Pench Tiger Reserve in India
Pench National Park, nestling in the lower southern reaches of the Satpura hills is named after Pench river which flows from north to south through the Pench National Park. It is located on the southern boundary of Madhya Pradesh. Recently in 1992, Pench has been included under the umbrella of "Project Tiger" as the 19th Project Tiger Reserve.
A total of 758 Sq. kms of this Southern Indian tropical moist deciduous forest has its extent mingling with the tropical dry deciduous teak. The area is crisscrossed by a number of streams and 'nallahs' most of which are seasonal. Though the Pench River dries up in April end, a number of water pools locally known as 'dohs' are found which serve as water holes for the wild animals. However, the water sources are not suitably distributed, hence large area is left unutilized by the wild animals. The Pench Reservoir at the center of the park is the only major water source during the pinch period.
As a prey concentration is high along the Pench River, tiger usually inhabits this belt. Leopard though generally operates in the peripheral areas but are occasionally seen in the deep forest also. Jungle cats are commonly seen. Leopard cats, small Indian civets and palm civets are common but seen rarely.
Cheetal, Sambar, nilgai are commonly seen grazing on the open sites on roadsides and banks of river & reservoir. Jackals can be seen in search of food anywhere in the Park. Packs up to 15 of wild dog can be seen near Chhedia, Jamtara, Bodanala and Pyorthadi areas of the Reserve. Herds of gaur can be spotted near streams and bamboo patches commonly in summer months. Sloth beer occupy hilly, rocky out crops and favour mahul bel infested forest. Chnkara is present in very small numbers and is found in open areas around Turia, Telia and Dudhgaon villages.
Langoors are very common whereas the Rhesus monkeys may be seen occasionally on the fringes. Pench boasts of, more than 210 species of birds that include several migratory ones also. Commonly seen are Peafowl, Red jungle fowl, Crow pheasant, Crimson breasted barbet, Redvented bulbul, Racket tailed drongo, Magpie robin and lesser whistling teal.
The Park is situated in the Seoni District of Southern Madhya Pradesh and runs in continuation with Pench National Park in Maharashtra. It is situated 82 Kms. (2 hours of drive) and is well connected by an all weather metalloid road network to other important places in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. The nearest railhead of Nagpur- Jabalpur (192 Kms.) serves as a comfortable air and railhead.
It is blessed with forests spread in all the direction. As per the physiognomy, the forest type is southern tropical dry deciduous teak and southern tropical mixed deciduous forest with other species of shrubs, trees and climbers. Teak and its associates moyan, mahua, mokha, skiras, tendu, bija, achar, garari, aonla, ghont, baranga, amaltas, kihamali, khair, palas. Bamboo occurs sparsely, restricted to some valley.
The Pench National Park is very rich in fauna and a number of endangered species have made it their habitat. There are 25 tigers under this umbrella of the Park. 39 species of mammals, 13 species of reptiles, 3 species of amphibians and over 170 varieties of birds have already been listed.
Apart from mammals and other land-based wildlife, the park is also rich in bird life. According to an estimation of the wildlife authorities, the bird population in the park counts to be over 210 species like barbets, bulbul, minivets orioles, wagtails, munias, mynas, waterfowls and blue kingfishers.
Estimation of Animal Population
Seasons October to January- Cold 16* to 3* C
February to March- Cool 16* C to 26* C
April to June- 26 * to 42* C
The Pench National Park is open to the visitors from November 01st to June 30th each year and closed during the rainy seasons (July- Sept.).
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