Saturday, May 27, 2023

Kazinag National Park

Kazinag National Park UPSC

Kazinag National Park is a protected area located in the Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is known for its diverse flora, fauna, and scenic landscapes.


Table of Contents

  • Kazinag National Park Location
  • Kazinag National Park History
  • Kazinag National Park Area
  • Kazinag National Park Hills
  • Kazinag National Park River
    • Jhelum River
  • Kazinag National Park Flora
    • Coniferous Forests
    • Broad-Leaved Trees
    • Subalpine Zone
    • Alpine Meadows
    • Rhododendron
    • Alpine Scrub
    • Temperate Scrub
  • Kazinag National Park Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Butterflies
  • Markhor (Capra falconeri)
  • Top Things to do in Kazinag National Park
  • Kazinag National Park UPSC Questions


Kazinag National Park Location

Kazinag National Park is situated in north bank of Jhelum in Baramulla district in the Indian union territory of Jammu and KashmirThe park is close to Line of Control in Baramulla district. It is about 70 km away from the capital city of Srinagar.


The altitudes in Kazinag  National Park range from around 1,800 meters to 4,300 meters (14,100 feet) above sea level. 


Kazinag National Park Nearest Airport:

The Srinagar Airport serves as the closest air gateway to Kazinag National Park, located at a distance of approximately 87 kilometers. Upon arrival at the airport, visitors can embark on a scenic journey to the park, surrounded by the breathtaking landscapes of the region.


Kazinag National Park Nearest Railway Station:

For those opting for train travel, the Baramulla Railway Station stands as the nearest railhead to Kazinag National Park, situated just 15 kilometers away. From the station, travelers can continue their expedition to the park, marveling at the natural splendor en route.




Kazinag National Park History

Establishment: Kazinag National Park came into being in 2007, marking a significant step in wildlife preservation and environmental protection. This establishment brought together two wildlife sanctuaries, Limber and Lachipora, along with the Naganari conservation reserve, under the guidance and support of the Wildlife Trust of India.


A Union of Biodiversity: The Kazinag National Park came into existence after two wildlife sanctuaries —Limber and Lachipora — were clubbed with Naganari conservation reserve with the support of Wildlife Trust of India in 2007. This union of natural havens contributes to the park's rich biodiversity and offers a sanctuary for a wide range of flora and fauna.


Trans-Karakoram Peace Park Proposal: Kazinag National Park plays a crucial role in the proposal for a trans-Karakoram peace park, fostering cooperation and conservation efforts between India and Pakistan. This initiative seeks to promote peace and environmental protection, transcending borders and nurturing harmony between the two nations.




Kazinag National Park Area

Kazinag National Park covers an area of approximately 160 Sq. Km (61.77 square miles). Within this vast wilderness, diverse landscapes and habitats provide a sanctuary for a wide array of wildlife and plant species. Visitors to this natural haven can immerse themselves in the beauty and serenity of its sprawling territory.




Kazinag National Park Hills

Kazinag National Park is situated in the western Himalayas and is part of the larger Western Himalayan Biodiversity Hotspot. The park is nestled in the Pir Panjal Range, which is characterized by rugged mountains, deep valleys, alpine meadows, and dense forests.


The Himalayas are characterized by their towering peaks, deep valleys, and steep slopes, offering breathtaking views and a diverse range of ecosystems. The hills in and around Kazinag National Park are likely to exhibit similar characteristics, with lush forests, alpine meadows, and rocky outcrops. These hills provide habitat for various wildlife species and contribute to the scenic beauty of the national park.




Kazinag National Park River

Kazinag National Park is situated on the North bank of Jhelum river close to Line of Control in Baramulla district.


Jhelum River:

The Jhelum River originates from Verinag in the Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir, India. It then flows northwest through the Kashmir Valley, passing through towns such as Srinagar and Baramulla, before entering Pakistan-administered Kashmir and eventually merging with the Chenab River.


Tributary of the Chenab River: The Jhelum River is one of the major tributaries of the Chenab River. It joins the Chenab near Trimmu in Pakistan, contributing to the overall flow of the Chenab River system.


Length: The Jhelum River has a total length of approximately 725 kilometers (450 miles). It flows through the Kashmir Valley in Jammu and Kashmir, India, and continues into Pakistan-administered Kashmir.


Left Tributaries: The Jhelum River receives water from several left tributaries along its course. These include the Poonch River and Sukhnag River, which add to the water volume and drainage of the Jhelum River.


Right Tributaries: The Jhelum River is also fed by various right tributaries. Some notable ones include the Arpath River, Lidder River, Neelum River, Sind River, and Kunhar River. These tributaries contribute to the river's flow and bring additional water from their respective catchment areas.


The Jhelum River, with its tributaries, plays a vital role in the irrigation, agriculture, and hydroelectric power generation of the region. It holds cultural and ecological significance and adds to the natural beauty of the areas it traverses.




Kazinag National Park Flora

Kazinag National Park boasts a rich and diverse flora due to its varied altitudinal range and favorable climatic conditions. The park is characterized by dense forests, alpine meadows, and a variety of plant species. 


Here are some notable flora found in Kazinag National Park:


(1) Coniferous Forests: 

The park is dominated by coniferous forests, which include species with deodar (Cedrus deodara) at lower altitudes, fir (Abies pindrow), spruce (Picea smithiana) at middle to upper elevations and kail (Pinus wallichiana) is widely distributed from lower to upper elevations. 


