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New National parks: Dehing Patkai and Raimona

Context:

Assam’s Dehing Patkai wildlife sanctuary was notified as a national park.

  • Raimona reserve forest in western Assam’s Kokrajhar district was also upgraded to a national park
  • Assam had 5 national parks: Kaziranga, Nameri, Orang, Manas and Dibru-Saikhowa. With Dehing Patkai and Raimona – Assam now has 7 National Parks.

Relevance:

Prelims, GS-III: Environment and Ecology (Protected Areas, Conservation of Ecology, Important National Parks)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Raimona National Park
  2. Dehing Patkai National Park
  3. Differences between Wildlife Sanctuary, Biosphere Reserves and National Parks

Raimona National Park

  • Raimona National Park is a national park in Assam, declared to be National Park on 5 June 2021 and located in Gossaigaon subdivision of Kokrajhar district.
  • The Raimona National Park is a part of a contiguous forest patch covering the northern part of the notified Ripu Reserve Forest, which forms the westernmost buffer to Manas Tiger Reserve in the southern foothills of Eastern Himalaya Biodiversity Hotspot.
  • Raimona National Park is famous for Golden Langur, an endemic species which has been named as the mascot of Bodoland region.
  • The boundary of Raimona National Park forms with the Sankosh River on the west along the inter-state boundary of West Bengal and Assam from Indo-Bhutan border up to fire line Ride-6 southwards (BP30) and Saralbhanga River on the east, runs northwards till it touches the Indo-Bhutan international boundary on the north and remaining part of Ripu Reserve Forest on the south.
  • The southern boundary runs eastwards along the fire line Ride-6 up to Pekua River where it runs at 90 degrees southwards till it meets the fire line Ride-3.
  • Historically the area was a part of the migratory route of the faunal species from Himalayan Mountain, Indo-Malayan and Indo-Chinese realms towards west and Peninsular Indian realm species to the east.
  • It shares contiguous forest patches of Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary and Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park in Bhutan, creating a trans-boundary conservation landscape of more than 2,400 km2.

Dehing Patkai National Park

  • Dehing Patkai National Park is located in the Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts of Assam and it was declared a wildlife sanctuary on 13 June 2004. In December 2020 Government of Assam upgraded it into a national park, with the Forest Department of Assam officially notifying it as National Park in June 2021.
  • It is located in the Dehing patkai landscape which is a dipterocarp-dominated lowland rainforest.
  • The Dehing Patkai forms the largest stretch of lowland rainforests in India. The Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary was declared as Dehing-Patkai Elephant Reserve under Project Elephant.
  • The climate of the region is mostly tropical with an annual rainfall of more than 4,000 mm.
  • There are more than a dozen different ethnic groups living in the Dehing Patkai Forest region including the indigenous Assamese communities, particularly Tai Phake, Khamyang, Khampti, Singpho, Nocte, Chutia, Ahom, Kaibarta, Moran , Motok, Burmese, and Nepali people. Tea-tribes were brought by the British to work in the tea plantations.
  • Being a completely virgin rainforest, this sanctuary is very rich in biodiversity. It is an ideal habitat for non-human primates.

Differences between Wildlife Sanctuary, Biosphere Reserves and National Parks

Wildlife SanctuaryBiosphere Reserves National Parks
A Wildlife Sanctuary is a natural habitat, owned by the government or private agency, that safeguards a particular species of birds and animals.A Biosphere Reserve is a reserved area of land established by the government to protect the environment as a whole.National Parks are notified areas that cover a larger area of land which may cover multiple National Parks, Sanctuaries, and reserves as well.
Protects the Animals, birds, insects, reptiles, etcPreserves the biodiversity of a specified areaProtects Flora, fauna, landscape, historical objects, etc
In Wildlife Sanctuaries restrictions are less and they are open to visitations by the general public.A typical biosphere reserve is divided into: Core area (no human activity is allowed), Buffer area (limited human activity is permitted) and a Manipulation zone (several human activities can occur in this zone).National Parks are highly restricted, random access to the general public is not allowed.
Permission to visit is not required.Permission to visit is subject to the particular area of the biosphere reserve.Permission is required to visit.
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has defined Wildlife Sanctuaries as a Category IV protected areaBiosphere Reserves are internationally recognized within the framework of UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere (MAB) program and nominated by national governments.International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and its World Commission on Protected Areas, has defined National Parks as Category II protected areas

-Source: Indian Express

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