Orang National Park

The Orang National Park also known as Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park which is located on the north bank of the Brahmaputra River in the Darrang and Sonitpur districts of Assam, India, covers an area of 78.81 square kilometres (30.43 sq mi). It was established as a sanctuary in 1985 and declared a national park on 13 April 1999.The park has a rich flora and fauna, including great Indian one-horned rhinoceros, pygmy hog, elephants, wild buffalo and tigers. It is the only stronghold of rhinoceros on the north bank of the Brahmaputra river.

Orang National Park
IUCN category II (national park)
Greater one-horned rhinoceros
Greater one-horned rhinoceros in golden hour, at Orang Tiger Reserve, Assam, India.
Map showing the location of Orang National Park
Map showing the location of Orang National Park
LocationDarrang and Sonitpur district, Assam, India
Coordinates26°33′25″N 92°19′40″E / 26.5568148°N 92.3279016°ECoordinates: 26°33′25″N 92°19′40″E / 26.5568148°N 92.3279016°E
Area78.81 km2 (30.43 sq mi)
Established1985
Governing bodyGovernment of India, Government of Assam

History

The park has a chequered history of habitation. Up to 1900, it was inhabited by the local tribes. On account of an epidemic disease, the tribal population abandoned the area. However, in 1919 the British declared it as Orang Game Reserve vide notice No. 2276/R dated 31 May 1915. The game reserve came under the control of the wild life wing of the State Forest Department to meet the requirements of the Project Tiger. It was established as a wild life sanctuary in 1985, vide notification No. FRS 133/85/5 dated 20 September 1985. But in 1992, the park was renamed as Rajiv Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary but this action had to be reversed due to public pressure against the renaming. Finally, the sanctuary was declared as National Park in 1999 vide notification No. FRW/28/90/154 dated 13 April 1999.[1]

Geography

The Orang National Park, encompassing an area of 78.81 square kilometres (30.43 sq mi), lies on the north bank of the Brahmaputra river, delimited between 26°28′59″N 92°15′58″E / 26.483°N 92.266°E and 26°39′58″N 92°27′00″E / 26.666°N 92.45°E within the districts of Darrang and Sonitpur. Pachnoi river, Belsiri river and Dhansiri River border the park and join the Brahmaputra river. During the monsoon season, the park becomes a veritable flood plain with the many streams overlapping each other. These flood plains constitute twelve wetlands in the park, apart from the 26 man made water bodies.[2]

The park is thus formed of alluvial flood plains of the many rivers and is an integral part of the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot. The total area of the park has been categorized into: Eastern Himalayan Moist Deciduous Forest-15.85 square kilometres (6.12 sq mi); Eastern Seasonal Swamp Forest - 3.28 square kilometres (1.27 sq mi), Eastern Wet Alluvial Grassland- 8.33 square kilometres (3.22 sq mi), Savannah Grassland- 18.17 square kilometres (7.02 sq mi), Degraded Grassland- 10.36 square kilometres (4.00 sq mi), Water body- 6.13 square kilometres (2.37 sq mi), Moist Sandy area-2.66 square kilometres (1.03 sq mi) and Dry Sandy area -4.02 square kilometres (1.55 sq mi). It has a fairly flat terrain tending north to south with a gentle slope. The elevation in the park varies from 45 metres (148 ft) to 70 metres (230 ft). It is bounded on its south and east by islands and spill channels of the river. But the flat alluvial land is seen distinctly as two terraces; the lower terrace is of recent origin on the bank of the Brahmaputra river and the other is the upper terrace to the north, separated by a high bank running through the park. The whole park is encircled by inhabited villages thus subjecting it to biotic pressure. It has fox holes built by the villagers on its west.

