W.KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK Situated in Nagaon and Golaghat districts of Assam on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra. all after rhino horn. In the 1950s large tracts of tropical forest were cleared for the tea industry and with it came more people. was the response of a British forest officer in 1930 to the famous naturalist E. from Bokakhat. It is all swamps and leeches and even elephants cannot go there". J. It became a game sanctuary in 1916 and a favourite haunt for poachers and hunters alike.) and then a wildlife sanctuary in 1926. In response to outcries that the rhino was headed for extinction the shooting was stopped and it was declared a forest reserve (230 sq. "No one can enter the place. Chief Conservator who had managed to put an end to much of the poaching. Kaziranga lies at the foot of the Mikir Hills that rise to a height of 1.. Gee.220 m. Kaziranga is a World Heritage Site and is probably one of the richest. most picturesque wildlife habitats of southern Asia. km. author of Wildlife of India.P. forests and riverine habitats fed by the Brahmaputra River… Kaziranga has them all. who had requested permission to visit Kaziranga. grasslands. Much of the wild habitat of Assam was consequently lost to human settlement and their attendant ills (poaching is still a major problem). Wetlands. Today. In 1954 the rhino was given legal protection through the . History Kaziranga was originally established as a reserved forest in 1908. Kaziranga was opened to visitors in 1938 thanks to the initiative of A. some eight km. Milroy.

Ficus and other miscellaneous species occurs near Baguri. Bimali and Haldibari in the Western Range. Habitat Kaziranga is an international Biosphere Reserve with the largest unspoilt grassland of its kind still surviving in the Northeast of India. swamps four per cent. Banji-ou. Locally called Ekra. Deciduous woodland with Karori. Oxy. tall grasses cover 41 per cent and short grasses 11 per cent of Kaziranga. Khagori. Kaziranga was declared a National Park in 1974 and the original core area of 428 sq. km. In the summer months a variety of orchids can be seen on display. simul. Bhelu. Hollock. A fine patch of semi evergreen forest with Cham kothal. The tropical wet evergreen forests that are found in the Eastern Range are often thick and impenetrable. Nal and Ulu Kher. In the Western Range theses grasslands predominate with shorter grasses growing around the bheels. was declared a World Heritage Site in December 1985. rivers and water bodies 8 per cent and plain sand 6 per cent.Assam (Rhinoceros) Bill. Chida and Bogori trees are scattered through the grasslands. with open jungle extending across another 29 per cent. Around now the silk cotton tree. Ajhar. disperses its seeds in white balls of fluff that float through the air and add considerably to . The tall grasses and reeds also called 'elephant grass' grow upto a height of five metres during the rains. Simul.

Reptiles include the water monitor. Through this mist. They can consequently be seen in the park for 12 months now. If you are very lucky and persistent you may see common and the smooth Indian otter. and the Malabar flying squirrel are also residents of Kaziranga. But in recent years population pressures from the surrounding tribals settlements have disrupted elephant migration routes or 'corridors'. cat snake. An astounding 11 species of turtle are found in the park. The flying fox. Elephants never used to stay all year round in Kaziranga. are found here in their largest concentrations in Eastern India. The water hyacinth. is now found everywhere. Indian python. On rare occasions. strangling other aquatic flora in the bheels. Wildlife If you set off early in winter. king cobra. wild buffalo. a thin ground mist cloaks the grasslands. you could conceivably see up to 30 rhinos in the open grasslands from the Dunga watchtower in the Central Range. common cobra. rat snake and checkered keelbacks.the charm of Kaziranga. rhinos. though threatened. Swamp deer. however. elephants and deer tend to appear and disappear like apparitions in a strange and exotic setting. . choosing to depart during the floods. an exotic that was introduced into the park.

Egrets. Darters. a small population of Hoolock gibbon. Pond Herons. a birdwatcher's paradise par excellence. Other birds include the Black-necked Stork (which also breeds here). Gadwall. The splendid avifauna of Kaziranga also comprises some of the most brilliantly coloured hill birds like the Scarlet Minivet. Grey Pelicans breed here in a rookery near the Kaziranga Village. sunbirds and bee-eaters. wild pig and sambar deer (in small numbers). Other mammals include the capped langur. Grey Francolin. rhesus macaque. and Jerdon's Bushchat are among the species that twitchers could see in different areas. Red Junglefowl. Green Imperial Pigeon. Whistling Teal and Bar-headed Geese are the most commonly seen waterfowl. More than 400 species of birds have been recorded in the Kaziranga area. Swamp Partridge. Common and Demoiselle Crane and Spotbilled Pelicans. Brahminy Duck. sloth bear (in grassland and woodland). Cotton and Common Teal. leopard (common in Kanchanjhuri in the Western Range). Great Cormorants. Hog deer are abundant. Barheaded Geese (one the most important Indian wintering grounds). tiger. Night Herons. . Gangetic dolphin (in the stagnant Mihibheel). Indian Shags. Kalij Pheasant. Pied Hornbills.Gaur too have had to adapt to human disturbance outside and are now a more common sight in the Park. Visible around the bheels are Greyheaded and Pallas' Fishing Eagles. This list includes over 100 migratory species from as far afield as Siberia. Lesser Adjutant Stork. Silverbreasted Broadbill.

Kaziranga is one of the few wild breeding areas outside Africa for multiple species of large cats. Capped. Black-necked Stork. Large Indian Civet. Prominent among them are the Assamese Macaque. Bengal Fox. Small Indian Civets. Kaziranga was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006 and has the highest density of tigers in the world (one per five km²).Fauna Kaziranga contains significant breeding populations of 35 mammalian species. Hog Badger. wild boar. the Hoolock Gibbon. Golden Langur. Small mammals include the rare Hispid Hare. Small herbivores include the Indian Muntjac. Golden Jackal. as well as the only ape found in India. Kaziranga has been identified by Birdlife International as an Important Bird Area.940). gaur (30) and sambar (58). and game birds. Birds such as the Lesser White-fronted Goose. predators. and Particolored flying squirrels. Indian Pangolins. Chinese Pangolin. The park has the distinction of being home to the world's largest population of the Great Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros (1.666) and Eastern Swamp Deer (468). Kaziranga's rivers are also home to the endangered Ganges Dolphin. of which 15 are threatened as per the IUCN Red List. Indian Gray Mongoose. Kaziranga has the largest population of the Wild water buffalo anywhere accounting for about 57% of the world population. Small Indian Mongooses. and Leopard Cats. Sloth Bear. Nine of the 14 primate species found in India occur in the park. Fishing Cat. It is home to a variety of migratory birds. Baer's Pochard duck and Lesser Adjutant. and Asian Openbill stork migrate from Central Asia to the park during . Ferruginous Duck. Other felids include the Jungle Cat. as per the 2000 census. and hog deer. scavengers. Greater Adjutant. with a population of 86. Chinese Ferret Badgers. Significant populations of large herbivores include elephants (1.855). such as Indian Tigers and Leopards. water birds. Wild Asiatic Water Buffalo (1.

the Brown Tortoise. Monitor lizard species found in the park include the Bengal monitor and the Water Monitor. Dalmatian Pelican. Riverine birds include the Blyth's Kingfisher. Spot-billed Pelican. Old World babblers such as Jerdon’s and Marsh Babblers. and Palecapped Pigeon. including the Tetraodon.winter. inhabit the park.:p. as well as the longest venomous snake in the world. and the Common Krait. Slender-billed Vulture. Other threatened species include the Black-breasted Parrotbill and the Rufous-vented Prinia. White-bellied Heron.10 Birds of prey include the rare Eastern Imperial. Only the Indian Vulture. Other reptiles include fifteen species of turtle.:p. such as the endemic Assam Roofed Turtle and one species of tortoise. Nordmann's Greenshank.03 Other families of birds inhabiting Kaziranga include the Great Indian Hornbill and Wreathed Hornbill. thrushes such as Hodgson's Bushchat and Old World warblers such as the Bristled Grassbird. Monocled Cobra. and the Lesser Kestrel. Game birds include the Swamp Francolin. Russell's Viper. threatened Finn's Weavers. weaver birds such as the common Baya Weaver. and Black-bellied Tern.:p. Greater Spotted. and Indian White-rumped Vulture have survived. Kaziranga was once home to seven species of vultures. but the vulture population reached near extinction.07–13 Two of the largest snakes in the world. Bengal Florican. the Reticulated Python and Rock Python. Other snakes found here include the Indian Cobra. 42 species of fish are found in the area. . supposedly by feeding on animal carcasses containing the drug Diclofenac. the King Cobra. Grey-headed Fish Eagle. Pallas's Fish Eagle. White-tailed.

