Wildlife of Jharkhand

Jharkhand is very rich in biodiversity and is the part of the Chhotanagpur Plateau Province of the Deccan Peninsula Bio geographic Zone.  The state is very rich in wildlife resources too. One National Park and ten Wildlife Sanctuaries are there, devoted to in situ conservation of wildlife.

In addition, there is one Biological Park, at Chakla (Ormanjhi), one Deer Park at Kalamati and one Crocodile Breeding Centre at Muta devoted to ex situ conservation of wildlife as well as for serving as centres for sensitizing people for conservation of wildlife resources of the state and the country at large. The state is implementing two national research-cum-conservation projects viz., the Project Tiger since 1973-74 for in situ conservation of the Indian Tiger and the Project Elephant since 1991-92 for conservation of viable populations of wild Asiatic Elephants and their habitats. Under these conservation projects, special management units of the Palamau Tiger Reserve and the Singhbhum Elephant Reserve have been created.

Bhagwan Birsa Biological Park

Ormanjhi, Ranchi, Jharkhand

Spread over an area of 104 ha. of natural forest, this Biological Park is situated at Chakla (Ormanjhi) by the side of picturesque Getalsud Dam, 20 Km. away from Ranchi on Ranchi-Ramgarh section of National Highway No. 33. Established with the objective of ex situ conservation of endangered species of Jharkhand as well as sensitising visiting people for the need to conserve wildlife, the Park houses in captivity the wild animals of various species, such as Tiger, Lion, Leopard, Leopard Cat, Jungle Cat, Hyaena, Sloth Bear, Himalayan Black Bear, Jackal, Fox, Indian One-horned Rhinoceros, Langur, Monkey, Porcupine, Nilgai, Cheetal,Sambhar, Barking Deer, Black Buck etc. and birds like Grey Pelican, Peafowl, Black Ibis, Kite etc. and reptiles like Gharial and Marsh Crocodile in naturalistic enclosures, all within the overall natural sylvan ambience which itself holds free-ranging wild animals like Jungle Cat, Jackal, Fox, Hare, a variety of ground as well as flying birds and snakes. There is also a Rose Garden and a Fern House. Public utilities including canteen, rest-sheds,’ drinking water points and toilets have been provided adequately here. The Park is very popular amongst the denizens of Ranchi and around.

Bhagwan Birsa Mrig Vihar

Kalamati, Khunti

This Deer Park at Kalamati, 23 Km. away from Ranchi on Ranchi-Khunti Road, serves the objective of providing optimum facilities for breeding of two types of deer viz. Sambhar (Cervus unicolor) and Chital (Axis axis). The total area of the Park is 23 ha. and the main tree species here is Sal associated with Ficus spp., Ber, Bel, Neem etc. A Children Park developed near the main entrance is the great source of attraction for children. Three watch-towers have been provided inside the Park for viewing wildlife. A canteen and other public utilities have also been created for visitors.

 

Crocodile Breeding Centre

The Crocodile Breeding Centre, situated at 35 Kms from Ranchi on Ormanjhi-Sikidiri Road at Muta, was commissioned in the year 1987 under the IUCN programme of conservation of endangered species. Marsh crocodile was first spotted in late 1960s in Bhera River which flows nearby. Here the Crocodile breeding was started with 5 crocodiles, two from Bhera River and three from Madras Crocodile Bank. A small Forest Rest House and Rest-shed cater to the needs of visitors.

 

Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary

Jamshedpur, Jharkhand

Lying in the catchment area of Subarnarekha River and adjoining Purulia District of West Bengal, this wildlife sanctuary with an area of 193.22 Sq. Km. on the National Highway No. 33 near Jamshedpur has undulating terrain with high hillocks (Max. 984 M MSL), plateau, deep valley and open fields between hillocks, providing diverse habitat for flora and fauna. The forests here are mostly Dry Mixed Deciduous with few Dry Peninsular Sal, the main tree species being Terminalias, Jamun, Dhaura, Kendu, Karam etc. The sanctuary is very much favoured by the Elephants due to availability of water even during summer. Leopard, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Sloth Bear, Monkey, Giant Squirrel are abundant here.

 

Lawalong Wildlife Sanctuary

This wildlife sanctuary with an area of 207 Sq. Km. lies between 80°25′ and 80°57′ E longitudes and 23°57′ and 24°20′ N latitudes in the south-west corner of Chatra District and is surrounded by the Amanat river in the south, Chako nala in the west and Lilajan river in the north-west. The forests here are miscellaneous, of Dry Mixed Deciduous type with Bamboo and patches of pure Asan crops. Other tree species being Khair, Siris, Bauhinia, Bel, Palas, Dhow etc. Besides a variety of birds, the sanctuary is the home for a complete range of mammals including Tiger, Leopard, Sambhar, Cheetal, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Nilgai etc.

