Kaziranga Sanctuary reopens with tribute to British-era officer
- The State of Assam is home to Kaziranga National Park.
- It is spread across 42,996 hectares of land.
- In the Brahmaputra Valley floodplain, it is regarded as the single biggest intact and typical area.
- Kaziranga Proposed Reserve Forest (1905):
- The proposed reserve forest of Kaziranga was visited in 1904 by Baroness Mary Victoria Leiter Curzon, who was the wife of Lord Curzon, the Viceroy of India.
- She became aware of the critical need for wildlife protection during her tour, given the sharp fall in the rhino population.
- After she persuaded her husband to act, Lord Curzon proposed the establishment of a reserve in Kaziranga on November 4, 1904.
- September 1905 was the date on the official proposal documents for the Kaziranga Reserve Forest.
- The 232 square kilometre Kaziranga Proposed Reserve Forest was established on June 1, 1905.
- Reserve Forest and Game Sanctuary Kaziranga-A (1908–1939):
- The European community of tea planters and the natives opposed a proposal to extend the Kaziranga reserve forest eastward.
- In 1908, the park was expanded by 152 square kilometres to the banks of the Brahmaputra River despite the opposition.
- It was renamed the Kaziranga Game Sanctuary in 1916, and although hunting was forbidden, visitors were welcome.
- The Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary and Kaziranga National Park (1950–1974) declared:
- To dissociate itself from links with hunting, the Kaziranga Game Sanctuary was renamed the Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary in 1950.
- The Rhinoceros Bill, passed by the Assam government in 1954, severely penalized rhino hunting.
- The Assam National Park Act of 1968, passed by the Assamese government in 1968, established the framework for the establishment of a national park.
- Eventually, the region was expanded to 430 square kilometres and designated as Kaziranga National Park in 1974.
- The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kaziranga (1985–2005):
- Kaziranga was recognized for its exceptional natural setting and the necessity of its preservation when it was inducted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985, not long after it was made into a national park.
- The Park area celebrated its centenary in 2005
- In 1974, Kaziranga National Park was officially designated as a national park.
- With a core area of 430 square kilometres, the entire area of the reserve is 1,030 square kilometres, and it has been declared a tiger reserve since 2007.
- In recognition of its significance for biodiversity and protection, it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.
- BirdLife International has also designated Kaziranga as an Important Bird Area, demonstrating the importance of the area for bird species.
Notable Species Discovered:
- The largest population of one-horned rhinos in the world, with the highest density of these rhinos worldwide, may be found in Kaziranga.
- The ‘big four’ species of Asiatic water buffalo, rhinos, elephants, and Royal Bengal tigers are the major targets of conservation efforts in Kaziranga.
- There were 2,413 rhinoceros and about 1,100 elephants in the park according to the 2018 census.
- With an estimated 103 tigers according to the 2014 tiger census, Kaziranga has the third largest population of tigers in India.
- Nine of the 14 species of monkeys that inhabit the Indian subcontinent also live in Kaziranga.
Being a UNESCO World Heritage Site highlights Kaziranga National Park’s significance in the worldwide context of biodiversity preservation. The park is well-known for its diverse fauna, which includes the renowned one-horned rhinoceros.