Cutting through the dense jungles of the Tarai national parks, the East-West Highway is turning into a death trap for Nepal’s endangered and protected wildlife. Now, Nepal is building more underpasses so animals do not have to risk crossing highways.
Of the 1,028km East-West Highway, nearly 400km slice through national parks in Parsa, Chitwan, Bardia, Banke. Another 122km stretch of roads cross wildlife corridors connecting protected areas, as well as linking Tarai forests with the mountains to facilitate wildlife migration.
Nepal’s conservation success story means that there is now more wildlife movement between national parks, while upgraded highways have increased the number of vehicles and their speed. In the past three years alone there have been 400 road kills involving wild animals.
The 30km Narayanghat-Mugling Highway was recently improved to meet Asian highway standards, and this meant not only did it have to ensure adequate road safety features but also address conservation needs.