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Atul Manuja:
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Tadoba Andhari Tigar Reserve

Legend holds that Taru was a village chief who was killed in a mythological encounter with a tiger. A shrine dedicated to the God Taru now exists beneath a huge tree, on the banks of the

Tadoba Lake

The Gond kings once ruled these forests in the vicinity of the Chimur hills.Two decades later, in 1955, 116.54 km2 (45.00 sq mi) was declared a National Park.

Andhari Wildlife Sanctuary was created on the adjacent forests in 1986, and in 1995, both the park and the sanctuary were merged to establish the present tiger reserve Tadoba Andhari Reserve is the largest national park in Maharashtra. Total area of the reserve is 1727 km2. This includes Tadoba National Park, created in 1955.

Tadoba lake which acts as a buffer between the park's forest and the extensive farmland which extends up to Irai water reservoir.This lake is a perennial water source which offers good habitat for Muggar crocodiles to thrive.Other wetland areas within the reserve include the Kolsa lake and Andhari river. Tadoba reserve covers the Chimur Hills, and the Andhari sanctuary covers Moharli and Kolsa ranges. It’s bounded on the northern and the western side by densely forested hills.

Thick forests are relieved by smooth meadows and deep valleys as the terrain slopes from north to south. Cliffs, talus and caves provide refuge for several animals. The two forested rectangles are formed of Tadoba and Andhari range. The south part of the park is less hilly.

Flora

Tadoba reserve is a predominantly southern tropical dry deciduous forest with dense woodlands comprising about 87 per cent of the protected area. Teak is the predominant tree species. Other deciduous trees include ain

Fauna

Aside from the keystone species, the Bengal tiger, Tadoba Tiger Reserve is home to other mammals, including: Indian leopards, sloth bears, gaur, nilgai, dhole, striped hyena, small Indian civet, jungle cats, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, chital, chausingha and honey badger. Tadoba lake sustains the marsh crocodile, which were once common all over Maharashtra.

Reptiles here include the endangered Indian python and the common Indian monitor. Terrapins, Indian star tortoise, Indian cobra andRussel's viper also live in Tadoba.

The lake is an ornithologist's paradise with a wide diversity of water birds, and raptors. 195 species of birds have been recorded, including three endangered species. The grey-headed fish eagle, the crested serpent eagle, and the changeable hawk-eagle are some of the raptors.

 


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