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Uttarakhand National Parks, Tiger Reserves, Wildlife Sanctuaries & Ramsar Sites

Gangotri National Park

  • It is located in the upper catchment of Bhagirathi river.
  • The park area forms a continuity between Govind National Park and Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary. The Gaumukh glacier, the origin of the river Ganges is located inside the park.
  • Habitat: Coniferous forests, alpine meadows and glaciers.
  • Vegetation: Pine, deodar, fir, and rhododendrons.
  • Major Fauna: Snow leopard, Asian black bear, brown bear, musk deer, blue sheep, Himalayan tahr.

Govind Pashu Vihar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Named after Indian freedom fighter and politician, Govind Ballabh Pant, it is located in the Garhwal Himalayas.
  • The Snow Leopard Project started by the Government of India is being managed at this sanctuary.
  • Vegetation: Himalayan broadleaf forests, conifer forests, alpine shrub and meadows.
  • Flora: Pine, deodar, cedar, oak, maple, walnut, horse chestnut, hazel and rhododendron.
  • Major Fauna: Snow Leopard (VU), leopard, musk deer, Himalayan tahr, steppe eagle, bearded vulture.

Jim Corbett National Park, Corbett Tiger Reserve

  • It is the oldest National Park in India and is located in the Nainital.
  • In 1936, it was established to protect the Bengal tiger. It was named after Jim Corbett, a well-known hunter and naturalist. The park was the first National Park to come under the Project Tiger initiative.
  • Corbett Tiger Reserve’s core area is formed by Jim Corbett National Park, while the buffer contains Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • Ramganga, Sonanadi and Kosi are the major rivers flowing through the National Park and Ramganga Reservoir is located within the National Park.
  • Vegetation: Dense, moist deciduous forests, marshy depressions and grasslands.
  • Major Fauna: Bengal tigers, elephants, leopards, Himalayan black bears, Himalayan goral, rhesus macaqu.
  • Local crocodiles and gharials were saved from extinction by captive breeding programs that subsequently released crocodiles into the Ramganga river.
  • Threats: Invasive weeds, and poaching.
  • Corbett National Park is one of the thirteen protected areas covered by the Worldwide Fund For Nature under their Terai Arc Landscape Program.

Terai Arc Landscape Program

  • The Terai Arc Landscape (TAL) is an 810 km stretch between the river Yamuna in the west and the river Bhagmati in the east. It comprises of the Shivalik hills, the adjoining bhabhar areas and the Terai flood plains.
  • TAL aims to protect three terrestrial flagship species, Tiger, Asian elephant and great one-horned rhinoceros, by restoring forest corridors by linking 13 protected areas to enable wildlife migration.
  • TAL spread across the states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, and the low-lying hills of Nepal.
  • TAL consists of Corbett Tiger Reserve, Rajaji National Park, Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Valmiki Tiger Reserve and Nepal’s Bardia Wildlife Sanctuary, Chitwan National Park, and Sukhla Phanta Wildlife Sanctuary. In total, the landscape has 13 Protected Areas, nine are in India and four in Nepal.

Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, National Park

  • It is India’s second Biosphere Reserve and it is under UNESCO’s Man & Biosphere Programme. It’s core area is formed by Nanda Devi National Park and Valley of Flowers National Park.
  • The Nanda Devi National Park is situated around the peak of Nanda Devi (7816 m).It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Within the National Park lies the Nanda Devi Sanctuary, a glacial basin surrounded by a ring of peaks.
  • Major Flora: Fir, birch, rhododendron and juniper.
  • Major Fauna: Himalayan musk deer, mainland serow, Himalayan tahr, Himalayan black bear.

Rajaji National Park, Tiger Reserve

  • It spreads over the Shivalik ranges and the Indo-Gangetic plains. The Ganga and Song Rivers flow through the park.
  • The National Park has been named after C. Rajagopalachari (second Governor-General of independent India).
  • The park is at the north-western limit of distribution for both elephants and tigers in India.
  • Major Fauna: Elephants, Bengal tiger, sloth bear, black bear, Indian langur, Indian porcupine.

Valley of Flowers National Park

  • It is a high altitude Himalayan valley in the transition zone between Zanskar and Great Himalayas.
  • It is known for its meadows of endemic alpine flowers.
  • Both the Valley of Flowers National Park and the Nanda Devi National Park forms the core area of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve.
  • Vegetation: Alpine vegetation.
  • Major Flora: Orchids, poppies, marigold, daisies, rhododendron and birch.
  • Major Fauna: Asiatic black bear, snow leopard, musk deer, brown bear, red fox, and bharal (blue sheep).

Q. Which one of the following National Parks lies completely in the Temperate alpine zone?

  1. Manas National Park
  2. Namdapha National Park
  3. Neora valley National Park
  4. Valley of flower National Park

Wildlife Sanctuaries of Uttarakhand

Askot Wildlife Sanctuary

  • It is located in Pithoragarh district. This sanctuary has been set up for conserving the musk deer (EN).

Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary

  • It has been set up for conserving the musk deer (EN). It stretches from Gaurikund to Kedarnath mountain.
  • Mandakini river flows through the Wildlife Sanctuary. It originates from the Chorabari Glacier near Kedarnath. It is fed by Vasukiganga River at Sonprayag.
  • Mandakini joins Alaknanda River at Rudraprayag. Alaknanda joins Bhagirathi River at Devaprayag to form the Ganges River.

Nandhaur Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve lies between Rajaji Tiger Reserve and Nandhaur Wildlife Sanctuary. Nandhaur Wildlife Sanctuary is a part of the Shivalik ER.

Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Sonanadi WLS is contiguous with the Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve.

Q. Which of the following are the most likely places to find the musk deer in its natural habitat?

  1. Askot Wildlife Sanctuary
  2. Gangotri National Park
  3. Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary
  4. Manas National Park

Select the correct answer using the code given below

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 3 and 4 only
  4. 1 and 4 only

Answer: Musk Deer’s natural habitat lies in the forests of the Middle Himalayas. a) 1 & 2 only

Others

  • Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary: Almora district.
  • Mussoorie Wildlife Sanctuary: Located close to Rajaji Tiger Reserve.

Ramsar Sites of Uttarakhand (1)

Asan Barrage (Asan CnR)

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