Gaurishankar Conservation Area

Gaurishankar Conservation Area is a protected area in the Himalayas of Nepal that has been established in January 2010, covering 2,179 km2 (841 sq mi) in the Ramechhap, Dolakha, and Sindhupalchok districts and encompassing 22 Village Development Committees. It is contiguous with Tibet in the north. The protected area connects the Langtang and Sagarmatha National Parks. The Government of Nepal handed over the management of Gaurishankar Conservation Area to National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) for 20 years in 2010. Following the models of Annapurna and Manaslu Conservation Areas, NTNC has been managing the area through its Gaurishankar Conservation Area Project. It is a part of the Sacred Himalayan Landscape and the headquarter is in Charikot.

In April 2006, the Dolakha Chamber of Commerce and Industries has requested the Government of Nepal and the Nepal Tourism Board to declare the Rolwaling area as a national park. In January 2010, the Federation of Community Forest Users, Nepal expressed its disagreement against the decision to establish a conservation area and formed a National Struggle Committee to launch a campaign against the declaration, demanding that the community people should obtain management responsibility of the protected area.

The Gaurishankar Conservation Area encompasses 22 VDCs, covering three districts. In Ramechhap, it includes the Chuchure and Gumdel VDCs. The Shyama, Suri, Chankhu, Marbu, Khare, Orang, Bulung, Laduk, Chilankha, Aalampu, Bigu, Kalinchok, Lamabagar and Gaurishankar VDCs of Dolakha also fall within its boundaries. And six VDCs of the Sindhupalchok District - Ghorthali, Marming, Listikot, Tatopani, Fulpingkatti, and Gumba - are now part of the conservation area.

The Gaurishankar Conservation Area is rich in biodiversity. A total of 16 varieties of vegetation have been identified in the area, including forests of Pinus roxburghii, Schima-Castanopsis, Alnus, Pinus wallichiana, Pinus patula, Rhododendron, Quercus lanata, and Temperate mountain oak forest. The Gaurishankar Conservation Area's mammalian population totals 34 species, including snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan Thar. One of the rarest mammals in the area is the red panda. A total of 235 species of birds have been recorded from the Gaurishankar Conservation Area. The conservation area also has 14 snake species, 16 species of fish, 10 types of amphibians and 8 lizard species.

There is a famous shrine of the Kalinchowk Bhagwati in Kuri village in the Kalinchowk VDC. It is a famous pilgrimage site for Hindus.

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