1. North India
India’s first lichen park
- In Kumaon’s Munsiyari, Uttarakhand.
- To conserve, protect, and cultivate lichens and to create awareness regarding their importance.
- Lichen = algae + fungi.
- cyanobacteria living among the filaments of fungi.
Sukhna Lake, Chandigarh
- It is a man-made lake in Chandigarh built-in 1958.
- Located at foothills of Shivalik Hills. It was designed to collect runoff water from the Hills.
- The lake was also declared a living entity/legal person.
News: Chandigarh Wetlands Authority issued a notification to declare as wetlands under Wetland Rules or Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rule 2017.
- A list of wetlands is developed based on the wetlands definition of the Ramsar Convention.
- Wetland Rules, 2017 were notified under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
- Wetlands can be notified by Centre, State, and UT Administration.
- It empowers states/UTs to keep a tab on prohibited activities.
Gangotri National Park, Uttarakhand
- Situated in the upper catchment of Bhagirathi River.
- Gangotri glacier is located inside it.
- It is typical of high-altitude ecosystems.
- News: Uttarakhand allowed forest land transfer here for road development to make the movement of ITBP personnel near the China border.
Zonal Master Plan (ZMP)
- ZMP is based on watershed approach and includes governance related to forest and wildlife, watershed management, irrigation, energy, tourism etc.
- ZMP approved for Bhagirathi Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ). It was mandated for the Uttarakhand government due to ESZ compliance.
- ESZs are declared around protected areas through Notification under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
First Snow leopard conservation Centre
- In Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand.
- Aided with UNDP, as part of its project, SECURE Himalayas.
- IUCN status of snow leopard: Vulnerable.
Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, Uttarakhand
- Includes as core areas the Nanda Devi National Park and Valley of Flowers National Parks. Both are UNESCO World Heritage sites.
- Nanda Devi National Park has remained more or less intact because of its inaccessibility. It is drained by river Rishi Ganga.
- Valley of Flowers National Park is renowned for its meadows of endemic alpine flowers
- Together these encompass a unique transition zone between the Zanskar and Great Himalaya mountain ranges.
- Species: Asiatic black bear, snow leopard, brown bear, blue sheep.
National Chambal Sanctuary
- MoEFCC declared it as an eco-sensitive zone (ESZ).
- Also known as National Chambal Gharial Sanctuary
- Across three states: Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan.
- First and only tri-state riverine protected area in India for the breeding population of Gharial.
- It is home to a natural living population of 75% gharials.
- Other species: freshwater Gangetic dolphins (national aquatic animal), freshwater turtles, migratory birds.
India’s First Dolphin Observatory
- Bihar is setting up India’s first observatory for the Gangetic dolphins in Bhagalpur district.
- It is constructed at Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary (VGDS).
Jim Corbett National Park, Uttrakhand
- It was established in 1936 as Hailey National Park in Nainital.
- It is the oldest National Park in India.
- Project Tiger was first launched in 1973.
Herbal Road, UP
- UP government to develop 800 km roads as Herbal roads in the state.
- These roads will have medicinal and herbal trees along with the land on both sides.
- It will have trees like Peepal, Neem, Sehjan along with other herb varieties like Brahmi, ashwagandha, and jatropha.
- It will help in providing raw material for medicines and will also help in curbing land erosion.
Converting Shivalik forest into tiger reserve
- Uttar Pradesh is considering this proposal.
- Currently, UP has 3 tiger reserves: Amangarh, Pilibhit, and Dudhwa.
2. North East India
Tiger Reserves in Assam in news
- Manas National Park
- Orang National Park
- Nameri National Park
- Kaziranga National Park
Kaziranga National Park, Assam
- It hosts two-thirds of the world’s great one-horned rhinoceroses. The Rhino population is approx. 2,400.
- It is a World Heritage Site.
- Declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006. It is home to one of the highest density of tigers among protected areas in the world. The highest tiger density is in Orang National Park, Assam.
- Recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International.
- Elephants, wild water buffalo, and swamp deer.
- Compared to other protected areas in India, Kaziranga has achieved notable success in wildlife conservation.
- The vast expanse of tall elephant grass, marshland, and dense tropical moist broadleaf forests.
- Criss-crossed by four major rivers, including the Brahmaputra. It includes numerous small water bodies.