Climate

The climate in the park comprises three seasons namely, summer, monsoon, and winter. The park is subject to subtropical monsoon climate with rainfall precipitation occurring mostly during the period from May to September. The average annual rainfall is 3,000 millimetres (120 in).[3]

Temperature records indicate that: During winter months of October to March it varies from 5–15 °C (41–59 °F) in the mornings to 20–25 °C (68–77 °F) in the afternoons, in April it varies from 12–25 °C (54–77 °F) in the morning Celsius to 25–30 °C (77–86 °F) in the afternoon; and in summer months of May and June, the variation is 20–28 °C (68–82 °F)in the morning to 30–32 °C (86–90 °F) in the afternoon.[3]

Humidity in the park varies from 66% to 95%.[2]

Fauna

Thiere in Indien (Dietrisch, de Bry)
A sketch of elephant, rhinoceros and pygmy hog (Porcula salvania) (an endangered species of small wild pig)

Orang park contains significant breeding populations of several mammalian species. Apart from the great Indian one-horned rhinoceros (68 at the last count), which is the dominant species of the national park, the other key species sharing the habitat are the royal Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris), Asiatic elephant, pygmy hog, hog deer and wild boar.[4][5] Some important species of the critically endangered and endangered category are the following.

The pygmy hog, a small wild pig, is critically endangered, C2a(ii) ver 3.1 as per IUCN listing, and is limited to about 75 animals in captivity, confined to a very few locations in and around north-western Assam, including the Orang National Park where it has been introduced.[6] Other mammals reported are the blind Gangetic dolphin, Indian pangolin, hog deer (Axis porcinus), rhesus macaque, Bengal porcupine, Indian fox, small Indian civet, otter, leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis), fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) and jungle cat (Felis chaus).[4][2][5]

The Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) population was estimated to comprise 19 individuals in 2000, based on pug marks.[2]

The great Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) population is estimated at 68 individuals, as per census carried out by the forest department in 2006.

Fishes

More than 50 species of fish have been recorded in the river and channels flowing through the park.

Avian fauna

BengalFlorican
Bengal florican, a threatened species conserved in the park

The park is home to a variety of migratory birds, water birds, predators, scavengers and game birds. 47 families of Anatidae, Accipitridae, Addenda and Ardeiae are found in the park with maximum number of species. 222 species of birds have so far been recorded, some of which are: spot-billed pelican (Pelicanus philippensis), great white pelican, black-necked stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus), greater adjutant stork (Leptoptilos dubius), lesser adjutant stork (Leptoptilos javanicus), ruddy shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea), gadwall (Anas strepera), brahminy duck, mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), pintail (Anas acuta), hornbills, Pallas's fish eagle (Haliaeetus leucoryphus), king fisher and woodpecker, in addition to forest and grassland birds. But Bengal florican (Houbaropsis bengalensis), which is in the threatened list of IUCN is one of the flagship species in the park with a population 30-40 (recorded second highest concentration as per Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS)) and is in the threatened list of IUCN.[7][4][5][8] Migratory birds as far as from America such as the milky American white pelicans have also been reported in the park.

Reptiles

Among reptiles, seven species of turtle and tortoise are found, out of which turtle varieties such as Lissemys punctata, Kachuga tecta are common. Among snakes, pythons and cobras are recorded here. Indian rock python, black krait, king cobra, cobra, monitor lizard are the reptiles found here.[4][5]

Flora

The park has rich vegetation of forests, natural forest, non-aquatic grass/plants. The forest species found are Bombax ceiba, Dalbergia sissoo, Sterculia villosa, Trewia nudiflora, Zizyphus jujuba and Litsaea polyantha. Among the non aquatic grassland species the prominent are Phragmites karka, Arundo donax, Imperata cylindrica and Saccharum spp. The aquatic grass/plants species found are: Andropogon spp., Ipomoea reptans, Enhydra fluctuans, Nymphaea spp. and Water hyacinth (Eichornia spp).[3][7][4]

Threats and conservation

RhinoHuntBabur
Hunting, an ancient sport - a painting of rhinoceros hunting in Babarnama

From 1991, there was a serious threat to the survival of the park and its wild animals due to intense anthropogenic pressure (illegal occupation by immigrants from neighboring country) and by insurgency. The threats were identified as due to poaching, inadequate manpower for patrolling and security, wide river channels, inadequate infrastructure facilities and hardly any community awareness and participation in conservation. Poaching for wild animals became very serious, particularly of the great Indian rhinoceros whose population reduced to 48 vis-à-vis 97 rhinoceros in 1991. By undertaking anti poaching measures, its number had increased to 68 in 2006-07 but poaching and killing of rhinos are still reported. To check this continued poaching, a "Coordination Committee" with top officials of Darrang, Sonitpur and the Marigaon districts, including officials of the Forest Department of Assam has been set up. Under an initiative by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), the Orang National Park was identified for conservation to evolve policies and programmes to protect the Indian rhinos and to assist in the development of the park. WWF India, the Government of Assam and the International Rhino Foundation (IRF), with support from Zoo Basel, (Switzerland) and the IRV 2020, have undertaken this operation.[7][9][10][11] WWF and Government of India, under the project titled "Rhino Vision India (RVI)", have also plans to enhance the number of rhinoceros in the park to 300 by 2020, in addition to increasing the number of tigers.[9]

