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

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

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

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

666) and Eastern Swamp Deer (468). and game birds. Nine of the 14 primate species found in India occur in the park. and Asian Openbill stork migrate from Central Asia to the park during . as per the 2000 census. Kaziranga has been identified by Birdlife International as an Important Bird Area. and Leopard Cats. and Particolored flying squirrels.940). Fishing Cat. predators. Other felids include the Jungle Cat. Capped. as well as the only ape found in India. Birds such as the Lesser White-fronted Goose. Greater Adjutant. Chinese Pangolin. Golden Jackal. and hog deer. Prominent among them are the Assamese Macaque. Wild Asiatic Water Buffalo (1. water birds. Large Indian Civet. Small herbivores include the Indian Muntjac. Kaziranga has the largest population of the Wild water buffalo anywhere accounting for about 57% of the world population. Small Indian Civets. scavengers. Sloth Bear. Indian Gray Mongoose. Kaziranga is one of the few wild breeding areas outside Africa for multiple species of large cats. Indian Pangolins. The park has the distinction of being home to the world's largest population of the Great Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros (1. Black-necked Stork. Bengal Fox.855). such as Indian Tigers and Leopards. the Hoolock Gibbon. Small Indian Mongooses. Chinese Ferret Badgers. with a population of 86. wild boar. Ferruginous Duck. It is home to a variety of migratory birds. Significant populations of large herbivores include elephants (1.Fauna Kaziranga contains significant breeding populations of 35 mammalian species. Golden Langur. of which 15 are threatened as per the IUCN Red List. Hog Badger. Kaziranga's rivers are also home to the endangered Ganges Dolphin. Baer's Pochard duck and Lesser Adjutant. Kaziranga was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006 and has the highest density of tigers in the world (one per five km²). Small mammals include the rare Hispid Hare. gaur (30) and sambar (58).

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

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

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

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

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