Sunday, May 23

Female Panther Poached in Satpura Tiger Reserve

Female Panther was found dead just two kilometers from Panchmari in the Satpura Tiger Reserve. She was killed using a snare.

Satpura Tiger Reserve is  traditionally rich area in wildlife. Upto about 19th century, the area  had a rich population of major animals like panthers, tiger, elephants, bison, wild buffaloes and barasingha. But fast deterioration of wildlife habitat led to the disappearance of many of these species, most of the areas of Satpura Tiger Reserve are covered with dense forests. However, there are several open patches and grasslands providing Ideal habitat for the wild animals.

 Tiger, the main species is found in the Tiger Reserve in good numbers but remains confined in good forest areas. Panthers are found all over the reserve. Gaurs the largest herbivore, are in large number but are largely localized in moist and semi-moist forests of Bori WLS and Satpura NP.Sambar, Chital, barking deer, chin Kara and mouse deer are distributed all over the reserve. Chausingha or four horned antelope and nilgai are found throughout the area. However, the sighting of barking deer and four horned antelope are not common. Nilgai are found concentrated in drier parts of the Reserve. Sloth bear is also frequently seen in forests rich in fruit trees particularly mahua, tendu and achar. These animals are more frequently seen in Sonbhadravalley. Langurs are common throughout the Reserve. Rhesus monkeys are localized at Pachmarhi particularly close to habitation. Wild dog or  dhole and wolf are also found in the  Reserve. Civet, common fox, jackal and jungle cat are found throughout the Reserve. Wild boars are seen in plenty throughout the Reserve. Giant squirrels and flying squirrels are also seen in the Reserve. Giant squirrels are found all along the nala and rivers around Pachmarhi, Bori, Dhain and Churna. Among reptiles, cobra, Russel viper, python, chameleon and common Indian monitor are found in large numbers throughout the Park. Crocodiles are also found  in water bodies of the Reserve.

The Tiger Reserve is located between 22º 15’ and 22º 45’ N latitudes and 77º 50’ and 78º 30’ E longitudes. Pachmarhi is an important hill station of the state and is located within the area of Pachmarhi WLS. The area is important from the stand point of bio-aesthetic, cultural and social values. The access to the area is easy, the reserve is easily approachable by road from Bhopal (210 km), Jabalpur (240 km), Chhindwara (85 km) and Nagpur (250 km). Pipariya (52 km) and Itarsi are the nearest railhead and rail junction respectively. The Pachmarhi town is accessible all the yea round, but the interior areas are approachable only during the fair weather.

The area is known as a part of the Gondwana tract after the Gond tribe, who chiefly inhabited in this area and practiced shifting cultivation. In the fourteenth and fifteenth century, this area of Gonds was infiltrated by Rajputs and who, by the time of Mougals, had succeeded in reclaiming several parts of the Narmada valley for agriculture. The Gonds were pushed to higher plateaus and slopes to continue hunting and their shifting cultivation. This area saw unrest due to the tension between the Marathas and the Mougals during the seventeenth and eighteenth century.

During the year 1818, the area saw the advent of British rule. In the year 1861, the forest Department was set up in the central provinces under Captain GF Pearson of the Madras Army, with Captain J. Forsyth of Bengal staff Corps, as one of his assistants. In 1862, the forest Department of the central provinces started in a building named Bison Lodge in Pachmarhi. The original house no longer exists, but at the same spot, another building has been constructed, which is also called Bison lodge and has been converted into a forest museum under the Satpura NP.

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