Kaziranga National Park


Kaziranga National Park, one of the oldest National parks in India, is located within Bokakhat subdivision of Golaghat district and Kaliabor subdivision of Nagaon district of Assam. This Park was established to protect the population of one-horned rhinoceroses. In the heart of Assam, this park is one of the last areas in eastern India undisturbed by a human presence. It is spread over 859.40 square kilometres in the flood plains of the mighty Brahmaputra.

On 1st June, 1905 – a preliminary notification announcing the intention of the government to declare 7,273,60 acres of Kaziranga as a reserved forest was issued. Finally Kaziranga was declared as Reserved Forest on 3rd January, 1908 and was closed for shooting. On 28th January, 1913 the area of reserved forest was expanded with the inclusion of another 13,509 acres. Kaziranga was declared as a “Game Sanctuary” on 10th November, 1916. In 1938 the then conservator of forest A.J.W Milroy stopped all poaching and opened Kaziranga to all visitors. In 1950, the then Senior Consevator changed the word ‘Game’ to ‘wildlife’ and Kaziranga became a wildlife Sanctuary. Finally on 11th February, 1974, it became ‘Kaziranga National Park’.

Kaziranga has flat expanses of fertile, alluvial soil formed by erosion and silt deposition by the Brahmaputra. The landscape consists of exposed sandbars, riverine flood-formed lakes known as, beels, (which make up 5% of the surface area), and elevated regions known as, chapories, which provide retreats and shelter for animals during floods. It is one of the largest tracts of protected land in the sub-Himalayan belt, and due to the presence of highly diverse and visible species, has been described as a “biodiversity hotspot”. The park is located in the Indo-malaya ecozone, and the dominant biomes of the region are Brahmaputra Valley semi-evergreen forests of the tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests biome and a frequently flooded variant of the Terai-Duar savanna and grasslands of the tropical and subtropical grassland, savannas and shrublands biome.

The Diphaloo and Bhengari are the main contributing rivers of these beels though vast expanded tracts are interspersed with numerous tiny streams. 39 species of animals, nearly 500 species of plants, innumerable varieties of fishes are found inside the park.

Outstanding Universal Value

Kaziranga National Park represents one of the last unmodified natural areas in the north-eastern region of India. Covering 42,996 ha, and located in the State of Assam it is the single largest undisturbed and representative area in the Brahmaputra Valley floodplain. The fluctuations of the Brahmaputra River result in spectacular examples of riverine and fluvial processes in this vast area of wet alluvial tall grassland interspersed with numerous broad shallow pools fringed with reeds and patches of deciduous to semi-evergreen woodlands. Kaziranga is regarded as one of the finest wildlife refuges in the world. The park’s contribution in saving the Indian one-horned rhinoceros from the brink of extinction at the turn of the 20th century to harbouring the single largest population of this species is a spectacular conservation achievement. The property also harbours significant populations of other threatened species including tigers, elephants, wild water buffalo and bears as well as aquatic species including the Ganges River dolphin. It is an important area for migratory birds.

Criterion (ix): River fluctuations by the Brahmaputra river system result in spectacular examples of riverine and fluvial processes. River bank erosion, sedimentation and formation of new lands as well as new water-bodies, plus succession between grasslands and woodlands represents outstanding examples of significant and ongoing, dynamic ecological and biological processes. Wet alluvial grasslands occupy nearly two-thirds of the park area and are maintained by annual flooding and burning. These natural processes create complexes of habitats which are also responsible for a diverse range of predator/prey relationships.

Criterion (x): Kaziranga was inscribed for being the world’s major stronghold of the Indian one-horned rhino, having the single largest population of this species, currently estimated at over 2,000 animals. The property also provides habitat for a number of globally threatened species including tiger, Asian elephant, wild water buffalo, gaur, eastern swamp deer, Sambar deer, hog deer, capped langur, hoolock gibbon and sloth bear. The park has recorded one of the highest densities of tiger in the country and has been declared a Tiger Reserve since 2007. The park’s location at the junction of the Australasia and Indo-Asian flyway means that the park’s wetlands play a crucial role for the conservation of globally threatened migratory bird species. The Endangered Ganges dolphin is also found in some of the closed oxbow lakes.








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