Saturday, May 20, 2023

Jaldapara National Park

Jaldapara National Park UPSC

Jaldapara National Park is a renowned national park located in the state of West Bengal, India. The park is nestled in the Eastern Himalayas and is known for its diverse flora, rich wildlife, and picturesque landscapes. 


It covers an area of approximately 216.51 square kilometers and is characterized by grasslands, forests, rivers, and wetlands. The park is traversed by the Torsha River, which adds to its scenic beauty.


Jaldapara National Park is renowned for its population of Indian one-horned rhinoceros, which is the main attraction for wildlife enthusiasts. The park is also home to other wildlife species, such as Indian elephants, Indian bison (gaur), leopards, Bengal tigers, sambar deer, hog deer, barking deer, and various bird species.


Table of Contents

  • Jaldapara National Park Location
  • Jaldapara National Park History
  • Jaldapara National Park Area
  • Jaldapara National Park River
    • Torsa River
    • Malangi River
    • Hollong River
    • Chirakhawa River
    • Sissamara River
    • Kalijhora River
  • Jaldapara National Park Tribe
    • Toto Tribe
    • Mech Tribe
  • Jaldapara National Park Flora
    • Mixed Deciduous Forests
    • Riverine Forests
    • Grasslands
    • Wetlands and Marshes
    • Bamboo Groves
  • Jaldapara National Park Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptiles
  • Indian Rhinoceros
  • Top Things to do in Jaldapara National Park
  • Jaldapara National Park UPSC Questions


Jaldapara National Park Location

Jaldapara National Park is located in the Alipurduar district of the Indian state of West Bengal, and on the banks of the Torsa River. It is situated in the eastern foothills of the Himalayas, near the border with Bhutan.


The park's location in the Terai region of West Bengal makes it a significant wildlife sanctuary and a popular tourist attraction.


Jaldapara National Park Nearest Airport:

Bagdogra Airport (Siliguri International Airport) is the closest airport, approximately 140 km from Jaldapara National Park. 


Jaldapara National Park Nearest Railways Station:

The closest railway station is Madarihat railway station, which is only 7 km from the park.




Jaldapara National Park History (Jaldapara National Park Established)

Establishment of Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary: In 1941, the Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary was established with the aim of protecting the wildlife and natural habitats of the area. It was primarily created to safeguard the population of Indian one-horned rhinoceros, which was facing threats from hunting and habitat loss.


Upgrade to Jaldapara National Park: In 2014, Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary was upgraded to Jaldapara National Park to provide enhanced protection and conservation for its diverse flora and fauna. 


Conservation and Tourism Promotion: With the upgrade to Jaldapara National Park, conservation efforts received heightened priority. The park's management authorities and conservation organizations implemented various measures to protect and restore the habitats, conserve wildlife populations, and raise awareness about the importance of preserving biodiversity. The national park status also helped promote responsible tourism, attracting visitors who contribute to the local economy and become advocates for conservation.




Jaldapara National Park Area

Jaldapara National Park covers an area of approximately 216 square kilometers (83 square miles). The park area encompasses a diverse range of ecosystems, including grasslands, forests, and riverine habitats, which provide suitable habitats for a variety of flora and fauna.


The Jaldapara National Park's terrain is characterized by tall elephant grass, thick woodlands, and patches of riverine forests along the banks of rivers like Torsa, Malangi, and Hollong. 




Jaldapara National Park River

Jaldapara National Park is traversed by several rivers and streams, which contribute to the diverse ecosystems within the park. The park is located on the Torsa river’s bank.


The major rivers that flow through or border the Jaldapara National Park include the following:


(1) Torsa River:

The Torsa River, one of the prominent rivers in the region, flows through Jaldapara National Park. Torsa river forms eastern boundary of the park. The Torsa River plays a vital role in sustaining the grasslands and supporting the wildlife populations in the park.


  • Torsa River originates from the Chumbi Valley in Tibet.
  • Its course continues into Bhutan, India, and Bangladesh before joining the Brahmaputra River into the Bay of Bengal. 
  • Its length is 358 km (222 mi).
  • Kaljani river is a tributary of Torsha river.


(2) Malangi River:

The Malangi River is another significant river that flows through Jaldapara National Park. It is a tributary of the Torsa River and forms the southern boundary of the park. The Malangi River adds to the water resources and provides habitat for various aquatic species and wildlife.


(3) Hollong River:

The Hollong River is a small river that flows within Jaldapara National Park. It is known for its picturesque beauty, with dense forests and grasslands surrounding its banks. The river supports the park's wildlife and adds to the overall natural charm of the area.


(4) Chirakhawa River:

Chirakhawa River flows through the Jaldapara National Park.


(5) Sissamara River:

The Sissamara River is a significant river in the vicinity of Jaldapara National Park. It flows through the region and forms a natural boundary for a portion of the park. The river contributes to the water resources and ecosystem of the area, supporting the flora and fauna within the Jaldapara National Park.

  • Sissamara River is also known as the Sissamara Khola. 
  • It is a tributary of the Torsa River. 
  • It originates in the hills of Bhutan and enters the Indian state of West Bengal.


(6) Kalijhora River:

The Kalijhora River is a significant river in the vicinity of Jaldapara National Park. It flows through the region and adds to the natural beauty of the area.

  • Kalijhora River originates in the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas.
  • The river passes through the Kalijhora Forest, which is located near Jaldapara National Park.
  • It is a tributary of the Teesta River.




Jaldapara National Park Tribe

The region around Jaldapara National Park is home to various indigenous communities and tribes. Toto and Mech tribes lived in the Jaldapara National Park prior to 1800.


