Dudhwa Tiger Reserve comprises the Dudhwa National Park, Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, and Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary. It spreads across 1,284.3 km2. The tiger reserve includes fragments of three large forests. The Mohana River largely defines its boundary with Nepal in the northeast. The matrix of this protected area is dominated by agriculture.
Dudhwa Reserve is the only wildlife habitat in Uttar Pradesh where rhinos and tigers coexist. Dudhwa Tiger Reserve is an IUCN Category II Park (national park). According to the counting done in 2021, there are 107 tigers. It is the only remaining natural habitat of the Royal Bengal Tiger in Uttar Pradesh.
The Dudhwa Reserve is home to 38 mammal species, 16 reptile species, and many bird species. The protected area ranks among the finest forests in India.
History of Dudhwa Tiger Reserve
Dudhwa Tiger Reserve was formed in 1987 when the Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary and the Dudhwa National Park were brought under Project Tiger. The Government of India launched this project in 1973 to conserve the country's tiger population. The Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary came under its fold in 2000.
After independence, the Dudhwa jungle faced tremendous encroachment. So much so that it was turned into agricultural land. The area also became a hotbed for hunting and poaching due to its proximity to the border. As a tourist destination, Nepal has a flourishing market for wildlife products.
Billy Arjun Singh, an Indian conservationist, requested the erstwhile prime minister, Indira Gandhi, in 1977 to declare the area as a wildlife sanctuary. He reintroduced tigers and leopards to the Dudhwa National Park. He even acquired a tiger cub, Tara, from the UK's Twycross Zoo and reintroduced her to the park with Indira Gandhi's permission. His efforts largely shaped the Dudhwa National Park.
Flora and Fauna of Dudhwa Tiger Reserve
- Apart from tigers, the Dudhwa Reserve is a habitat for several other animals, such as leopards, elephants, bears, rhinoceros, barasinghas, swamp deer, spotted deer, sloth bear, and jackals, among others.
- Among the migratory and resident birds of Dudhwa Reserve are the spot-billed pelican, Sarus Crane, Red jungle Fowl, Large cormorant, India Long-billed Vulture, and Brown Hawk owl.
- The reptile population of Dudhwa Reserve includes python, king cobra, monitor lizard, Sandboa, and ghariyal.
- The major flora of these forests comprises sal, shisham, bahera, asna, jamun, sehore, and gular.
- Some of the trees in Dudhwa Reserve are over 150 years old and are more than 70 feet tall.
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Essential Facts About Dudhwa Tiger Reserve
- The Dudhwa Tiger Reserve is divided into core, buffer, and corridor areas.
- The Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary and the Dudhwa National Park form its core area. They remain separated by 15 km of agricultural land.
- The linkages between the Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary, Dudhwa National Park, and Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary form the corridor.
- The buffer includes the forests of South Kheri, North Kheri, and Shahjahanpur.
- Dudhwa Tiger Reserve represents the Terai ecosystem.
- Seven rhinos were relocated to this tiger reserve in 1984-85 from Assam and Nepal.
- Women weavers from Dudhwa Reserve derive profit by using technology for their looms.
- Around half of the global population of barasinghas are present in Dudhwa National Park.
- Out of the nearly 1350 bird species found in India, more than 450 species can be spotted in this tiger reserve.
FAQs on Dudhwa Tiger Reserve
Q.1. What is the significance of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve?
Dudhwa Tiger Reserve conserves tigers, an endangered species. Tigers help to maintain the diversity and balance of an ecosystem.
Q.2. What are the main attractions of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve?
The main attractions of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve are tigers, swamp deer, and rhinos.
Q.3. How many tiger reserves are there in India?
Dudhwa Tiger Reserve is one of the 49 tiger reserves in India.
Q.4. Which animal species are seen in Dudhwa Tiger Reserve?
Dudhwa Tiger Reserve has tigers, leopards, elephants, Asiatic black bear, rhinoceros, barasinghas, swamp deer, spotted deer, sloth bear, and jackals.
Q.5. Which rare wildlife species can be seen in Dudhwa Tiger Reserve?
Several rare and endangered species of animals and birds can be spotted in Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, such as the Hispid hare and the white-rumped vulture.