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English Release 30-January 2015
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Ministry of Environment and Forests05-May, 2009 16:15 IST
Tiger Reserves of India - Nameri Tiger Reserve- Last House of White Winged Wood Duck
Backgrounder

Nestled at the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas in the Sonitpur District of Assam,Nameri Tiger reserve is one of the richest and most threatened reservoirs of plant and animal life in the world. The area is drained by the Jia Bhoroli and its tributaries namely the Diji, Dinai, Doigurung, Nameri, Dikorai, Khari etc. The Park covers an area of 200 sq. km. and is augmented by parts of the Balipara Reserve Forests Area, which acts as a 64 sq. km. buffer on the opposite side of the Jia Bhoroli and 80 sq. kms. of the Naduar Reserve Forests. The terrain is uneven with altitudes ranging from 80 meters along the river banks to 225 meters in the central and northern parts.

The eco-region is part of the North Bank Landscape and is an Eastern Himalayan Mega Biodiversity Hotspot. It is one of the richest areas in the world in terms of Plant Functional Type and Plant Functional Complexity. The area is influenced by the tropical monsoons, which cause rainfall to be seasonal and heavy with an average 3,400 mm of rain falling between May and September. Jia Bhoroli river of Assam is famous for the Mahseer angling, since the time of British. This perennial river enters Assam in the plains, near Bhalukpung after swirling through the rugged mountains of Arunachal Pradesh. It is home of the Golden Mahseer- The Tiger of Indian rivers and a catch for any angler. H.S. Thomas wrote in his book, "Pound to Pound, the Mahseer is superior in sporting qualities to the lordly Salmon of my Native land.”

Forests Types and Composition

• Assam Valley Tropical Evergreen Forests –IR/C 2b Mesua Sub type.

• Assam Alluvial Plains semi Evergreen Forests -2B/C I.A. Phoebe- Anoora Association

• Sub Himalayan light Alluvial Semi- evergreen forests 2B/I.S.I.. Mekahi Sub Type.

• Eastern Alluvial Secondary Semi Evergreen Forests -2B/2.S.

• Cane Brakes-2B/E.I.

• Wet Bamboo Brakes 2B/K.2.

• Northern Secondary Moist Mixed, Deciduous Forests -3C/2.S.I.

• Low Alluvial Savanna Wood Land-3/ I.S.I.

• Eastern Hollock Forests-3/I.S.2b.

• 4.D/SSI Eastern Seasonal Swamp Forests.

• Eastern Dillenia Swamp Forests- 4D/ SS Dillenia Altingia Association.

• Eastern Wet Alluvial Grass land - 4.D/ 2.5.2.

The park is the second Tiger Reserve of Assam. Nameri was declared a reserve forest on 17th October,1978. It was set up as a Nameri Sanctuary on 18th September, 1985 with an area of 137 sq km which was actually a part of Naduar Forest Reserve. Later another 75 sq km was added to it making an area of 212 sq km and on 15th November, 1998 it was officially established as a National Park having 200 sq.km area. .Number of tigers as per the latest count of 2002 is 26 in this reserve.

A few jheels during the rainy seasons also dot the area. The Jia – Bhoroli river and the tributaries display devilish look when the incessant downpour in the upper reaches during the rainy season make it swell. The in-accessibility and continuity with neighbouring forest areas has helped the wildlife of Nameri to flourish. There is a good prey –base in the form of –Sambar, Barking deer, Hog Deer, Wild Boar and gaur. About 3000 domestic cattle also form part of this prey base for Tigers and Leopards.

Flora

The habitat of Nameri is made up of tropical evergreen, Semi-evergreen, moist deciduous forests with cane and bamboo brakes and narrow strips of open grassland along rivers. Grassland comprise of less than 10% of the total area of the park.This semi-evergreen and moist mixed deciduous forests has over 600 species. Some notable species are Gamari, Titachopa, Amari, Bogipoma, Ajar, Urium poma, Bhelou, Agaru, Rudraksha, Bonjolokia, Hatipolia akhakan, ahollock, Nahor, Siya Nahar, Simul, Bonsum etc. Orchoids include Dendrobium, Cymbidium, Ladies Sleeper etc. Tree Fern, Lianas, creepers are some of the specialties of this forests.

Key plant species include: Albizzia lucida, Albizzia procera, Amoora wallichii, Artocarpus chaplasha, Baccaurea sapida, Bischofia javanica, Bombax ceiba, Canarium strictum, Castanopsis indica, Cordia dichotoma, Cinnamomum cecicodaphnea, Dendrocalamus hamiltonii, Dillenia indica, Duabanga grandiflora, Duabanga sonneratoides, Dysoxylum procerum, Endospermum chinense, Lagerstroemia flos-reginae, Litsea sebifera, Mesua ferrea, Morus roxburghii, Premna bengalensis, Pseudostachyum polymorphum, Pterospermum acerifolium, Sapium baccatum, Shorea assamica, Sterculia hamiltonii, Syzygium cumini, Terminalia citrina, Terminalia myriocarpa, Trewia nudiflora and Vatica lanceaefolia.

Fauna

Nameri is also extremely rich in faunal resources. Over 30 species of mammals have been recorded here and the park is an important conservation area for tigers and elephants.Others animals are Leopard, Black Panther, Clouded Leopard, Lesse Cats, Sloth Bear, Himalayan Black Bear, Indian Bison, Dhol, Sambar, Barking Deer, Dog Deer, Fox, Hispid Hare, Indian Hare, Capped Langur, Slow Loris, Assamese Macaque, Rhesus Macaque, Himalayan yellow Throated Martin, Malayan giant Squirrel, Flying Squirrel, Wild Pig etc.

Bird life is varied and abundant with nearly 315 species finding their way into an ever-expanding checklist. Nameri's most important avian residents are the White-winged Ducks. Nameri National Park is also called the last house of White winged Wood Duck. This is the most prized and most significant finding. A sizeable population is known to affect the forest pools here and they form an important core of the Indian population of the remaining 150 odd pairs of this highly endangered species.

Other key birds include White-cheeked Partridge, Great, Wreathed and Rufous-necked Hornbills, Ruddy, Blue-eared, and Oriental Dwarf Kingfishers, Oriental Hobby, Amur Falcon, Jerdon's and Black Baza, Pallas's, Grey-headed and Lesser-headed Fish Eagles, Silver-backed Needletail, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Blue-naped Pitta, Slender-billed Oriole, Hill Blue Flycatcher, White-crowned Forktail, Sultan Tit, Large Whistling Teal, Black-bellied Oriole, Hill-blue flycatcher, White-crowned forktail, Sultan Tit, Black bellied Tern, Jerdon's Babbler, Rufous-backed Sibia, Yellow-bellied Flower pecker, Red-throated Pipit, Long-billed Plover, Black Stork King Vulture, Long-billed Ring Plover, Khallej Pheasant, Hill Myna , Pin tailed green Pigeon, Himalayan pied Kingfisher, Three-toed kingfisher, Fairly Blue Bird, Common Mergernser, etc.

The other reason Nameri is famous for, is the herds of elephants. The park have a high density of elephant population. It was estimated in 1997 at 225.

This is an abode of Reptiles. King cobra, cobra, Pit Viper, Russel Viper, Banded Krait, Python, Rat Snake, Assam Roof Turtle, Malayan Box Turtle, Keeled Box turtle, Asian Leaf Turtle, Narrow Headed soft Shelled Turtle, Indian soft Shelled Turtle also live here.

Golden Mahseer, Shaort gilled Mahseer, Silghoria. Are few fishes found in waters of the Park.

**************


KP
(Release ID :48616)

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