(1) Toto Tribe:

Toto is one of the prominent tribes in the area. The Toto people are recognized as a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG) by the Indian government. They have a unique cultural heritage and language.


  • The Toto tribal group residing only in a small enclave called Totopara in the Alipurduar district of West Bengal, India. 
  • Totopara is spread over an area of 1,996.96 acres (8.0814 km2). 
  • Totopara lies 22 km from Jaldapara National Park.
  • Totos live in elevated bamboo huts. These are raised on machans (raised platforms), and have straw thatches.


(2) Mech Tribe:

  • The Mech is an ethnic group belonging to the Bodo-Kachari group of peoples. 
  • Mech Tribe is one of the scheduled tribes of India, listed both in West Bengal and Assam, India.
  • They inhabit West Bengal, Nepal, Assam and Nagaland.




Jaldapara National Park Flora (Natural Vegetation of Jaldapara National Park)

Jaldapara National Park is characterized by a rich and diverse flora, encompassing various types of vegetation, forests, and grasslands. The diverse flora of Jaldapara National Park supports a rich ecosystem, providing food and shelter for numerous wildlife species. 


It is an important habitat for endangered species like the Indian rhinoceros and plays a crucial role in maintaining the ecological balance of the region.


Here are some notable features of the flora found in Jaldapara National Park:


(1) Mixed Deciduous Forests:

The Jaldapara National Park is predominantly covered by mixed deciduous forests, which consist of a variety of tree species. Sal (Shorea robusta), teak (Tectona grandis), simul (Bombax ceiba), and sishu (Dalbergia sissoo) are among the common tree species found in these forests.


(2) Riverine Forests: 

Along the banks of rivers and streams, Jaldapara National Park features riverine forests. These areas provide vital habitat for various wildlife species.


(3) Grasslands: 

The Jaldapara National Park is renowned for its expansive grasslands, known as the Torsa River Basin. These grasslands consist mainly of tall elephant grass (Saccharum spp.), which provides essential grazing grounds for herbivores such as Indian rhinoceros, elephants, and deer species.


(4) Wetlands and Marshes: 

Jaldapara National Park is also home to wetlands and marshy areas, which support a variety of aquatic plants.


(5) Bamboo Groves:

Bamboo groves are scattered throughout the Jaldapara National Park and provide shelter and food for several animal species. Common bamboo species found in the park include the giant bamboo (Dendrocalamus strictus) and thorny bamboo (Bambusa tulda).




Jaldapara National Park Fauna (Jaldapara National Park Animals)

Jaldapara National Park is renowned for its diverse and abundant wildlife. The park is home to a wide range of animal species, including both herbivores and carnivores. 


Here are some notable fauna found in Jaldapara National Park:


Mammals:

  • Indian one-horned Rhinoceros
  • Indian Leopard
  • Indian Elephant
  • Sambar
  • Barking Deer
  • Chital
  • Hog Deer
  • Wild Boar
  • Gaur


Birds:

  • Bengal Florican  
  • Crested Eagle
  • Pallas's Fish Eagle
  • Shikra
  • Finn's Weaver
  • Jungle Fowl
  • Peafowl 
  • Partridge
  • Lesser Pied Hornbill 
  • Large green-billed Malkoha
  • White-rumped Vulture
  • Pied Harrier
  • Sparrow Hawk 
  • Hill Mynas


Reptiles:

  • Pythons
  • Monitor Lizards
  • Kraits
  • Cobras
  • Geckos




Indian Rhinoceros in Jaldapara National Park

About 3,500 greater one-horned rhinos are estimated to remain in India and Nepal. India hosting around 2,500 of these animals. But the rhino populations are concentrated in just a few protected areas of India.


Jaldapara National Park is well-known for its population of Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis). The park has played a significant role in the conservation efforts for this endangered species.


There are 250 rhinos in West Bengal occur in just two parks — Jaldapara National Park and Gorumara National Park — in the northern part of the state.


The Jaldapara National Park is home to nearly 200 of these animals and has the second-highest population of rhinos in India. The Park holds the largest rhino population in India after Kaziranga National Park in Assam. 


The number of Indian Rhinoceros in West Bengal has been steadily increasing over the years. According to a survey conducted in 2015, the state's rhino population had witnessed a significant growth from a mere 20 individuals in 1990 to a remarkable 250 animals by 2015.




Top Things to do in Jaldapara National Park

Jaldapara National Park offers a range of exciting activities and experiences for visitors. 


Here are some top things to do in Jaldapara National Park:


  • Wildlife Safari
  • Birdwatching
  • Nature Walks
  • Visit Chilapata Forest
  • Picnicking
  • Visit Khayerbari Nature Park
  • Cultural Interactions




Jaldapara National Park UPSC Questions

Q. Jaldapara National Park is famous for which animal?

A. Jaldapara National Park is famous for Indian Rhinoceros.


Q. Jaldapara National Park is located in which state?/In which state Jaldapara National Park is located?/Jaldapara National Park situated in which district?

A. Jaldapara National Park is situated in the Alipurduar district of West Bengal, India.


Q. What is Jaldapara National Park known for?

A. Jaldapara National Park is known for its Indian Rhinoceros population.


Q. What are the endangered species in Jaldapara National Park?

A. Indian Rhinoceros.


Q. Which river flows in Jaldapara National Park?

A. Torsa, Malangi, Hollong, Chirakhawa, Sissamara and Kalijhora river flows in Jaldapara National Park.

Jaldapara National Park

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