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India’s First Dark Sky Park

Context:

The Pench Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra has been designated as India’s first Dark Sky Park and the fifth in Asia, protecting the night sky and preventing light pollution.

Relevance:

GS III: Environment and Ecology 

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. India’s First Dark Sky Park: Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR)
  2. Key Facts about PTR

India’s First Dark Sky Park: Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR)

Certification Overview:

  • PTR in Maharashtra is designated as India’s first Dark Sky Park within a tiger reserve.
  • Focuses on restricting light pollution for stargazing and preserving pristine dark skies.

Certification Criteria:

  • Dark Sky Place certification involves lighting policy, dark sky-friendly retrofits, outreach and education, and night sky monitoring.

Tourist Sanctuary:

  • Designation allows PTR to be a sanctuary for tourists to experience celestial spectacles without artificial light pollution.
  • Certified by the International Dark-Sky Association, a global movement promoting astronomy.

Asian Recognition:

  • PTR becomes the fifth Dark Sky Park in Asia.

Key Facts about PTR:

  • Location: Southern reaches of Satpura hills, spanning Seoni and Chhindwara districts in Madhya Pradesh and Nagpur district in Maharashtra.
  • Components: Includes Indira Priyadarshini Pench National Park, Pench Mowgli Sanctuary, and a buffer zone.
  • Terrain: Undulating with small hills and steep slopes, supporting diverse vegetation.
  • Flora: Rich in teak, saag, mahua, and various grasses and shrubs.
  • Fauna: Home to a variety of wildlife, including tiger, leopard, wild dogs, Indian bison, and diverse bird species.
Cultural Reference:
  • PTR’s landscape inspired Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book.”
Conservation Significance:
  • Preserving dark skies aligns with PTR’s commitment to ecological conservation.
  • Enhances opportunities for astronomical observation and tourism.

-Source: The Hindu


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