Jim Corbett National Park is the oldest (first) National Park in India and is located in the Nainital.
In 1936, it was established to protect the Bengal tiger. It was named after Jim Corbett, a well-known hunter and naturalist. The park was the first National Park to come under the Project Tiger initiative.
Corbett Tiger Reserve’score area is formed by Jim Corbett National Park, while the buffer contains Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary.
Ramganga, Sonanadi and Kosi are the major rivers flowing through the National Park and Ramganga Reservoir is located within the National Park.
Vegetation: Dense, moist deciduous forests, marshy depressions and grasslands.
Major Fauna: Bengal tigers, elephants, leopards, Himalayan black bears, Himalayan goral, rhesus macaqu.
Local crocodiles and gharials were saved from extinction by captive breeding programs that subsequently released crocodiles into the Ramganga river.
Threats: Invasive weeds, and poaching.
Corbett National Park is one of the thirteen protected areas covered by theWorldwide Fund For Natureunder theirTerai Arc Landscape Program.
Terai Arc Landscape Program
The Terai Arc Landscape (TAL) is an 810 km stretch between the river Yamuna in the west and the river Bhagmati in the east. It comprises of the Shivalik hills, the adjoining bhabhar areas and the Terai flood plains.
TAL aims to protect three terrestrial flagship species,Tiger, Asian elephant and great one-horned rhinoceros, by restoring forest corridors by linking 13 protected areas to enable wildlife migration.
TAL spread across the states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, and the low-lying hills of Nepal.
TAL consists of Corbett Tiger Reserve, Rajaji National Park, Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Valmiki Tiger Reserve and Nepal’s Bardia Wildlife Sanctuary, Chitwan National Park, and Sukhla Phanta Wildlife Sanctuary.
In total, the landscape has 13 Protected Areas, nine are in India and four in Nepal.
It is India’s second Biosphere Reserve and it is under UNESCO’s Man & Biosphere Programme. It’s core area is formed by Nanda Devi National Park and Valley of Flowers National Park.
The Nanda Devi National Park is situated around the peak of Nanda Devi (7816 m). It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Within the National Park lies the Nanda Devi Sanctuary, a glacial basin surrounded by a ring of peaks.
Major Flora: Fir, birch, rhododendron and juniper.
Major Fauna: Himalayan musk deer, mainland serow, Himalayan tahr, Himalayan black bear.
Rajaji National Park, Tiger Reserve
Rajaji National Park is a national park and tiger reserve spread over three districts of Uttarakhand: Haridwar, Dehradun and Pauri Garhwal.
It spreads over the Shivalik ranges and the Indo-Gangetic plains. The Ganga and Song Rivers flow through the park.
In the year 1983, Rajaji Wildlife Sanctuary was merged with Motichur and Chilla wildlife sanctuaries and made into Rajaji National Park. It was named after the famous freedom fighterRajgopalachari popularly known as “Rajaji”.
The park is at the north-western limit of distribution for both elephants and tigers in India.
The area is covered with diverse forest types ranging from semi-evergreen to deciduous and from mixed broad-leaved to Terai grassland and has been classified as Indus-Ganges Monsoon Forest type.
Major Fauna: Elephants, Bengal tiger, sloth bear, black bear, Indian langur, Indian porcupine.
It is home to the Van Gujjars in the winters.
Valley of Flowers National Park
Valley of Flowers National Park, established in 1982, is located in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand.
It is a high altitudeHimalayan valley in the transition zone betweenZanskar and Great Himalayas.
It is known for its meadows of endemic alpine flowers.
Both the Valley of Flowers National Park and the Nanda Devi National Park forms the core area ofNanda Devi Biosphere Reserve.
Major Flora: Orchids, poppies, marigold, daisies, rhododendron and birch.
Major Fauna: Asiatic black bear, snow leopard, musk deer,brown bear, red fox, and bharal (blue sheep).
Wildlife Sanctuaries of Uttarakhand
Askot Wildlife Sanctuary
Askot Wildlife Sanctuary, also knows as Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary is located in Pithoragarh district.
It is situated in the western part of the Kumaon Himalayas.
This sanctuary has been set up for conserving themusk deer (EN).
The sanctuary area is known as ‘Green Paradise on the Earth’.
It is declared as an Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ).
Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary (KWS)
The KWS, famously known as the Kedarnath Musk Deer Sanctuary,is located in the Rudraprayag and Chamoli districts of the state of Uttarakhand.
It has been set up for conserving themusk deer (EN). It stretches from Gaurikund to Kedarnath mountain.
It lies inthe upper catchment of the Alaknanda and Mandakini Rivers.Mandakini river flows through the Wildlife Sanctuary. It originates from the Chorabari Glaciernear Kedarnath. It is fed by Vasukiganga River at Sonprayag.
Mandakini joins Alaknanda River at Rudraprayag. Alaknanda joins Bhagirathi River at Devaprayagto form theGanges River.
It is bordered by Kedarnath (6940 m), Mandani (6193 m), and Chaukhamba (7068 m) peaks in the north. The area falls under the West Himalayan Zone in the Palearctic realm.
Vegetation: It is covered with temperate forests. The higher and upper regionspossess the sub-alpine and alpine coniferous forests. At high altitude, lush green meadows envelope the entire region.
Flora: Oak, rhododendrons, Chir Pine and Alpine meadows along with several Himalayan flowering plants.
Fauna: Some of the mammals are Musk deer, Himalayan Thar, Himalayan Black bear, Snow Leopard, etc, and some birds like Monal, Koklass, and Himalayan Griffon, etc.
Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve lies between Rajaji Tiger Reserve and Nandhaur Wildlife Sanctuary.
Nandhaur Wildlife Sanctuary lies between the Gola and Sharda Rivers in the Haldwani forest division and links the forests of Ramnagar and Terai central forest division with Shuklaphanta National Park in Nepal.
Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary
Located in the Nainital district.
Sonanadi WLS is contiguous with theJim Corbett Tiger Reserve.
Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary
Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary is in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand.
Binsar was the summer capital of the Chand Kings, who ruled over Kumaon from the 11th to the 18th centuries AD.
Mussoorie Wildlife Sanctuary
Benog Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as the Mussoorie Wildlife Sanctuary, is located near the hill station of Mussoorie in Uttarakhand.
Benog Wildlife Sanctuary is a part of famous Rajaji National Park.
The Aglar River, a tributary of the Yamuna River, flow through the Benog Wildlife Sanctuary.
Ramsar Sites of Uttarakhand
Asan Barrage (Asan Conservation Reserve)
The Asan Barrage is a barrage in the Uttarakhand-Himachal Pradesh border region in Doon Valley, (Dehradun district).
The dam creates the Asan Reservoir, also called Dhalipur Lake.
Asan Conservation Reserve is formed by the damming of the Asan River near its confluence with the Yamuna River in the Dehradun district.