Kaziranga National Park

  • Kaziranga National Park is a national park in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of Assam.
  • The park, which hosts two-thirds of the world’s Indian rhinoceroses, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    • It was declared as a National Park in 1974.
    • In 1985, Kaziranga was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its unique natural environment.
  • According to the census held in March 2018 which was jointly conducted by the Forest Department of the Government of Assam and some recognized wildlife NGOs, the rhino population in Kaziranga National Park is 2,613.
    • It comprises 1,641 adult rhinos (642 males, 793 females, 206 unsexed); 387 sub-adults (116 males, 149 females, 122 unsexed); and 385 calves.
    • In 2015, the rhino population stood at 2,401.
  • Kaziranga National Park was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006. The park is home to large breeding populations of elephants, wild water buffalo, and swamp deer.
  • Kaziranga is recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International for conservation of avifaunal species. When compared with other protected areas in India, Kaziranga has achieved notable success in wildlife conservation.
  • Located on the edge of the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot, the park combines high species diversity and visibility.
Kaziranga National Park

Flora & Fauna in Kaziranga National Park

  • Flora:
    • It is primarily famous for its dense and tall elephant grasses intermixed with small swamplands.
    • It also includes an abundant cover of water lilieswater hyacinths and lotus.
    • Rattan Cane, a type of climbing palm, is also found here.
  • Fauna:
    • Important wildlife found are One-horned rhinoceros, Leopard, Fishing Cat, other Lesser cats, royal Bengal tiger, Large Indian Civet, Small Indian Civet, Sambar, Barking deer, Hog deer, Gaur, Hog Badger, Capped Langur, etc.
    • It is also one of the last remaining homes of the endangered and endemic western hoolock gibbon, the only species of apes found in India
    • It is home to approximately 478 species of both resident and migratory birds.
    • It is one of the last homes of the critically endangered Bengal florican.

Important Species in Kaziranga National Park

  • It is the home of the world’s most one-horned rhinos. Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary has the highest density of one-horned rhinos in the world and second highest number of Rhinos in Assam after Kaziranga National Park.
  • Much of the focus of conservation efforts in Kaziranga are focused on the ‘big four’ species— Rhino, Elephant, Royal Bengal tiger and Asiatic water buffalo.
  • The 2018 census had yielded 2,413 rhinos and approximately 1,100 elephants.
  • As per the figures of tiger census conducted in 2014, Kaziranga had an estimated 103 tigers, the third highest population in India after Jim Corbett National Park (215) in Uttarakhand and Bandipur National Park (120) in Karnataka.
  • Kaziranga is also home to 9 of the 14 species of primates found in the Indian subcontinent.

Climate & Vegetation in Kaziranga National Park

  • Kaziranga National Park has a tropical monsoon climate with distinct wet and dry seasons.
  • It is a mix of eastern wet alluvial grasslands, semi evergreen forests and tropical moist deciduous forests.
  • The park experiences heavy rainfall during the monsoon season, which lasts from June to September, and dry conditions from November to March.
    • The average annual rainfall in Kaziranga is around 2,200 mm (87 inches)

Rivers and Highways in Kaziranga National Park

  • The National Highway 37 passes through the park area.
  • The park area is circumscribed by the Brahmaputra River, which forms the northern and eastern boundaries, and the Mora Diphlu, which forms the southern boundary. Other notable rivers within the park are the Diphlu and Mora Dhansiri.
    • The park also has more than 250 seasonal water bodies, besides the Diphlu River running through it.
Assam National Parks, Tiger Reserves, Wildlife Sanctuaries & Ramsar Sites Map
Assam National Parks, Tiger Reserves, Wildlife Sanctuaries & Ramsar Sites Map

One-horned Rhino:

  • The greater one-horned rhino (or “Indian rhino”) is the largest of the rhino species.
  • It is found in Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan and India.
  • It is Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List and lies in Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act.
  • It is in Appendix I of the  Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES):
  • India is home to over 85% population. It is found in UP, West Bengal and Assam.
  • According to WWF data from 2012, Assam has 91 % of the total Rhino in India which is mainly concentrated in Kaziranga National Park, and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary.
    • Others include Manas Tiger Reserve, Orang Tiger Reserve and Laokhowa Reserved Forests
  • There are five rhino species:
    • Great One horned rhino- Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List.
    • White rhinos – near threatened in the IUCN Red List.
    • Black rhinos in Africa – critically endangered in the IUCN Red List.
    • Javan rhino- Critically endangered in IUCN Red List.
    • Sumatran rhinos- extinct.
Special Rhino Protection Force (SRPF)
  • In 2015, the process of setting up a Protection Force dedicated to controlling Rhino Poaching was established by the government.
  • By 2018, a team of 82 members was appointed by the Assam Government.
  • The SRPF went under intense training at the Forest Guard School along with weapons training at the 9th Assam Police Battalion, both, in Assam.
  • Kaziranga National Park, also being a tiger reserve, the SRPF is also a tiger protecting force.
  • The Assam government would be paying the salaries of the SRPF members, and the amount would be reimbursed by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), which recommended setting up of the special force. Click on the link to know more about Project Tiger.

Orang national park popularly known as mini Kaziranga, is located on the north bank of the river Brahmaputra. The park covering an area of 72-sq-kms was established as a sanctuary in 1985 and declared a National Park on 13th April 1999. Famous for its natural scenic beauty, the park is about 150-km from Guwahati, Assam.

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