Kaziranga has become the first in the country to use satellite phones, which are generally used by the law-enforcing agencies.
About Kaziranga National Park:
- Kaziranga National Park is one of India’s oldest reserve areas. It is located in Golaghat and Nagaon, in the Karbi Anglong district of Assam in northeast India. The park is administered by the forest department of the Assam State Government.
- The sanctuary, which hosts two-thirds of the world’s great one-horned rhinoceroses, is a World Heritage Site.
- Kaziranga is home to the highest density of tigers among protected areas in the world and was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006 (now the highest tiger density is in Orang National Park, Assam).
- The park is home to large breeding populations of elephants, wild water buffalo, and swamp deer.
- It is also recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International for the conservation of avifaunal species.
- The park also has elephants, swamp deer, wild water buffalo, etc. It also has a wide range of flora.
- It also has 15 threatened species of fauna. It is also a breeding ground for many species of big cats like leopards and Bengal tigers.
- It also has many species of birds and is designated as an ‘Important Bird Area’ by Birdlife International.
- The park has about 2413 rhinos.
- In March 2020, Kaziranga National Park was selected as one among the 17 Iconic Tourist Sites of the country by the Indian Government.
- The National Highway 37 passes through the parking area.
- The Kaziranga National Park has 250 plus seasonal water bodies, besides the Diphlu River running through it.
Significance of floods in Kaziranga’s ecosystem
- The entire area of Kaziranga — formed by alluvial deposits from the Brahmaputra and its tributaries — is centred on the river.
- There is a consensus that floods are necessary for Kaziranga by virtue of it being riverine ecosystem.
- The regenerative nature of floods helps replenish Kaziranga’s water bodies and maintain its landscape, a mix of wetlands, grasslands and semi-evergreen deciduous forests.
- The floodwaters also function as a breeding ground for fish.
- The same fish are carried away by the receding waters into the Brahmaputra — in a way, the park replenishes the river’s stock of fish too.
- The waters also help get rid of unwanted plants such as water hyacinth which collect in huge masses in the landscape.
Kaziranga’s One-Horned Rhinoceros
The greater one-horned rhinoceros is the largest of the three Asian rhinos and, together with African white rhinos, is the largest of all rhino species.
- It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
- With at least half of the total population of rhinos, India’s Kaziranga National Park remains a critical reserve for this species.
- The greater one-horned rhino is identified by a single black horn about 8-25 inches long and a grey-brown hide with skin folds, which gives it an armour-plated appearance.
- They primarily graze, with a diet consisting almost entirely of grasses as well as leaves, branches of shrubs and trees, fruit, and aquatic plants.
Brahmaputra significant for Kaziranga
- Kaziranga National Park is a 117-year-old park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985.
- Every year, the Brahmaputra takes away portions of land from the Park.
- Resultantly, on paper the park is 1,030 sq km in area, but in reality it is 884 sq km.
- It also continues to shrink year after year.
- It affects mostly hog deer, swamp deer, wild boar and other few animals.
- These are those that fail to reach higher ground in time after floods.
- Despite the above, Brahmaputra contributes more to, than harms, the wildlife in the park.
- It gives more to the habitat of the world’s largest population of one-horned rhinos.
- The unique biodiversity of Kaziranga is rejuvenated by a dynamic system that connects the Brahmaputra with its alluvial floodplains.
- But this year, the park has not been inundated, causing concerns for the park authorities.
Other National Parks in Assam are:
- Manas National Park,
- Dibru-Saikhowa National Park,
- Nameri National Park,
- Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park.
- Dehing Patkai National Park.
- Raimona National Park.
Source: The Hindu