Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary -UPSC NOTES (Prelims and Mains)

Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary -UPSC NOTES  (Prelims and Mains)

Assam government has decided to upgrade the Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary into a national park.Dehing Patkai is a wildlife sanctuary located in Assam.

  • It was declared a sanctuary in 1988. The elevation in the Sanctuary is from 820 to 975 meters above sea level.
  • The area of the sanctuary is around 174 sq km while the core area of the sanctuary is about 130 sq km.
  • The sanctuary is situated at about 46°40’15″N and 93°21’42″E and is located 20 km from Haflong in Nagaon District of Assam.
  • This sanctuary was declared to protect the wildlife, scenic beauty and bio-diversity of this area.
  • As a national park, its importance will increase and new rules will bring increased vigilance to the area.
  • While the first proposal to accord national park status to the region dates back to 1995, Dehing Patkai was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 2004.

 Description: Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary is located within the larger Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve, which spreads across the coal- and oil-rich districts of Upper Assam (Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts).

  • The Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary is also known as the Jeypore Rainforest.
  • Dehing is the name of the river that flows through this forest and Patkai is the hill at the foot of which the sanctuary lies.
  • The oldest refinery of Asia in Digboi and ‘open cast’ coal mining at Lido are located near the sanctuary.
  • It is famous for Assam Valley Tropical Wet Evergreen Forests bordering Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Fauna: Rare fauna found in the region include Chinese pangolin, flying fox, wild pig, sambar, barking deer, gaur, serow and Malayan giant squirrels.
  • It is the only sanctuary in India which is home to seven different species of wild cats – tiger, leopard, clouded leopard, leopard cat, golden cat, jungle cat and marbled cat.
  • Assamese macaque, a primate found in the forest, is in the red list of Near Threatened species.
  • It has the highest concentration of the rare endangered White Winged Wood Duck.
  • Flora: Dehing Patkai is a deciduous rainforest interspersed with semi-evergreen and lush green flora.
  • Sixth National Park: Post upgradation, Dehing Patkai will be the sixth national park in Assam — the other five being Kaziranga, Nameri, Manas, Dibru-Saikhowa and Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park.
  • Assam government has decided to upgrade Dehing Patkai wildlife sanctuary to national park It will become India’s 105th national park 2018 – Kuno NP, Madhya Pradesh

There are 104 existing national parks in India covering an area of 40501.13 km2, which is 23% of the geographical area of the country (National Wildlife Database, May, 2019).

 Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary

 Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Dibrugarh and Tinsukia Districts of Assam and covers an area of 111.19 km2 (42.93 sq mi) rainforest.

 It was declared a sanctuary on 13 June 2004.

 Referred to as the “Amazon of the East”

 This forestland stretches for 575 square kilometers across 3 districts in Assam.

 Project Elephant – The Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve


 Contiguous patch of rainforest

 Its biodiversity is very rich and unique.

 Animal species –

 Hoolock gibbon, slow loris, pig-tailed macaque, stump-tailed macaque, capped langur, Asian elephant, Bengal tiger.

 Dehing Patkai hosts about 293 different species of birds, including- Slender-billed vulture, white-winged duck, greater adjutant, lesser  adjutant, greater spotted eagle, etc The most common reptiles found here are rock python, king cobra, Asian leaf turtle, monitor lizard.

 30 different species of butterfly thrive in this beautiful tropical vegetation

 What is Wildlife Sanctuary?

 Any area other than area comprised with any reserve forest or the territorial waters can be notified by the State Government to constitute as a sanctuary if such area is of adequate ecological, faunal, floral, geomorphological, natural or zoological significance, for the purpose of protecting, propagating or developing wildlife or its environment.

 Some restricted human activities are allowed inside the Sanctuary area details of which are given in CHAPTER IV, WPA 1972.

 There are 551 existing wildlife sanctuaries in India.

 What is a National Park?

 An area, whether within a sanctuary or not, can be notified by the state government to be constituted as a National Park, by reason of its ecological, faunal, floral, geomorphological, or zoological association or importance, needed to for the purpose of protecting & propagating or developing wildlife therein or its environment.

 No human activity is permitted inside the national park except for the ones permitted by the Chief Wildlife Warden of the state under the conditions given in CHAPTER IV, WPA 1972.

 Some human activities can be allowed inside a wildlife sanctuary, but no human activity is allowed in a national park The announcement comes just months after the National Board of Wildlife’s (NBWL) conditional clearance to a coal mining project by Coal India Limited (CIL) in Dehing Patkai sparked virtual protests in the state.

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