Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Orang National Park

Orang National Park UPSC

Orang National Park, also known as Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park, is a national park located in the state of Assam, India. It is also known as Mini Kaziranga National Park.


Orang National Park is renowned for its rich biodiversity and serves as a vital wildlife conservation area. It is particularly famous for its population of the Indian rhinoceros, which is listed as an endangered species. 


Table of Contents

  • Orang National Park Location
  • Orang National Park History
  • Orang National Park Area
  • Orang National Park River
    • Pachnoi River
    • Dhanshiri River
    • Belsiri River
  • Orang National Park Flora
    • Grasses
    • Aquatic Plants
    • Trees
    • Orchids
    • Medicinal Plants
  • Orang National Park Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptiles
  • Mini Kaziranga National Park
  • Top Things to do in Orang National Park
  • Orang National Park UPSC Questions


Orang National Park Location

Orang National Park is located in the Darrang and Sonitpur districts of Assam, India. It is situated on the north bank of the Brahmaputra River.


Orang National Park Nearest Airport:

Nearest airport is at Salonibari village in Tezpur, about 60 Km from the Orang National Park.


Orang National Park Nearest Railway Station:

Nearest railway stations are Saloni and Rangapara railway stations. 




Orang National Park History (Orang National Park Established)

Orang National Park, also known as Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park, has an interesting history that spans several decades. 


Here is a brief overview of its history:


Game Reserve: The area that is now Orang National Park has a long history of conservation. It was initially declared a Game Reserve in 1915 to protect the rhinoceros population in the region.


Orang Wildlife Sanctuary: In 1985, Orang was designated as a wildlife sanctuary under the Wildlife Protection Act of India, 1972. The sanctuary aimed to safeguard the diverse flora and fauna present in the area, including the Indian rhinoceros, elephants, tigers, and various bird species.


Renamed in 1992: The Orang Wildlife Sanctuary was renamed the Rajiv Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary in 1992.


National Park Status: Recognizing the ecological significance of Orang Wildlife Sanctuary, it was upgraded to a national park on 13th April 1999. The park was renamed Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park in honor of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.


Tiger Reserve: Orang was declared as a tiger reserve in 2016 under Project Tiger. It is the 49th Tiger Reserve in India.


Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park New Name: The Assam cabinet passed a resolution to rename Rajiv Gandhi National Park as Orang National Park in 2021.


Conservation Efforts: In 2022, the Assam government has issued a preliminary notification to make Orang National Park more than thrice its existing size for conserving Gharials. The notification says for adding 200.32 sq. km to the 78.82 sq. km Orang National Park.




Orang National Park Area

Orang National Park covers an area of approximately 78.81 square kilometers (30.42 square miles). The park is relatively compact compared to some other national parks in India but is still significant in terms of biodiversity and conservation efforts. 


The park's landscape consists of grasslands, marshes, wetlands, and forests, providing a diverse habitat for numerous plant and animal species. Despite its relatively small size, Orang National Park is known for its rich wildlife and serves as an important corridor for the movement of animals between larger protected areas in the region.




Orang National Park River

Orang National Park is located on the north bank of the Brahmaputra River. The river serves as a natural boundary for the park and influences the park's topography, vegetation, and wildlife.


Pachnoi, Belsiri and Dhanshiri River border the Orang National Park and join the Brahmaputra river.


(1) Pachnoi River:

  • The Pachnoi river flow along park's eastern boundary. 
  • It is tributary of the Brahmaputra river.


(2) Dhanshiri River:

  • The Dhansiri rivers flow along park's western boundary. 
  • It is tributary of the Brahmaputra river.


(3) Belsiri River:

  • It flow through Orang National Park




Orang National Park Flora

Orang National Park boasts a diverse range of flora, comprising various plant species that thrive in its grasslands, wetlands, and forested areas. 


Here are some notable flora found in Orang National Park:


(1) Grasses: 

The Orang National Park's grasslands are dominated by species such as Imperata cylindrica (cogon grass), Saccharum ravennae (ravenna grass), Phragmites karka, Arundo donax and Themeda arundinacea (kangaroo grass). These grasses provide grazing grounds for herbivores and contribute to the park's unique ecosystem.


(2) Aquatic Plants: 

The wetlands and water bodies in Orang National Park are adorned with a variety of aquatic plants. These include species like Nymphaea spp. (water lilies), Eichhornia crassipes (water hyacinth), Andropogon spp., Ipomoea aquatica (syn. Ipomoea reptans), Enhydra fluctuans and Pistia stratiotes (water lettuce).


