In News: The forest department of Bihar has established an elephant rescue centre at Bihar’s Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) to rehabilitate stray, abandoned and injured elephants
- The facility is in the process of getting approval from the central government
- VTR is spread over 899 square kilometres in West Champaran district, with Nepal to its north and Uttar Pradesh to its west.
- VTR provides the perfect atmosphere for elephant habitation
- Several elephants stray into VTR from neighboring Chitwan National Park in Nepal
- The plan is not without drawbacks: The risk of human-animal conflicts, though not new, will remain high
Valmiki Tiger Reserve
- Valmiki Tiger Reserve is the only tiger reserve in Bihar and forms the easternmost limit of India’s Himalayan Terai forests.
- The forest contains a mix of bhabar and terai tracts and is located in the Gangetic Plains bio-geographic zone.
- In 1978, it was designated as a Wildlife Sanctuary.
- In 1990, Valmiki National Park was established.
- The Valmiki Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park is the country’s 18th Tiger Reserve. Valmiki National Park and Valmiki Wild Sanctuary make up the Valmiki Tiger Reserve.
- The tiger reserve shares a border with Nepal’s Chitwan National Park.
- The park is bisected by two rivers: the Gandak and the Masan River. Valmiki wildlife sanctuary is bordered on the west by the River Gandak.
- It enters India at Valmikinagar, where it is joined by two rivulets, Sonha and Pachnad, to form the holy Triveni confluence.
- A diverse range of flora and fauna can be found in the Valmiki National Park. Moisture-bearing Sal forests, dry-bearing Sal forests, moist mixed deciduous forests without Sal, cane, and tropical seasonal swamp forests with reed beds and wet grasslands make up the park.
- Fauna includes – Mammals: tiger, rhinoceros, black bear, leopard, wild dog, wild buffalo, wild boar, hyena, leopard cat, wild cat, etc
- Reptiles – Python, Cobra, King cobra, Krait, Banded krait, Sand boa, Crocodiles, etc
- Indian bison and one-horned rhinoceros frequently migrate from Chitwan to Valmikinagar.
Previous Year Questions (PYQs)
Q.1) Among the following Tiger Reserves, which one has the largest area under “Critical Tiger Habitat”? (2020)