Sagarmatha National Park

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Sagarmatha National Park
S N P.jpg
Landscape in the national park
Map showing the location of Sagarmatha National Park
Map showing the location of Sagarmatha National Park
Sagarmatha National Park
Map showing the location of Sagarmatha National Park
Map showing the location of Sagarmatha National Park
Sagarmatha National Park
Map showing the location of Sagarmatha National Park
Map showing the location of Sagarmatha National Park
Sagarmatha National Park
LocationProvince No. 1, Nepal
Nearest cityNamche, Khumjung
Coordinates27°56′N 86°44′E / 27.933°N 86.733°E / 27.933; 86.733Coordinates: 27°56′N 86°44′E / 27.933°N 86.733°E / 27.933; 86.733
Area1,148 km2 (443 sq mi)
EstablishedJuly 19, 1976
Governing bodyDepartment of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation
CriteriaNatural: vii
Inscription1979 (3rd Session)

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 (9,334 to 29,029 ft) 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.[1] It is part of the Sacred Himalayan Landscape.[2]

Sagarmāthā is a Nepali word for Mount Everest, derived from words sagar (सगर्) meaning "sky" and māthā (माथा) meaning "head".[3][4]


Sagarmatha National Park was established in 1976. In 1979, it became the country's first national park that was inscribed as a Natural World Heritage Site. In January 2002, a Buffer Zone comprising 275 km2 (106 sq mi) was added.[1] Under the Buffer Zone Management Guidelines the conservation of forests, wildlife and cultural resources received top priority, followed by conservation of other natural resources and development of alternative energy.[5]

Tourism to the area began in the early 1960s. In 2003, about 19,000 tourists arrived. As of 2005, about 3,500 Sherpa people lived in villages and seasonal settlements situated along the main tourist trails.[6]


The park contains the upper catchment areas of the Dudh Kosi river, Bhotekoshi river basin and the Gokyo Lakes. It is largely composed of rugged terrain and gorges of the high Himalayas, ranging from 2,845 m (9,334 ft) at Monjo to the top of the world's highest peak Sagarmatha (Mount Everest) at 8,848 m (29,029 ft) above sea level. Other peaks above 6,000 m (20,000 ft) are Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Thamserku, Nuptse, Amadablam and Pumori. Barren land above 5,000 m (16,000 ft) comprises 69% of the park while 28% is grazing land and the remaining 3% is forested. Climatic zones include a forested temperate zone, a subalpine zone above 3,000 m (9,800 ft), and an alpine zone above 4,000 m (13,000 ft) that constitutes the upper limit of vegetation growth. The nival zone starts at 5,000 m (16,000 ft).[1]


Flowers at an elevation of 5,000 m


The forests in the subalpine belt consist of fir, Himalayan birch and rhododendron. Juniper and rhododendron prevail at elevations of 4,000–5,000 m (13,000–16,000 ft). Mosses and lichens grow above 5,000 m (16,000 ft).[7] More than 1,000 floral species were recorded in the national park.[1]


Snowcock in the national park

Sagarmatha National Park hosts 208 bird species including Impeyan pheasant, bearded vulture, snowcock, and alpine chough,[1] and has been identified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area (IBA).[8] Ungulates include Himalayan thar, Himalayan serow and musk deer. The snow leopard inhabits elevations above 3,500 m (11,500 ft), and the Indian leopard roams forests in lower elevations.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e Bhuju, U.R.; Shakya, P.R.; Basnet, T.B. & Shrestha, S. (2007). "Sagarmatha National Park" (PDF). Nepal Biodiversity Resource Book. Protected Areas, Ramsar Sites, and World Heritage Sites. Kathmandu: International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, in cooperation with United Nations Environment Programme, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. pp. 53–55. ISBN 978-92-9115-033-5.
  2. ^ Gurung, C. P.; Maskey, T. M.; Poudel, N.; Lama, Y.; Wagley, M. P.; Manandhar, A.; Khaling, S.; Thapa, G.; Thapa, S. & Wikramanayake, E. D. (2006). "The Sacred Himalayan Landscape: Conceptualizing, Visioning, and Planning for Conservation of Biodiversity, Culture and Livelihoods in the Eastern Himalaya" (PDF). In McNeely, J. A.; McCarthy, T. M.; Smith, A.; Whittaker, O. L. & Wikramanayake, E. D. (eds.). Conservation Biology in Asia. Kathmandu: Nepal Society for Conservation Biology, Asia Section and Resources Himalaya Foundation. pp. 10–20. ISBN 99946-996-9-5.
  3. ^ Turner, R. L. (1931). "सगर् sagar". A comparative and etymological dictionary of the Nepali language. London: K. Paul, Trench, Trubner.
  4. ^ Turner, R. L. (1931). "माथा matha". A comparative and etymological dictionary of the Nepali language. London: K. Paul, Trench, Trubner.
  5. ^ Heinen, J. T. & Mehta, J. N. (2000). "Emerging Issues in Legal and Procedural Aspects of Buffer Zone Management with Case Studies from Nepal". Journal of Environment and Development. 9 (1): 45–67.
  6. ^ Byers, A. (2005). "Contemporary human impacts on Alpine ecosystems in the Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park, Khumbu, Nepal". Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 95 (1): 112–140.
  7. ^ Buffa, G.; Ferrari, C. & Lovari, S. (1998). "The upper subalpine vegetation of Sagarmatha National Park (Khumbu Himal area, Nepal) and its relationship with Himalayan tahr, musk deer and domestic yak. An outline". In Baudo, R.; Tartari, G. & Munawar, M. (eds.). Top of the World environmental research: Mount Everest–Himalayan ecosystem. Leiden, the Netherlands: Backhuys Publishers. pp. 167–175.
  8. ^ "Sagarmatha National Park". BirdLife Data Zone. BirdLife International. 2005. Retrieved 11 October 2020.
  9. ^ Lovari, S.; Boesi, R.; Minder, I.; Mucci, N.; Randi, E.; Dematteis, A. & Ale, S. B. (2009). "Restoring a keystone predator may endanger a prey species in a human-altered ecosystem: the return of the snow leopard to Sagarmatha National Park". Animal Conservation. 12: 559–570. doi:10.1111/j.1469-1795.2009.00285.x.

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