Sitabani Wildlife Reserve

Sitabani Wildlife Reserve is a wildlife reserve in Amgarhi,[1] located in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand, India. It is home to variety of flora and fauna, including leopards, tigers, and over 500 species of native and migrating birds throughout the year.[2]

Sitabani Wildlife Reserve
LocationNainital, Uttarakhand, India
Nearest cityRamnagar
Coordinates29°46′N 79°26′E / 29.767°N 79.433°E / 29.767; 79.433

History edit

The wildlife reserve is named after Sita, the wife of Hindu god Rama (It is believed that Sita spent some of her exile in the forest with her sons Luv and Kush).[3]

Sitabani was subjected to years of slash and burn agriculture by its local villagers: in consequence, the land became degraded, and the moisture profile of the soil dropped. The surrounding forests contained dense numbers of ungulates including deer, nilgais, and wild boars that regularly destroyed crops. Also, domestic animals like cows, buffalo, goats, and even dogs would often be hunted by tigers and leopards.

Sitabani became a jungle habitat. Some higher barren parts of the estate were gradually made green by planting fruit trees, such as Indian Figs, Jamun, Wild Mango, Bhimal, Rohini, and Jackfruit. These trees naturally attracted birds and other wild herbivores. Water bodies were dug out to store excess rainwater, and with time these man-made ponds provided homes for fish, amphibians, insects and turtles. In dryer months, many of the wild animals from the neighbouring hills started coming to these ponds for water. Many endemic bamboo species were planted, which also served to feed deer and passing elephants. Many local villagers were inducted and employed at the reserve by the founder Abhishek Ray[4] thereby generating revenue through Eco-tourism and creating a sustainable conservation area.[5]

Animals edit

Being a part of the Trans-Himalayan birding corridor, the reserve gets both plain and mountain birds during latitudinal and attitudinal migration patterns. Some Himalayan animal species, like Himalayan Black Bear, Himalayan weasel, Yellow-throat Pine Marten, Himalayan Goral, and Himalayan Serow also visit the reserve, especially during the colder months. Indian leopards in this reserve inhabit the craggy cliffs and gorges to avoid interaction with their dominant predator, the Royal-Bengal Tiger.[6][7] This tiger species prefers the thick forested valleys and lowlands. Herds of Asiatic Elephants pass through the reserve when migrating between the core and buffer areas of Jim Corbett National Park. Altitudinal and geographical variations and diverse flora, combined with direct connectivity with Jim Corbett National Park on one side and the Nainital Forest Division on the other, makes this reserve a natural tiger, leopard, and birding corridor of strategic conservation value.[8]

References edit

  1. ^ "Amgarhi". Google Maps. Google, Inc. Retrieved 26 December 2023.
  2. ^ "If We Are To Save The Tiger, We Have To Look At Wildlife As A Resource And Not Liability". Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  3. ^ Rongmei, Precious. "Discover the rich biodiversity of Sitabani Wildlife Reserve in Ramnagar". The Times of India. ISSN 0971-8257. Retrieved 2023-07-27.
  4. ^ "This Bollywood Music Composer Put in All His Savings to Buy a Hill and Create a Wildlife Reserve". 21 March 2016. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  5. ^ "Music Director Abhishek Ray who started his own Wildlife Reserve". 23 June 2016. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  6. ^ "The lonely tiger of Motichur". 8 February 2015. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  7. ^ Banerjee, Ananda (28 August 2014). "The tiger in the backyard". Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  8. ^ "The problem of preserving India's forests". Financial Times. Retrieved 12 May 2018.

External links edit