Out of the total number of globally found species, Nepal is home to nearly 4% of the mammals, 3.72 percent and 8.9 percent of bird species. Nepal's wildlife is officially classified into two main categories namely: protected and common. The common type includes species such as common leopard, spotted deer, Himalayan Tahr, blue sheep, etcetera. These are the species that can be seen commonly in their habitat. The protected species include 26 mammals, nine birds, and three reptiles. These rare animals confine themselves in their prime habitat.
The prevalent fauna are Himalayan field mouse, spiny babbler, Nepali Kalij pheasant, 14 types of amphibians and reptiles and six species of fish.
Nepal is home to 185 species of mammals that are found in various parts of the nation. The dense forests in the Terai are home to exotic animals like the Asiatic elephant, the great one-horned rhino, the royal Bengal tiger, the common leopard. It is also the habitat for rhesus macques, langur monkeys, hyena, jackal, wild boar, antelope, wildcat,sloth bear, spotted deer, Sambar deer and barking deer. Koshi Tapu wildlife reserve is home to the Wild Buffalo locally known as Arna.
The jungles in the western Terai of Suklaphanta is home to the swamp deer while Bardia is home to the endangered black buck. The Karnali and Narayani rivers are home to the freshwater dolphins.
The Himalayan region is home to the shy snow leopard and the red panda. The shy red pandas are found in the Langtang and Kanchenjunga regions. The yak, blue sheep, musk deer, pika and Himalayan Tahr, are some other mammals that live in the high altitude areas.
Otters have been found in the Rara region in the North West region, and Dhopatan Hunting reserve is the home to the Blue Sheep and Himalayan Tahr.
There are two indigenous species of crocodiles in Nepal: The gharial with its narrow snout is a fish eater and the omnivorous marsh mugger which eats anything it catches. The gharial has been brought back from extinction by a very successful breeding project. Cobras, vipers, Indian python, and kraits are some of the snakes along with turtles and monitor lizards are also found in Nepal.
More than 850 species of birds have been recorded in Nepal. Half of these bird species can be seen in and around Kathmandu valley itself. The surrounding hills around the valley such as Nagarjun, Godavari, and Phulchowki are favorite areas of ornithologists.
Nepal has several National Parks such as Chitwan, Bardia, Shuklaphanta that offers wildlife safaris. Chitwan is the best known of the National parks, and there are guest house, hotels, and resorts of all standards to cater for wildlife enthusiasts from all walks of life.