800 m. high situated in the middle of the Mahabharat range, lying between the Eastern Kosi river system and the Trisuli tributary of the Central one. It also has a distinctive flora and fauna.
World-wide Zoo-geographic divisions are as follows-
NEARCTIC– North America to Mexico,
NEOTROPIC– South America,
PALAEARCTIC– Europe and North Asia,
ETHIOPIAN– Africa, south of the Sahara,
ORIENTAL– India & S.E. Asia,
AUSTRALIAN– New Guinea to New Zealand..
Thus Nepal comes on the Oriental-Palaearctic Boundary. We find that roughly we have Palaearctic species over 3,000 m. and Oriental ones below. Though they obviously to some extent overlap. We also find that the Midland region 1,500- 3,000 m. contains many species endemic to the Himalayas.