Environment & Ecology
In News: Similipal National Park has turned out to be the hunting ground for animal poachers over the last few years.
- Most recently, the carcass of a male elephant was found in the Talabandha wildlife range
Simplipal National Park
- Located in northern part of Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district
- Similipal derives its name from ‘Simul’ (Silk Cotton) tree
- It is a national park and a Tiger Reserve
- The tiger reserve is spread over 2750 sq km and has some beautiful waterfalls like Joranda and Barehipani.
- The park is surrounded by high plateaus and hills, the highest peak being the twin peaks of Khairiburu and Meghashini (1515m above mean sea level).
- At least twelve rivers cut across the plain area, all of which drain into the Bay of Bengal – Burhabalanga, Palpala Bandan, Salandi, Kahairi and Deo.
- Prominent tribes – Kolha, Santhala, Bhumija, Bhatudi, Gondas, Khadia, Mankadia and Sahara.
- The vegetation is a mix of deciduous with some semi-evergreen forests
- Sal is the dominant tree species
Biodiversity in the park:
- An astounding 1078 species of plants including 94 species of orchids find their home in the park.
- These forests boast of many plants that have medicinal and aromatic properties.
- The park is known for the tiger, elephant and hill mynah.
- It holds the highest tiger population in the state of Odisha.
- Apart from the tiger, the major mammals are leopard, sambar, barking deer, gaur, jungle cat, wild boar, four-horned antelope, giant squirrel and common langur.
- Grey hornbill, Indian pied hornbill and Malabar pied hornbill are also found here.
- The park also has a sizeable population of reptiles, which includes the longest venomous snake, the King cobra and the Tricarinate hill turtle.
- The Mugger Management Programme at Ramatirtha has helped the mugger crocodile to flourish on the banks of the Khairi and Deo Rivers
- Similipal has turned out to be the haven for hunters and poachers as the region has witnessed several killings of elephants, tigers and leopards
- About 20 adult breeding male elephants die each year, mostly to unnatural causes like poaching and electrocution.
- The dwindling breeding male population and the isolated populations due to fragmented forests is weakening the gene pool due to mating among immature individuals and inbreeding.
- There is a link between poaching and trading of elephant tusks, tiger skins and leopard skins since these fetch a huge price in the international market despite the global ban
- Even though Elephants are protected under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, there is a rise in poaching cases
- While tiger population has gone up in most Indian states, in Odisha it has come down or remained static
Previous Year Question
Q1) With reference to India’s Desert National Park, which of the following statements are correct? (2020)
- It is spread over two districts.
- There is no human habitation inside the Park.
- It is one of the natural habitats of Great Indian Bustard.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
- 1 and 2 only
- 2 and 3 only
- 1 and 3 only
- 1, 2 and 3
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