- The entire area of Kaziranga is formed by alluvial deposits of the Brahmaputra system.
- Floods reduce unwanted plants such as water hyacinth.
- News: Kaziranga is currently facing a severe flood situation.
Papum Reserve Forest, Arunanchal Pradesh
- Located between Itanagar Wildlife Sanctuary and Pakke Wildlife Sanctuary.
- Nesting habitat of three hornbills species: Great, Wreathed, and Oriental Pied.
- Hornbills are ‘forest engineers’ or ‘farmers of the forest’ for playing a key role in dispersing seeds of tropical trees.
- India has nine hornbill species. Four are found in the Western Ghats.
Dibru- Saikhowa National Park & Biosphere Reserve, Assam
- A biodiversity hotspot and biosphere reserve.
- Bounded by Lohit and Brahmaputra river on the north and by the Dibru river on the south.
- The largest Salix swamp forest of North East India is located here.
- Forests: semi-evergreen forests, deciduous forests, littoral and swamp forests, and patches of wet evergreen forests.
- Fauna: Tiger, Elephant, Leopard, Small Indian Civet, Gangetic Dolphin, Slow Loris, etc.
- It is identified as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area.
- News: Oil India Ltd’s decision to drill seven wells has raised concerns. NGT has faulted Oil India Limited for fire breakout in 2020 in Assam.
Maguri-Motapung wetland, Assam
- Also known as Maguri beel
- NGT has faulted Oil India Limited for fire breakout in 2020 in Assam.
Pakke Tiger Reserve, Arunachal Pradesh
- It falls within the Eastern Himalaya Biodiversity Hotspot.
- Located in the foothills of the Himalaya in Arunachal Pradesh.
- PTR won the India Biodiversity Award 2016 for ‘Conservation of threatened species’ for its Hornbill Nest Adoption Programme.
- Salazar Slytherin discovered: a new species of viper family (venomous snake).
Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve, Assam
- It has the only patch of virgin rainforest in Assam.
- Dehing river flows through this forest and it lies at the foot of Patkai hill.
- It adjoins the Arunachal Pradesh’s Deomali Elephant Reserve.
- Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary (Jeypore Rainforest) is a part of it.
- News: National Board for Wild Life (NBWL) has recommended coal mining here.
3. South and West India
Periyar Tiger Reserve, Kerala
- Located in situated in the Cardamom Hills and Pandalam Hills.
- River Periyar and Pamba.
Nagarahole National Park, Karnataka
- Also known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park, Mysore.
- Forest department will place a traffic monitoring mechanism.
- Nagarahole River joins the Kabini River. It is a boundary between Nagarahole and Bandipur
- Bandipur, Mudumalai & Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary are adjacent to NNP.
Tillari Wildlife Sanctuary, Maharastra
- Connects Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary in Goa and Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary in Karnataka.
- It is an integral part of the Sahyadri- Konkan wildlife corridor.
- News: Tillari declared as a ‘conservation reserve’.
Note: Conservation reserves and community reserves are terms denoting protected areas of the country which act as buffer zones to or connectors and migration corridors between established protected areas. eg. national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and reserved and protected forests.
Tadoba Andhari tiger reserve, Maharashtra
- Maharashtra’s oldest and largest National Park.
- It represents Southern Tropical Dry Deciduous Teak Forests in the Tiger habitat.
- Andhari river flows in this area.
- Species: Tigers, Indian leopards, Sloth bears, Gaur, Nilgai, Dhole, Striped Hyena, Small Indian Civet, Jungle Cats, etc.
Khazan ecosystems, Goa
- An estuarine agricultural system practiced in low-lying floodplains.
- These are reclaimed wetlands and mangrove areas.
- Tidal influence is regulated by construction of embankments and sluice gates.
- It protects agricultural fields and villages from salinity intrusion, inundation etc.
- Predominantly rice and fish fields.
- These are tropical fresh-water swamp forests.
- Myristica trees: the most primitive of the flowering plants on earth.
- These are endangered ecosystems restricted to small patches in the Western Ghats.
- Key role in maintaining perennial streamflow.
- Possess a higher potential to store carbon than nearby non-swamp forests.
- Threats: Shrinking duration of monsoon, change in land use pattern etc.