Since royal Bengal tigers are also under serious threat in the park, a conservation programme sponsored by WAZA (World Association of Zoos and Aquariums) institutions and Busch Gardens has been launched. It is a closely managed tiger program called the Species Survival Plan (SSP), with the objective to improve the genetic diversity of managed animal populations. Under this programme, the project titled "Ecological Monitoring of Wild Tigers in Orang National Park, Assam, India" has been launched, in association with AARANYAK, a non-governmental organization in India. With this funding, camera traps and geo-spatial technology are used by local researchers to monitor tiger density in the park. Community participation to help manage, mitigate and prevent conflict between humans and tigers is also envisaged.[12]

Visitor information

The park is well connected by road, rail and air links with nearby towns in Assam. The nearest town is Tezpur at a distance of 32 kilometres (20 mi) from the park. Guwahati is about 140 kilometres (87 mi) from the park.[4][5]

It is 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) off the National Highway 52 near Orang town (Dhansirimukh), which is the nearest village that is a further 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) away. Dhansirimukh is 127 kilometres (79 mi) away from Guwahati.[3][5]

The nearest railhead is Salonibari (41 kilometres (25 mi)) & Rangapara. Both Tezpur and Guwahati are connected very well by the rail network of India.[4]

The nearest airport is at Salonibari, 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from Tezpur (80 km from the park) in Sonitpur district around 140 kilometres (87 mi)from Guwahati.[4]

October to April is the best season to visit the park. Visiting is restricted to 7:30-9:30 am and 2:00-3:00 pm, the park gate remains closed in between. However, advance authorization of the Divisional Forest Officer, Mangaldoi is essential to visit the park.[13]

Gallery

Kazi rhino edit

Kaziranga rhinoceros also found in Orang National park

Sa-indianrhino

Rhino head

References

  1. ^ "Flap over renaming Orang". Indian jungles.com. 22 August 2005. Archived from the original on 12 March 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d Ahmed, M. F. "Ecological Monitoring of Tigers in Orang National Park Assam, India" (PDF). Conservation Fund and Aaranyak. Retrieved 8 November 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d "Orang National Park". Archived from the original on 25 January 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "Orang National Park". Retrieved 8 November 2009.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park". Department of Environment & Forests Government of Assam. Archived from the original on 6 December 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  6. ^ Narayan, G.; Deka, P.; Oliver, W. (2008). "Porcula salvania". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2008: e.T21172A9254675. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2008.RLTS.T21172A9254675.en.
  7. ^ a b c "Spatial modeling and preparation of decision support system for conservation of biological diversity in Orang National Park, Assam, India" (pdf). Retrieved 8 November 2009.
  8. ^ "Best of wildlife, Assam". Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  9. ^ a b "Poachers posing threat to Orang National Park". International Rhino Foundation. 13 September 2009. Archived from the original on 19 December 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  10. ^ "Rhinos make healthy comeback at Orang National Park". Northeast Watch. Archived from the original on 23 August 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  11. ^ "Indian Rhino Vision 2020". The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  12. ^ "Animals:Tigers". Ecological Monitoring of Wild Tigers in Orang National Park, Assam, India. Seaworld.org. Retrieved 8 November 2009.
  13. ^ "Tezpur". Orang Wildlife Sanctuary. Archived from the original on 30 November 2009. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
Brahmaputra Valley semi-evergreen forests

The Brahmaputra Valley semi-evergreen forests is a tropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregion of Northeastern India, southern Bhutan and northern Myanmar.

Darrang district

Darrang (Pron: ˌdəˈræŋ or dæˈræŋ) is an administrative district in the state of Assam in India. The district headquarters are located at Mangaldoi. The district occupies an area of 1585 km2.

