Vultures and Elephants – the start of our activities for Britain Nepal 200!

by Ann Sylph on

The UK-Nepal relationship is a special, unique and historic one. The end of this year and start of next is the bicentenary of the UK’s involvement in Nepal. The treaty  between the two countries was signed in 1815 and ratified in 1816 so the bicentenary celebrations span two years.

Linked to the bicentenary are two events at ZSL this month and so we are highlighting two  images in Hodgson’s manuscripts, this image of Asian elephants in Volume 2 Mammals in Hodgson manuscripts. We are featuring this for Elephantastic - Elephant Appreciation Weekend at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo on 19 and 20 September.

Drawing of Asian elephants in Volume 2 Mammals, p. 222 of Brian Houghton Hodgson manuscripts of Nepal and India. By Raj Man Singh
Drawing of Asian elephants in Volume 2 Mammals, p. 222 of Brian Houghton Hodgson manuscripts of Nepal and India. By Raj Man Singh


The volume containing this image is currently away for repair, conservation and then digitisation.


International Vulture Awareness Weekend  at ZSL London Zoo on 5 and 6 September.

Drawing of Cinereous vulture, Aegypius monachus, in Volume 1 birds p. 4 of Brian Houghton Hodgson manuscripts of Nepal and India.
Drawing of Cinereous vulture, Aegypius monachus, in Volume 1 birds p. 4 of Brian Houghton Hodgson manuscripts of Nepal and India.

These are just two example images from the Hodgson material in ZSL Library.

ZSL Library holds birds and mammal manuscripts and some letters of Brian Houghton Hodgson (1800-1894). Hodgson is widely recognised for the great progress he made in describing the birds and mammals of Nepal, and in recognition of this his name is linked to the names of several mammals and birds. He realised that Nepal was virtually unknown to Europeans and Hodgson devoted the 23 years (1820-1843) he was posted there to study its peoples, customs, architecture, languages, religion and natural history. In natural history, Hodgson concentrated on the birds and mammals of Nepal, the Himalayas in general and Northern India. He wrote more than 140 zoological papers, ranging from descriptions of single species to checklists of the fauna.

If you enjoy these images and would like to see more, please take a look at our main page about Brian Houghton Hodgson  Brian Houghton Hodgson manuscripts from this page you can view scans of his manuscript  Volume 1 Mammals compiled by Hodgson, including both images and text. The conservation and scanning of this volume was funded by the National Manuscripts Conservation Trust.

The focus of the ZSL Britain Nepal 200 celebrations will be a one day symposium on 26 February 2016 on the theme `Nepal biodiversity and conservation ; now and the future'. This will be held jointly with the Linnean Society of London and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Details can be found at Nepal: biodiversity and conservation – now and the future

Britain Nepal 200 logo
Britain Nepal 200 logo

ZSL is offering support to Nepal following the recent earthquakes Funds raised will go towards meeting immediate needs for food, fuel, clean water and shelter for park staff particularly at high altitude and at key sites in the lowland as well as safeguarding Nepal's national parks to curb poaching in the wake of this tragic natural disaster

Find out more about ZSL’s conservation projects in Nepal 

Select a blog

Careers at ZSL

Our people are our greatest asset and we realise our vision for a world where wildlife thrives through their ideas, skills and passion. An inspired, informed and empowered community of people work, study and volunteer together at ZSL.

Nature at the heart of global decision making

At ZSL, a key area of our work is the employment of Nature-based Solutions – an approach which both adapt to and mitigates the impacts of climate change. These Solutions, which include habitat protection and restoration, are low-cost yet high-impact, and provide multiple benefits to people and wildlife. We ensure that biodiversity recovery is at the heart of nature-based solutions. 

ZSL London Zoo

A blog for lovers of ZSL London Zoo, bringing you extraordinary animal facts and exclusive access to the world's oldest scientific zoo.

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Do you love wildlife? Discover more about our amazing animals at the UK's biggest zoo!


We're working around the world to conserve animals and their habitats, find out more about our latest achievements.


From the field to the lab, catch up with the scientists on the cutting edge of conservation biology at ZSL’s Institute of Zoology.


A day in Discovery and Learning at ZSL is never dull! The team tell us all about the exciting sessions for school children, as well as work further afield.

Artefact of the month

Every month, one of the pieces held in ZSL’s Library and at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo will feature here as Artefact of the Month.

Wild About

Read testimonials from our Members and extracts from ZSL's award winning members' magazine, Wild About.

Asia Conservation Programme

ZSL works across Asia, from the famous national parks of Nepal to marine protected areas in the Philippines. Read the latest updates on our conservation.

Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation

An Open Access journal for research at the interface of remote sensing, ecology and conservation.