once ruled over the area. According to one legend. Srimanta Sankardeva. the sixteenth century Vaisnava saint-scholar. never to be seen again. as the word Kazi in the Karbi language means "goat". Fragments of monoliths associated with Karbi rule found scattered in the area seem to bear testimony to this assertion. he was particularly impressed by the taste of fish and on inquiry. he was told it came from Kaziranga. a girl named Ranga. Testimony to the long history of the name can be found in some records. Kajir. Kazi and Rangai. and it was believed that a woman named. and a youth named Kazi. Geography Kaziranga is located between latitudes 26°30' N and 26°45' N. and asked them to dig a big pond in the region so that their name would live on. that the name. while the Ahom king Pratap Singha was passing by the region during the seventeenth century. however. which state that once. which means "the village of Kajir" (kajiror gaon). and Rangai means "red". Some historians believe. Kaziranga. was derived from the Karbi word Kajir-a-rang. once blessed a childless couple. from Karbi Anglong. The park is approximately 40 km (25 mi) in length from east to west. Kaziranga also could mean the "Land of red goats (Deer)". This match was not acceptable to their families and the couple disappeared into the forest. and the forest was named after them. with . and longitudes 93°08' E to 93°36' E within two districts in the Indian state of Assam—the Kaliabor subdivision of Nagaon district and the Bokakhat subdivision of Golaghat district. According to another legend. and 13 km (8 mi) in breadth from north to south. Kajir is a common name for a girl child. Among the Karbis. Kaziranga covers an area of 378 km2 (146 sq mi).Etymology Although the etymology of the name Kaziranga is not certain. from a nearby village. there exist a number of possible explanations derived from local legends and records. fell in love.

these wetlands are among the most productive habitats around which to birdwatch. Rotting logs are favourite spots for turtle to sunbathe. Many artificial chapories have been built with the help of the Indian Army to ensure the safety of the animals. (which make up 5% of the surface area). and the dominant biomes of the region are Brahmaputra Valley semi-evergreen forests of the tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests biome and a frequently flooded variant of the Terai-Duar savanna and grasslands of the tropical and subtropical grasslands. Kaziranga is one of the largest tracts of protected land in the sub-Himalayan belt. Dafflong. which forms the northern and eastern boundaries. The park is located in the Indomalaya ecozone. as a corridor for safe movement of animals to Karbi Anglong Hills. roads from this particularly rich area lead to tall grass habitats and the sandy banks of the Brahmaputra. The Central (Kohora) Range: Mihi. Other notable rivers within the park are the Diphlu and Mora Dhansiri.06 Elevation ranges from 40 m (131 ft) to 80 m (262 ft). you could see elephants swimming across in herds. Eastern (Agartoli) Range: Driving along a small stream with a variety of semi evergreen trees forming a closed canopies along its banks. Bhaisamari are some of the particularly rich bheels here.approximately 51. which forms the southern boundary.14 km2 (20 sq mi) lost to erosion in recent years. The landscape consists of exposed sandbars. Kathpora. savannas. riverine flood-formed lakes known as. and elevated regions known as. Mihimukh is a particularly good wildlife area. Perhaps the most magnificent part of Kaziranga.05 Kaziranga has flat expanses of fertile. Rich in birdlife. A total addition of 429 km2 (166 sq mi) along the present boundary of the park has been made and designated with separate national park status to provide extended habitat for increasing the population of wildlife or. . The park area is circumscribed by the Brahmaputra River. chapories. and shrublands biome. beels. :p. alluvial soil formed by erosion and silt deposition by the Brahmaputra. or a young one enjoying a dust bath. :p. and the Mora Diphlu. and due to the presence of highly diverse and visible species. This is Bengal Florican country. Borbeel. which provide retreats and shelter for animals during floods. has been described as a "biodiversity hotspot".

. Burapahar and Amguri could give you a chance of spotting the Hoolock gibbon. Bimoli. Bimali and Haldibari and Dunga. Outside the park. Sometimes they rest up for the night at the edge of the forest near tea estates and a walk in the area before first light could be rewarding. Dafflong and Ramori. The birdwatching along this riverine tract is probably among the best available anywhere in the world.Western (Bagori) Range: This range has a patch of semi evergreen forest near Baguri. take a trip to Balukpung and raft down the river Jia Bharoli. capped langur or Giant Hornbill. For mild whitewater rafting. Borbeel. a walk along the NH7 from Kanchanjhuri. An overnight trip to Nameri National Park (and the orchidarium on the Arunachal Pradesh border). is highly recommended for a camping experience.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.