Dispur

Dispur ( pronunciation ) is the capital of the Indian state of Assam.

Dispur, a locality of Guwahati, became the capital of Assam in 1973. This was after Shillong, the erstwhile capital, became the capital of the state of Meghalaya that was carved out of Assam.

Dispur is the seat of Government of Assam. The Assam Secretariat building is located in Dispur along with the Assam Assembly House, MLA Hostels and the State Emergency Operations Centre. The Assam Trunk road and the G S road passes through Dispur. To the south of Dispur is the theologically important site of Basistha Ashram and the Shankardev Kalakshetra, a cultural centre created in the 1990s. Next to Dispur is the ancient township of Jatia.

Though it is well known as the capital of Assam, Dispur is also known for the Guwahati Tea Auction Centre. A large variety of tea is auctioned here. The centre has seen the largest volume of CTC tea auction in the world.

Gurudongmar Lake

Gurudongmar Lake is one of the highest lakes in the world and in India, located at an altitude of 17,800 ft (5,430 m), in the Indian state of Sikkim. It is considered sacred by Buddhists, Sikhs and Hindus. The lake is named after Guru Padmasambhava—also known as Guru Rinpoche—founder of Tibetan Buddhism, who visited in the 8th century.

l1995">Dalvindar Singh Grewal (January 1995). Guru Nanak's travel to Himalayan and East Asian Region: a new light. National Book Shop. pp. 67–68. ISBN 978-81-7116-177-5.

Itanagar

Itanagar (;pronunciation ) is the capital of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.

The seat of Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly, the seat of government of Arunachal Pradesh and the seat of Gauhati High Court permanent bench at Naharlagun are all in Itanagar.

Kaloula assamensis

Kaloula assamensis (Assamese balloon frog or Assam narrow-mouth toad) is a species of narrow-mouthed frogs found in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, and West Bengal in northeastern India.

Kamlang Wildlife Sanctuary

The Kamlang Wildlife Sanctuary, established in 1989, is rich in flora and fauna. It is situated in the Lohit District of the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. The park is named after the Kamlang River which flows through it. The Mishmi, Digaru, and Mizo tribal people who reside around the periphery of the sanctuary claim their descent from the King Rukmo of the epic Mahabharata. They believe in a myth of an invisible god known as Suto Phenkhenynon jamalu. An important body of water in the sanctuary is the Glow Lake. Located in tropical and sub-tropical climatic zones, the sanctuary is the habitat of the four big cat species of India: tiger, leopard, clouded leopard and snow leopard.

Kaziranga National Park

Kaziranga National Park (pronounced Assamese pronunciation: [kaziɹɔŋa ɹast(ɹ)iɔ uɪddan]) is a national park in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of the state of Assam, India. The sanctuary, which hosts two-thirds of the world's great one-horned rhinoceroses, is a World Heritage Site. According to the census held in March 2018 which was jointly conducted by the Forest Department of the Government of Assam and some recognized wildlife NGOs, the rhino population in Kaziranga National Park is 2,413. It comprises 1,641 adult rhinos (642 males, 793 females, 206 unsexed); 387 sub-adults (116 males, 149 females, 122 unsexed); and 385 calves. In 2015, the rhino population stood at 2401. 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. Kaziranga is recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International for conservation of avifaunal species. When compared with other protected areas in India, Kaziranga has achieved notable success in wildlife conservation. Located on the edge of the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot, the park combines high species diversity and visibility.

Kaziranga is a vast expanse of tall elephant grass, marshland, and dense tropical moist broadleaf forests, criss-crossed by four major rivers, including the Brahmaputra, and the park includes numerous small bodies of water. Kaziranga has been the theme of several books, songs, and documentaries. The park celebrated its centennial in 1998 after its establishment in 1905 as a reserve forest.

Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary

Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary (Assamese: লাওখোৱা অভয়াৰণ্য) is protected area located in the state of Assam in India. This wildlife sanctuary covers 70.13 km2, on the south bank of the Brahmaputra River in Nagaon district, It is situated 40 km downstream of the Kaziranga National Park and 30 km northwest of the Orang National Park on the other side of the river Brahmaputra.

