The Protected Areas Network in Assam
The Protected Area Network in Assam occupies 3925-sq. km. area and constitute about 5 % of the State’s geographical area. The PAN includes 5 National Parks and 17 Wildlife sanctuaries as well as 3 proposed Wildlife Sanctuaries, 4 Tiger Reserves, 5 Elephant Reserves, 2 Biosphere Reserves and 2 World Natural Heritage Sites and they play very important role in in-situ conservation of biodiversity. Kaziranga National Park needs no introduction and is virtually home to great Indian one horned rhinoceros. Besides, wild buffaloes, swamp deer, hog deer, sambar, elephant, tiger and leopard are also found in KNP. The faunal population of KNP has 35 species of mammals, 42 species of fishes, and 254 species of birds including Bengal florican. Kaziranga National Park in also a “World heritage site” and a” Tiger reserve”.
Manas National Park is also a Biosphere Reserve and forms a contiguous linear belt along the foot of Himalayas. The floral diversity includes 543 plant species. The faunal diversity is represented by 60 mammalian species, 42 species of reptiles, 7 species of amphibians, 5 fish species, 103 invertebrate species and 327 species of birds. Translcation of rhinos from Pobitora and Manas is being undertaken in stages to reintroduce rhinos in Manas.
Dibru-Saikhowa Biosphere Reserve includes Dibru- Saikhowa wild life Sanctuary and biogeographically exhibits the properties of both the Indian and Malayan sub-regions. It consists of a number of “ecotones” between floral communities of riparian and grassland habitats as well as deciduous forest and wet evergreen forest types. This biosphere reserve is home to many important faunal species including white wing wood duck, hoolock gibbon, wild buffalo, several species of turtles, Gangetic dolphin, golden mahaseer etc. The documented animal population includes 3 species of amphibians, 22 species of reptiles, 25 species of birds, 25 species of mammals, 62 species of fishes etc. This biosphere reserve is also home to a number of feral horses.
Vulture conservation and breeding centre (Rani):
In view of the depletion of the global population of vultures, the Govt. of Assam in collaboration with the BNHS, Bombay has established a Vulture conservation & Breeding centre at Rani. The objectives of the project is to have 50 pairs of Vultures for breeding with the ultimate goal to release than in the wild.
Wildlife census figures of flagship species in Assam:
National Parks of Assam: