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Jalthal: Nepal’s Richest Forest

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Jalthal: Jalthal is the only forest in Nepal that hosts diverse biodiversity lies in east-south in Jhapa district. A research is carried out by the Forest Division Office, Forest Action Nepal, and the Community Forest Consumer’s Federation’s Unit.

Various range of floras found in the forest which usually grows in higher hilly and the Terai regions, according to the research. Jalthalban spreads in Haldibari, Kachankawal, Barhadashi Rural Municipalities and Bhadrapur Municipality in southern Jhapa.

Chief Forest Division Office, Bishnu Lal Ghimire, said- “Plants which usually grow in the high hilly regions such as Kattus, Thakal, Saj, Khanyu, Fadir, Kyamuna and Latahar are found in this forest.” He added-Floras such Sal, Khayar, Simal, Saj, Bhalayo, Thatiwan, Bohori and Kutmiro, which usually grow in the Terai region are also found in the forest. Faunas such as wild elephants, deer, wild boar, peacock, Salak, python, tortoise, Thotari, and porcupine are widespread in the forest.

“The forest has also been home to extinct species of birds and insects. Jalthalban is the only forest in Nepal that hosts such diverse biodiversity”-said Ghimire.

Lilanath Sharma, facilitator, Forest Action Nepal said-“The high hills of Mawan area, situated within the forest have made the floras and faunas of both Terai and hilly regions available.” He added- we have started our research on biodiversity from this year.

Since Sal trees are found in huge numbers in the forest, it has made the co-existence of flora and faunas possible. According to Ghimire, the Sal trees make it easier for other floras to grow. Sal trees even allow other floras to grow in their barks and branches.

“Our latest research showed that 32 species of floras grow in Sal trees within a one-metre square“-said Ghimire. Experts also suggest for conservation of floras for the conservation of biodiversity on the whole.

Jalthalban forest has 22 community forests. The forest has occupied 44.21 km of land in 6,260 hectares.

Source: The Rising Nepal