CORBETT NATIONAL PARK

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Corbett National park By-Avi shah

Introduction:

Introduction Corbett National Park lies in two districts – Nainital and Pauri – in the hill state of Uttaranchal in northern India. It covers an area of 521 sq. km and together with the neighbouring Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary and Reserve Forest areas, forms the Corbett Tiger Reserve over 1288 sq. km. Its geographical location between the Himalayas and the terai , and the streams, rivers and ridges crisscrossing the terrain, present Corbett with a remarkable variety of landscapes. This vivid mosaic of habitats – wet and dry, plain and mountainous, gentle and rugged, forests and grasslands – supports numerous plant and animal species, representing Himalayan as well as plains kinds. The most famous of Corbett’s wild residents are the Bengal Tiger and the Asiatic Elephant, but with about 600 species of avifauna Corbett is one of the richest bird regions of India.

fauna:

fauna In association with about 110 species of trees, 51 species of shrubs, 27 species of climbers and 33 species of bamboo and grass are found. The dominant species of tree is Sal Shorea Robusta which is found over 75 % of the total area. In a few areas pure stands of Sal are found. Trees like Haldu Adina cardifolia, pipal Ficus religiosa, Rohini Mallotus philipensis and mango Mangifera indica are also commonly found. Sheesham Dalbergia sissoo is found along the Ramganga river. Main Fauna (Corbett National Park): Mammals: Tiger leopard, elephant, chital, sambar, hog deer, barking deer, wild boar, langur, Wild pig, rhesus monkey, sambar and jackal. Birds: Peacock, Jungle Fowl, partridge, Kaleej Pheasant, crow, vulture, parakeet, Laughing Thrush, oriole, kingfisher, drongo , dove, woodpecker, duck, teal, stork, cormorant and seagull;

Flora:

Reptile: Indian marsh crocodile, gharial, King cobra, common krait, cobra, Russels viper, python and monitor lizard; Fish: Mahaseer, kalimuchi, kalabasu, chilwa and goonch. Flora The important flora of the Corbett National Park comprises of the evergreen Sal (Shorea robusta) and its associate tress, the Sheesam (Dalbergia sissoo), the Kanju (Holoptelea integrifolia)-found extensively on the ridges-, the ber (Zizyphus mauritians), dhak (Butea monosperma), and bael (Aegle marmelos). Other important trees in the Corbett National Park are the occasional simal (Bombax cieba), jhingan (Lannea coromandelica) and khair (Acacia catechu) that blossom in the spring season, just before the starting of summer season.

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The Sal and the Sheesam, the two most important timber trees of north India, is the abundantly grown flora in the Corbett National Park. Another significant floral characteristic of the Corbett National Park is the ' chaurs '- a flat grassy blank full of herbs and short and tall grasses - providing most of the grazing to the herbivores. The brakes of bamboo and thick shrub growth on the margins of the nullahs and ravines provide both fodder as well as cover to the wilds of the Corbett National Park .

CONSERVATION projects   :

CONSERVATION projects Corbett is the site for three nationwide conservation projects aimed at saving prominent endangered species from extinction and providing a safe habitat for them. These are: Project Tiger Crocodile Conservation Project Project Elephant Project Tiger Background The population of tigers in India suffered a heavy decline in the post-Independence period. The main reasons were: 1. Diversion of forest land to make way for developmental activities like irrigation, hydroelectric projects, road/rail construction etc. 2. The degradation and fragmentation of wildlife habitat under growing human needs for fuel, fodder and extraction of non-timber forest products. 3. Sport hunting and poaching of tigers for trophies.

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Objectives Project Tiger was launched with the following main objectives: To ensure maintenance of a viable population of tiger in India for scientific, economic, aesthetics cultural and ecological values. To preserve, for all times, the areas of such biological importance as a national heritage for the benefit, education and enjoyment of the people. Crocodile Conservation Project The Crocodile Conservation Project was launched in 1976. The main aim of the project was to save India’s three endangered crocodilian species, namely the freshwater crocodile, the saltwater crocodile and the gharial. This involved intervention measures like: Captive breeding of species Collection of eggs from natural habitat, subsequent hatching and rearing of crocodiles/ gharials in captivity to reduce mortality due to natural predators and finally released into the wild The Gharial Rehabilitation Project formed a subunit of the umbrella Crocodile Conservation Project. This focussed on gharial, which had come very close to extinction in 1974. As part of the Gharial Rehabilitation Project, more than 250 gharials were released in the Ramganga river in Corbett National Park between 1982 and

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Project Elephant Background and History Project Elephant was launched in 1991-92 to assist states having ranging populations of wild elephants to ensure long term survival of identified viable population of elephants in their natural habitats. States are being given financial as well as technical and scientific assistance in achieving the objectives of the project. Objectives The main objectives of Project Elephant are: Ecological restoration of existing natural habitats and elephant migration routes; Development of scientific and planned management for conservation of elephant habitats and viable population of wild Asiatic elephants in India; Promotion of measures for mitigation of man elephant conflict in crucial habitats and moderating pressures of human and domestic stock activities in crucial elephant habitats; Strengthening of measures for protection of Wild elephants form poachers and unnatural causes of death; Research on Project Elephant management related issues; Public education and awareness programmes ; Eco-development Veterinary care

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