(2) Broad-Leaved Trees: 

Alongside conifers, Kazinag National Park is home to various broad-leaved tree species. You can find species like Maple (Acer spp.), Oak (Quercus spp.), Walnut (Juglans regia), and Horse Chestnut (Aesculus indica).


(3) Subalpine Zone:

Birch (Betula utilis) occur mainly in the subalpine zone. 


(4) Alpine Meadows:

As the elevation increases, the forests give way to alpine meadows and pastures. These open grassy areas are adorned with a variety of wildflowers, including species like Himalayan Blue Poppy (Meconopsis grandis), Primroses (Primula spp.), and various species of Orchids.


(5) Rhododendron: 

The park is famous for its vibrant displays of Rhododendron flowers. Several species of Rhododendron can be found in the park, including Rhododendron arboreum, Rhododendron campanulatum, and Rhododendron lepidotum. These beautiful flowers bloom in different colors, adding to the park's scenic beauty.


(6) Alpine Scrub:

As you reach higher altitudes, the vegetation transitions into alpine scrub. This includes low-growing shrubs and hardy plants such as Juniper (Juniperus spp.), Rhododendron anthopogon, and Potentilla spp.


(7) Temperate Scrub:

The temperate scrub occurs at middle and lower elevations and is dominated by Indigofera, Spirea and Rosa. 




Kazinag National Park Fauna (Kazinag National Park Animals)

Kazinag National Park is home to a diverse range of fauna, including several endangered and rare species. 


Here are some notable animals found in the park:


Mammals:

  • Markhor (Capra falconeri)
  • Himalayan Musk Deer
  • Himalayan Brown Bear
  • Himalayan Black Bear
  • Common leopard
  • Himalayan Marmot
  • Yellow-throated Marten
  • Kashmir Flying Squirrel


Birds:

  • Golden Eagle
  • Impeyan or Monal Pheasant
  • Koklas Pheasant
  • Sparow Hawk
  • Snow Pigeon
  • The Cuckoo
  • Himaliyan  pied kingfisher
  • Lesser pied kingfisher
  • Nutcracker
  • Jackdaw
  • Long tailed Minvet
  • Sooty Flycatcher
  • Kashmir Red breasted Flycatcher


Butterflies:

The Kazinag National Park is home to 17 Species of Butterflies which include: 

  • Regal Apollo
  • Common BlueApollo
  • Common red Apollo
  • Brown Argus
  • Mountain Argus
  • Meadow Brown
  • Narrowbandede satyr
  • Large Tortoise shell




Markhor (Capra falconeri)

Kazinag National Park is home to the near-extinct Markhor, a majestic mammal with corkscrew horns. It is found only in Jammu & Kashmir and Kazinag habitats the mammal’s largest population.


Markhor (Capra falconeri) is a majestic and endangered species of wild goat that is found in the mountains of Central Asia, including parts of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and India. 


Here are some key features and facts about the Markhor:


Appearance: Markhor is a large, robust goat species with a striking appearance. Adult males, known as "bucks," are larger than females and have impressive, spiraling horns that can reach impressive lengths of up to 160 centimeters (63 inches). The horns are corkscrew-shaped and can have one to three twists.


Habitat: Markhor primarily inhabits rugged and mountainous terrain, including steep cliffs, rocky slopes, and forested areas. They are highly adapted to survive in challenging environments, often found at elevations between 600 and 3,600 meters (2,000 and 12,000 feet) above sea level.


Diet: Markhor is primarily a herbivorous species, feeding on a variety of vegetation. Their diet includes grasses, leaves, shrubs, and herbs. They are well adapted to browse on tough and coarse vegetation found in their habitat.


Social Structure: Markhor is generally a solitary species, with males and females living separately for most of the year. However, during the mating season, adult males compete for dominance and access to females. They engage in dramatic displays of strength, including horn wrestling and lunging at each other.


Conservation Status: Markhor is classified as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The primary threats to their population include habitat loss, hunting for their meat and horns, and competition with domestic livestock for resources.


Symbolic Importance: Markhor holds cultural and symbolic significance in the regions where it is found. It is the national animal of Pakistan and is featured on the Pakistani currency. Markhor's impressive horns are also prized as trophies, leading to their illegal poaching and trade.


Due to ongoing conservation efforts, the population of Markhor has shown some signs of recovery in certain areas. However, continued conservation initiatives are crucial to safeguard the species and its habitat, ensuring its survival for future generations.




Top Things to do in Kazinag National Park

Kazinag National Park is known for its stunning natural beauty and diverse wildlife. 


Here are some of the top things to do in Kazinag National Park:


  • Wildlife Safari
  • Birdwatching
  • Trekking
  • Photography
  • Nature Walks
  • Picnicking
  • Camping
  • Explore Streams and Waterfalls
  • Visit Lolab Valley
  • Learn about Conservation Efforts



Kazinag National Park UPSC Questions

Q. What is the Kazinag National Park known for?

A. Kazinag National Park is known for Markhor (Capra falconeri) population.


Q. When was Kazinag National Park established? (Kazinag National Park established/declared in which year?

A. Kazinag National Park was established in 2007.


Q. In which state is Kazinag National Park?/Where is Kazinag National Park located?/ Kazinag National Park in which district?

A. Kazinag National Park is situated in north bank of Jhelum in Baramulla district in the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. 


Q. Kazinag National Park is famous for which animal?

A. Kazinag National Park is famous for Markhor (Capra falconeri).

Kazinag National Park

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