Ferns are a major component of biodiversity and indicators of healthy ecosystems in Nepal. Despite their prominence, knowledge of Nepalese ferns is very poor - there is no comprehensive documentation of the 534 known species, and few people can identify them. Consequently only three tree ferns have legal protection and ferns rarely feature in conservation initiatives. Dr Rajbhandary will complete the fern inventory for Central Nepal, provide conservation assessments and develop a photographic field guide to aid identification. This will raise awareness and build in-country capacity for fern research and conservation, and enable environmentalists to include ferns in their studies.