Dudhwa Tiger Reserve

The Dudhwa Tiger Reserve of Uttar Pradesh includes the Dudhwa National Park, and two nearby Sanctuaries, viz. Kishanpur and Katerniaghat, besides forest areas of North Kheri, South Kheri and Shahjahanpur forest divisions in its buffer. Dudhwa Tiger Reserve represents the part of the Terai ecosystem in the foothills of the Himalayas.

This article will discuss Dudhwa Tiger Reserve in the context of the IAS Exam.

The candidates can go through the relevant topics useful for their upcoming exams from the links provided below:

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About Dudhwa Tiger Reserve

The Dudhwa Tiger Reserve Park is a protected area located in Uttar Pradesh. It is spread across the districts of Bahraich and Lakhimpur Kheri. It shares a north-eastern border with our neighbouring country, Nepal, which the Mohana River covers to a large extent. The area is a floodplain with numerous south-easterly flowing rivers and streams.

Dudhwa Tiger Reserve is one of Asia’s largest tiger reserves, consisting of many animal species. It is one of the most significant forest reserves in Uttar Pradesh and one of the Royal Bengal Tiger’s last strongholds. There is a wide variety of scenery typical of tropical India within its borders. The park welcomes visitors from India and other countries who flock to Dudhwa because of its breathtaking beauty.

Many endangered species call the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve home. The Dudhwa River, which runs along the Reserve’s southern border, gives it its name. The park consists of over three hundred plant species and 59 animal species in its remote hills and valleys.

Various species of tigers are found in India, and their conservation ensures the balance in the food pyramid.

Status of Dudhwa National Park

  • Dudhwa National Park is located in the Terai belt in northern Uttar Pradesh. The area is covered with marshy grasslands.
  • The park was designated as a tiger reserve in 1987 and was placed under the ‘Project Tiger’ umbrella.

Project Tiger

‘Project Tiger’ was launched on April 1, 1973, following the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 and based on the suggestions provided by the task force committee. The committee was established in 1972 by the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, to ensure the following:

  1. To ensure that areas with rich flora, fauna and biological significance are protected and taken care of as a heritage site, to allow people to educate and enjoy themselves in this area at all times.
  2. To provide information on the status of forest cover in the Reserve and monitor it at regular intervals, which is critical for conservation and management.
  3. To make sure that tigers are protected and maintain their population for research, scientific, economic, and cultural values.

On the recommendation of the Tiger Conservation Authority, the State Government will declare an area a Tiger Reserve.

Read more about Project Tiger, from the linked article.

Flora and Fauna of Dudhwa National Park

  • Two main rivers, Mohana (in the North) and Suheli (in the South), act as essential water sources in DNP. Dudhwa has a tenuous connectivity to the Basanta and the Laljhari forests in Nepal.
  • Dudhwa is characterized by extensive tracts of Sal forests, interspersed with tall grasslands, large wetlands and seasonal streams.
  • The Park is famous for its small population of reintroduced greater one-horned rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis), which is restricted to a fence enclosure in the Suheli flood plains.
  • Some of the major carnivores inhabiting DNP include tiger, leopard, fishing cat, jungle cat, leopard cat, sloth bear, and large Indian civet.
  • The important herbivores of the reserve include elephant, chital, sambar, hog deer, barking deer, barasingha, nilgai and wild pig.
  • This park has a good population of barasingha, Bengal florican and hispid hare.

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Why Dudhwa National Park was declared a Tiger Reserve under Project Tiger?

  • Because Dudhwa National park is located near the border, it has long been a hotbed of human poaching. The illegal trade in indigenous wild animals and their skin posed a serious threat in this area as well.
  • Billy Arjan Singh’s single-handed efforts are responsible for the park’s current state. He was one of India’s most prominent conservationists, and in 1965, he proposed turning the land into a wildlife sanctuary.
  • Arjan Singh received a tiger cub named Tara from the Twycross Zoo in the United Kingdom in July 1976. He raised her by hand and later released her into the wild in Dudhwa National Park.
  • He approached then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1977, requesting that the forest be declared a National Park.
  • The park received 7 rhinos from Assam and Nepal in 1984-85 to help rehabilitate the park’s 150-year-old rhino population. Project Tiger designated the park as a Tiger Reserve in 1988.

Core

  • The Northern and North-Western boundaries of the Dudhwa National Park lie along the Indo-Nepal international border, while its Eastern and Southern borders are surrounded by agricultural land.
  • A railway line and PWD road pass through the National Park.
  • The Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary makes border with Nepal on its North Eastern side, and is bounded by agricultural lands of Bahraich and Kheri Districts on its Western and Southern sides.
  • The National Park area has seven human settlements.
  • The Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary portion of the core is devoid of human settlements, whereas some villages are present in Katerniaghat. Thus, the core area of the reserve is prone to biotic disturbances and requires ongoing vigil and protection, besides mitigation measures to prevent train and road hits of wild animals.

Buffer

The buffer area is subjected to ongoing forestry practices and has considerable biotic pressure. The co-occurrence agenda to benefit people and wildlife is essential here.

Corridor

  • The linkages between Dudhwa, Katerniaghat and Kishanpur are important owing to the movement of wild animals between the protected areas.
  • The Dudhwa-Katerniaghat linkage along the Mohana river is deforested and requires restoration.
  • The connectivity of Dudhwa with Laljhari is crucial for the movement of elephants and other wild animals from Nepal. The Kishanpur Sanctuary is linked with the Lagga-Bagga forest of Pilibhit and the Shuklaphanta Sanctuary of Nepal.
  • The Khata corridor along the Girwa river connects Katerniaghat to Berdia and is often used by elephants, tigers and rhinos.
  • The river channels in this landscape also serve as conduits for Gharial, Crocodile and Gangetic river Dolphin.
  • These corridor linkages require monitoring and protection.

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Frequently Asked Questions on about Dudhwa National Park

Which river flows through the Dudhwa National Park?

The Mohana River flows through the Dudwa National Park in Uttar Pradesh.

What is special about the Dudhwa National Park?

The tigers (58 in 2014) and swamp deer are the main attractions of Dudhwa National Park (population over 1,600). Billy Arjan Singh successfully reintroduced zoo-born tigers and leopards into the wilds of Dudhwa by hand-rearing them. The barasingha has a stronghold in Dudhwa National Park.

How many animals are there in the Dudhwa National Park?

Dudhwa is home to the langur, the rhesus monkey, porcupine, sloth bear, nilgai, turtle, otter, python, mugger, monitor lizard, and gharial. Over 450 types of birds can be found in Dudhwa Reserve, which is home to nearly 1300 species of birds across the Indian subcontinent.

How many tiger reserves are present in India?

There are over 50 tiger reserves spread in 18 states of India.

Why are tiger reserves required?

Tigers are top predators that live at the top of the food chain and keep the population of wild animals in control, ensuring a healthy balance between the herbivores, carnivores, and the vegetation they eat. As a result, the presence of tigers in the forest is a sign of the ecosystem’s health. Tiger reserves are essential to protect them.

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