It is a part of the Laokhowa-Burachapori eco-system. The sanctuary is an ideal habitat for Indian rhinoceros and Asiatic water buffaloes. Other animals found here are the royal Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, Indian boar, civet, leopard cat, hog deer, etc.

List of national parks of India

National parks in India are IUCN category II protected areas. India's first national park was established in 1936 as Hailey National Park, now known as Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand. By 1970, India only had five national parks. In 1972, India enacted the Wildlife Protection Act and Project Tiger to safeguard the habitats of conservation reliant species.

Further federal legislation strengthening protection for wildlife was introduced in the 1980s. As of July 2018, there were 110 national parks encompassing an area of 40,501 km2 (15,638 sq mi), under protected areas of India category II comprising 1.23% of India's total surface area.

Polypedates taeniatus

Polypedates taeniatus is a species of frog in the family Rhacophoridae. It is found in the Bengal region of Bangladesh and India as well as in Assam and southern Nepal. It is also known as the Bengal whipping frog, Bengal whipping tree frog, and Terai tree frog.The species' natural habitats are tropical forests and shrublands at elevations to 500 m (1,600 ft) above sea level. It is an arboreal species. The eggs are deposited in branches overhanging small pools. Upon hatching, the tadpoles drop into the pools. It is generally a common species, but habitat loss through deforestation is a threat to it. It is reported from the Orang National Park in India.

Purvanchal Range

The Purvanchal Mountains, or Eastern Mountains, are a sub-mountain range of the Himalayas in northeast India. It lies south of the Brahmaputra valley.

Rhino poaching in Assam

Rhino poaching in Assam is one of the major environmental issues in India which continues in the region of Kaziranga National Park, Manas National Park and some other grasslands of Assam. The one horn rhino or Indian rhino is surviving in the north-east corner of India, Assam. Kaziranga National Park, Pobitora in Marigaon district and Orang National Park in Darrang district of Assam account almost 95% of the total wild One horned rhino in the world. These rhinos are inhabited most of the floodplain of the Indogangetic and Brahmaputra riverine tracts and the neighboring foothills.

Rumtek Monastery

Rumtek Monastery (Tibetan: རུམ་ཐེག་དགོན་པ་, Wylie: rum theg dgon pa), also called the Dharmachakra Centre, is a gompa located in the Indian state of Sikkim near the capital Gangtok. It is a focal point for the sectarian tensions within the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism that characterize the Karmapa controversy.

Sonitpur district

Sonitpur {Pron: ˌsə(ʊ)nɪtˈpʊə or ˌʃə(ʊ)nɪtˈpʊə} is an administrative district in the state of Assam in India. It stands among the largest districts of Assam. In terms of area Sonitpur is the second largest district of Assam after Karbi Anglong district. It is spread over an area of 5324 km2 on the northern banks of Brahmaputra, the lifeline of Assam. The population of Sonitpur district is 1,924,110 as per 2011 Census. It is the third most populous district of Assam (out of 27), after Nagaon and Dhubri. The demography of Sonitpur district is not entirely homogenous as several linguistic, religious and ethnic communities and groups live in Sonitpur district. It is also home to several wildlife sanctuaries, and national parks. The district headquarters are located at Tezpur. Distance from State Capital (Dispur) is 198 km (via Nagaon) and 181 km (via Mangaldoi).

Tourism in Assam

Roughly shaped like a bird with wings stretching along the length of the Brahmaputra river, Assam is the central state in the North-East Region of India and serves as the gateway to the rest of the Seven Sister States. The land of red river and blue hills, Assam comprises three main geographical areas: the Brahmaputra Valley which constitutes the expansive wingspan, the Barak Valley extending like a tail, and the intervening Karbi Plateau and North Cachar Hills. Assam shares its border with Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram and West Bengal; and there are National Highways leading to their capital cities. It also shares international borders with Bhutan and Bangladesh. In ancient times Assam was known as Pragjyotisha or Pragjyotishpura, and Kamarupa.

6th International Tourism Mart 2017 began in Guwahati on 5 December 2017.

Tourism in North East India

Northeast India consists of the eight states Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. This article covers tourist attractions in the Northeast region of India.

National parks
Wildlife Sanctuaries
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