(3) Trees:

The forested areas of the Orang National Park are home to several tree species, including Sterculia villosa (Indian almond), Bombax ceiba (silk cotton tree), Lagerstroemia spp. (crepe myrtle), Dalbergia sissoo, Sterculia villosa, Trewia nudiflora, Zizyphus jujuba and Litsea monopetala (syn. L. polyantha) and Terminalia spp. (terminalia trees). These trees provide habitat, food, and shelter for a wide range of animals and birds.


(4) Orchids:

Orang National Park is known for its rich orchid diversity. Several species of orchids can be found in the park, such as Dendrobium spp., Vanda spp., and Coelogyne cristata.


(5) Medicinal Plants:

The Orang National Park is also home to various medicinal plants, which are of cultural and traditional significance to local communities. Some examples include Acorus calamus (sweet flag), Rauwolfia serpentina (Indian snakeroot), and Andrographis paniculata (green chiretta).




Orang National Park Fauna (Orang National Park Animals)

Orang National Park is known for its rich fauna, including a variety of mammal, bird, reptile, and amphibian species. The park's diverse ecosystem supports a wide range of wildlife. 


Here are some notable fauna found in Orang National Park:


Mammals:

  • Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros
  • Royal Bengal Tiger
  • Wild Buffalo
  • Asiatic Elephant
  • Pygmy Hog
  • Wild Boar
  • Leopards
  • Barking Deer
  • Rhesus Macaque
  • Small Indian Civet 
  • Otter
  • Gangetic Dolphin
  • Fishing Cat/Jungle Cat


Note: Orang Tiger Reserve is the only stronghold of One-horned Rhinoceros on the north bank of the Brahmaputra river.


Birds:

Due to its variety of birdlife, including endangered and rare species, the Orang National Park is listed as one of BirdLife International's "Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas" (IBAs).


  • Bengal Florican 
  • Spot-billed Pelican
  • Great White Pelican
  • Black-necked Stork
  • Greater Adjutant Stork
  • Lesser Adjutant Stork
  • Ruddy Shelduck
  • Gadwall
  • Brahminy Duck
  • Mallard
  • Pintail
  • Hornbills
  • Pallas's Fish Eagle
  • King Fisher
  • Woodpecker


Note: The Bengal florican (Houbaropsis bengalensis) is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List and is one of the flagship species of the Orang National Park. 


Reptiles:

  • King Cobra
  • Black Krait
  • Indian Rock Python
  • Bungarus Biger
  • Greater Black Krait
  • Monitor Lizards


Turtles found in Orang National Park are:

  • Indian Tent Turtle  
  • Brown Roof Turtle 
  • Malayan Box Turtle 
  • Eastern Hill Terrapin 
  • Spotted Black Terrapin
  • Indian Soft-shelled Turtle  




Mini Kaziranga National Park

Why Orang is called mini kaziranga?

Orang National Park is sometimes referred to as the "Mini Kaziranga National Park" due to its similarities with Kaziranga National Park. Both parks share a similar landscape characterized by marshes, streams, and grasslands. 


Additionally, both parks are home to the Great Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros, which is one of the main attractions in both places. The nickname "Mini Kaziranga" highlights the resemblance between the two parks and their conservation efforts for the rhinoceros population. 




Top Things to do in Orang National Park

When visiting Orang National Park, there are several activities and experiences that you can enjoy. 


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


  • Wildlife Safari
  • Birdwatching
  • River Cruises
  • Nature Walks
  • Photography
  • Cultural Interactions
  • Conservation Awareness




Orang National Park UPSC Questions

Q. Orang National Park is famous for which animal?/Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park is famous for which animal?/ Why Orang National Park is famous?

A. Orang National Park is famous for Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros.


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

A. Orang National Park is located in the Darrang and Sonitpur districts of Assam, India. It is situated on the north bank of the Brahmaputra River.


Q. What is Orang National Park known for?

A. Orang National Park is known for Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros.


Q. Which rivers flow through Orang National Park?

A. Pachnoi, Belsiri and Dhansiri rivers flow through Orang National Park.


Q. Is Orang is smallest tiger reserve in India?

A. Orang is the smallest national park in Assam.


Q. Which sanctuary is known as Mini Kaziranga?

A. Orang National Park is known as Mini Kaziranga.


Q. Is Orang under Project Tiger?

A. Orang was declared as a tiger reserve in 2016 under Project Tiger. It is the 49th Tiger Reserve in India.


Q. Which National Park is renamed as Orang National Park?

A. Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park is renamed as Orang National Park.

Orang National Park

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