 

Mahuadand Wolf Sanctuary

This wildlife sanctuary was created over an area of 63.25 Sq. Km. in order to conserve the endangered Wolf species in this identified habitat of theirs. The area with deep gullies comprises Dry Peninsular Sal and Dry Deciduous Forests, drained by Burha River and its tributaries flowing from the hills of Chhatisgarh, and experiences severe heat up to 49°C during summer as well as night frost during winter. Here the average annual rainfall is over 1800 mm. The tree species are Sal, Terminalias, Dhaura, Kendu etc. Ravines covered by thick bushes in Sarnadih and Urumbi forest patches are favoured by the Wolves for making their dens. They prey on village pigs and goats during the evening in addition to small wild mammals such as Hares, Mongoose, Rats, Squirrels small deer and ground birds.

 

Koderma Wildlife Sanctuary

Spread over an area of 150.62 Sq. Km. lying between 85°05’15” and 85°05’30” E longitudes and 24°12′ and 24°37′ N latitudes and bordering the forests of Gaya District of Bihar, this wildlife sanctuary comprises hilly range of dry deciduous forests, traversed by plenty of rivulets. Besides shrubs and grasses, the important tree species here are Sal, Asan, Panjan, Kendu, Salai, Mahua, Piar, Sidha, Amla, Jamun, Bauhinia, Khair, Palas, Ber etc. The wild fauna includes Tiger, Leopard, Sloth Bear, Sambhar, Cheetal, Barking Deer, Nilgai, Wild Boar, Giant Squirrel, Jackal, Fox, Hyaena, Langur, Porcupine etc. besides a variety of bird and reptile species.

 

Palamu Wildlife Sanctuary & Betla National Park

Lying between 83°50′ and 84 °36′ E longitudes and 23°25′ and 23°55′ N latitudes, the Palamau Wildlife Sanctuary was initially created over a forest area of 979.97 Sq. Km. and since then an area of 226.32 Sq. Km. of this sanctuary has been notified as Betla National Park. Both the areas have been included in the Palamau Tiger Reserve created under Project Tiger. The annual temperature here varies from 4° to 50°C and the mean annual rainfall is 1075 mm. The area is drained by the North Koel and its tributary, the Burha river. Forests here are of Dry as well as Moist Deciduous types with bamboo brakes. Besides diverse herbs, shrubs and grasses, the important tree species are Sal, Asan, Sidha, Semal, Karam, Chilbil, Kusum, Bherhul, Dhaura, Khair, Salai etc. The sanctuary is rich in flora and fauna with 47 species of mammals, 174 species of birds, 970 species of flora including 25 species of climbers, 46 species of shrubs in addition to herbs, grasses etc. Tiger, Leopard, Elephant, Gaur, Sambhar, Cheetal, Barking Deer, Sloth Bear, Nilgai, Wild Dog, Wolf, Hyaena etc and varieties of reptiles and beautiful birds can be sighted here without much effort. Once ruled by the Chero Kings, the sanctuary also has many historical monuments and forts, deep inside Betla forests on the banks of the Auranga river. Other attractions nearby are Lodh and Sugabandh Water Falls and Tataha Hot-water Spring.

 

Palkot Wildlife Sanctuary

Full of forested small hills (Max. 872 M MSL) and undulating terrain, the Palkot Wildlife Sanctuary is situated between 84°25′ and 84°45’E longitudes and 22′ 00′ and 22°40′ N latitude. It is spread over an area of 183.18 Sq. Km., traversed by rivers like Sankh, Banki, Painjra, Palamara and Torpa, with adjoining Tapkara Irrigation Dam. The annual temperature varies here between 7′ and 40°C whereas the mean annual rainfall is 1030 mm. The sanctuary comprises Dry Deciduous Forests (Dry Peninsular Sal) bearing rich flora consisting of Sal and its associates like Asan, Gamhar, Salai, Piar, Amla, Mahua, Kusum, Mango etc. The mammal fauna consists mainly of Leopard, Sloth Bear, Jackal, Monkey, Porcupine, Hare etc. Frequently seen birds here are Jungle Fowl, Patridges, Koel, Parakeet, Owl and Pheasants.

 

Parasnath Wildlife Sanctuary

Surrounding the lush green and gorgeous Parasnath Hill (1365 M MSL), the highest in Jharkhand, and named after the 23′” Jain Thirthankar, Parsvanath, who attained nirvan on the Hill, this wildlife sanctuary with an area of 49.33 Sq. Km. is very rich in wild fauna and comprises mixed deciduous forests with very high incidence of climbers. The localised dampness here favours growth of plenty of lichens, mosses and ferns. The wild fauna comprises Leopard, Sloth Bear, Sambhar, Nilgai, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Langur, Monkey, Mongoose, Jungle cat, Porcupine, Hyaena etc. in addition to varieties of birds and reptiles.

