Sariska Tiger Reserve is located in the Aravalli Hills in Rajasthan. Earlier, it was a hunting reserve of the Maharaja of Alwar. It is the first tiger reserve to have successfully relocated Royal Bengal tigers in India.
This topic is important for the UPSC Preliminary and Main examinations. UPSC aspirants must go through the list of important National Parks in India, wildlife sanctuaries, elephant reserves etc.
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Why is the Sariska Tiger Reserve in the news?
A massive fire broke out in March 2002, at Sariska Tiger Reserve at Alwar in Rajasthan. The Indian Air Force helicopters were deployed to douse the fire in affected areas. The fire was caused because of dry leaves, grass and plants.
There have been several forest fires in March in various places including Similipal Wildlife Sanctuary in Mayurbhanj district of Odisha (March 29, 2022), Perimalmalai Peak near Kodaikanal hills in Tamil Nadu’s Dindigul district (March 11, 2022) etc.
According to the Forest Survey of India, a total of 381 forest fires have been reported in India by March 30, 2022. Madhya Pradesh has recorded the highest number of forest fires at 133. The annual Frontiers Report released on February 17, 2022, by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), warned that “wildfires — a natural phenomenon — have become more dangerous and now affect larger areas.”
Here are some of the important facts about Sariska Tiger Reserve that UPSC aspirants must go through while preparing for the Civil Services examination.
- It covers an area of 800 sq km in total, with a core area of approximately 500 sq km.
- Sariska was declared a sanctuary in 1955, and it became a National Park in 1979.
- It has a good diversity of wild animals like nilgai, tigers, leopard, hyena, rhesus macaque, caracal, jungle cat, ratel, sambar deer, spotted deer, langur, four-horned antelope, wild pig, Indian civet, Rufous-tailed hare, common mongoose, ruddy mongoose, palm civet, porcupine, pangolin etc.
- The reserve comprises several varieties of bird species including migrants like peafowl, grey francolin, white-rumped vulture, painted spurfowl, aravalli red spurfowl, Indian cuckoo, Indian pitta, great horned owl, common sand grouse, golden-backed woodpeckers, crested serpent eagles, harbours quail etc.
- It has scrub thorn arid forests, grasses, rocky landscape, hilly cliffs and semi-deciduous wood. Trees like Tendu, Dhok and Khair are also found in its forests.
- Important tourist spots inside the Sariska National Park include Siliserh Lake, which is home to many crocodiles, ruins of Ajabgarh Bhangarh Fort, Kankwari Fort, Nilkanth Temple, Bharthari Temple etc.