Topchanchi Wildlife Sanctuary

Lying between 86°06′ and 86°15′ E longitudes and 23°50′ and 23°56′ N latitudes, the Topchanchi Wildlife Sanctuary has an area of 8.75 Sq. Km. The forests here are of Dry Mixed Deciduous type with Dry Peninsular Sal in Baneshpur and Bawardaha, the other tree species being Asan, Bijasal, Dhow, Semal, Kendu, Piar, Karam, Siris, Sidha etc. The grassland and bamboo crops are also present. Leopard, Jungle Cat, Cheetal, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Mongoose, Langur, Jackal, Fox, Wild Dog etc. constitute the mammal fauna here. The Topchanchi Lake adds to the richness of the habitat and is visited by migratory winter birds too.

 

Singhbhum Elephant Reserve

The Singhbhum Elephant Reserve, the first Elephant Reserve of the Country, was created in 2001 under the Project Elephant, comprising an area of 13,440 Sq. Km. in East and West Singhbhum and Saraikela-Kharsawan Districts (old Singhbhum District) for scientific and planned management aimed at conservation of Elephant habitats and viable population of wild Asiatic Elephants in Jharkhand, ecological restoration of their existing natural habitats and migratory routes, mitigating Human-Elephant conflicts in problem areas, moderating pressure of human and their live-stock on crucial Elephant habitats, protection from poachers, etc. Besides 8910.10 Sq. Km. of non-forest area, the Reserve includes 4529.90 Sq. Km. of forest area, subsuming the entire Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary, and has been divided into the management units of Core Area (2577.38 Sq. Km.) and Buffer Area (1952.52 Sq. Km.).

 

Udhuwa Lake Bird Sanctuary

Situated not very far away from the Ganges, it comprises twin lakes of Pataura (155 ha) and Berhale (410 ha), total area being 565 ha, with surrounding semi permanent wetlands. Both lakes remain connected during monsoon and winter whereas the former surrounded by small hillocks and crop land is linked through Udhuwa Nala to the Ganges the back¬water of which sustains the lake. Birds seen at water surface here are Gull, Jacana, Teal, Cormorant, Dabchick, Darter etc. and those on muddy banks are Wader, Lapwing, Plover, Wagtail, Egret, Heron, Ibis, Stork and Pratincole. Birds of open ground and grassland here include Blue Rock Pigeon, Lark, Bee-eater, Sparrow, Myna, Pipit, Bulbul etc. Mynas are represented here by six species, Pied Myna, Indian Myna, Bank Myna, Jungle Myna, Brahminy and Grey-headed Myna. Among birds of prey are Tern, Brahminy Kite, Fishing Eagle, Hawk and Vulture. House and Palm Swift, Swallow, Kingfisher, Drongo, Indian Roller and Parakeet are also common here. Migratory birds visiting the lake during winter include Black-headed & Brown-headed Gull, Grey-headed Lapwing, Little-ringed Plover, Red & Green Shanks, Spotted Green Shanks, Common Sandpiper, Temmink’s Stint, Yellow & White Wagtail, Blue-throat, Western Swallow etc.

 

Palamau Tiger Reserve

The Palamau Tiger Reserve is located in the western side of Latehar district on the Chhotanagpur plateau in Jharkhand. The forest is surrounded by the Netarhat Forest in the South, Auranga River in the North, Latehar Forest Division on the East and Garhwa Forest Division and Sarguja District of Chhattisgarh on the West. It is the only one in the state of Jharkhand, India. The reserve forms part of Betla National Park. The area in Palamu District in Jharkhand was set aside as a protected area in 1947 under the Indian Forests Act. Prior to the formation of the reserve, the area was used for cattle grazing and camping; it was acutely prone to forest fire. In 1974 the area was set up as the Palamau Tiger Reserve. The tiger reserve has a total area of 1,014 square kilometres (392 sq mi) with a core area of 414 km2 and a buffer area of 600 km2. Ramandag, Latoo and Kujurum forest villages are located in the core area. Most of the villages are small; one village, Meral, consisted in 1993 of just 99 acres (400,000 m2) of land, 9 families and 78 members. In 1993 there were 45 villages located in the buffer area and about 60 more located in the periphery of the reserve. As of 2012 that number had grown to 136 villages that fall under the “buffer area” regulations of the Palamau Tiger Reserve. Only seven of the villages were in existence in 1923. The villagers have no legal claim to lands that were settled after 1974 when the buffer area for the reserve was created.

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