Bandipura Tiger Reserve
This National Park was formed by including most of the forest areas of the then Venugopala Wildlife Park established under Govt. Notification dated 19th February 1941 and the area was enlarged in 1985 extending over an area of 874.20 Sq.Km and named as Bandipur National Park. This reserve was brought under Project Tiger in 1973. Subsequently some adjacent reserve forest areas were added to the reserve and extending to 880.02 Sq. Km. The present area under the control of Bandipur Tiger Reserve is 912.04 Sq. Km. An area of 39.80 Sq. Km of KFDC plantation area was handed over to this division during 2007-08. During 2010-11 the Nugu Wildlife Sanctuary was handed over to Wildlife Division, Mysore.
The Bandipur, Nagarahole, Wayanad, Mudumalai and Sathyamangalam Tiger Landscape is spread across the states of Karnataka (Bandipur-Nagarahole), Tamil Nadu (Mudumalai-Sathyamangalam) and Kerala (Wayanad). Is a fine example of managing inter-state Tiger Reserves for the long term Conservation of Tiger Source Population. During 2010-11, Camera trap exercise along the Segur plateau-Moyar Gorge-Sathyamangalam region of Tamil Nadu gave evidence of resident Tiger population as well as the possible movement of individuals between this region and the BRT Tiger Reserve and onward to M.M. Hills & Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuaries. This landscape showed an overall increase in the Tiger occupancy in 2010 as compared to 2006 All India Tiger Estimation Exercise. The Tiger population on the Karnataka side (Nagarahole, Bandipur, BRT Tiger Reserves, M.M. Hills & Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary and adjoining forest) was estimated at 231 Tigers (214-249) covering an area of 4,460 Sq. Km. Since, this Tiger population is contiguous with Mudumalai in Tamil Nadu and Wayanad in Kerala, and move across the state boundaries, this Tiger number is not unique to Karnataka, but are indicative for the state. The Bandipur Tiger Reserve along with Nagarahole, Mudumalai, Sathyamangalam & Wayanad Landscape is the source population in the Western Ghats landscape complex with an estimated Tiger population of about 382 (354-411), constitutes the single largest Wild population of Tigers in the world (Jhala et al, 2011). Currently, with the occupancy of Tigers over an area of 21,435 km2, comprising 21 of the total forested area of the Western Ghats this landscape complex holds 1/8th of world’s Tiger population (1/4th of India’s Tiger population) i.e. around 534 Tigers (500-568), an increase of 29.6 over the 2006 estimates of 412 Tigers (India: Tiger Estimate 2010, Ministry of Environment and Forests).
Location & Extent
The Tiger Reserve is situated in the contiguous landscape spread in the two revenue districts of Southern Karnataka namely the Mysore (Nanjangud & H.D. Kote Taluks) and Chamarajanagar (Gundlupet Taluk). It is a distinctive landmass located at the tri-junction area of the States of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Lies between the North Latitudes 110 35’ 34” and 110 55’ 02” and between the East Longitudes 760 12’ 17” and 760 51’ 32” of Karnataka State in Southern India. Is part of the Western Ghats Tiger Landscape consisting of Mudumalai, Nagarahole Tiger Reserves and the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary. The South-Eastern portion of the Tiger Reserve gets connected to the adjoining Tiger landscape of BRT Tiger Reserve, M.M. Hills and Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary through the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve.
Bandipur National Park helps protect several species of Indias endangered wildlife and also provides refuge to other threatened and vulnerable species of flora and fauna.
Bandipur supports a wide range of timber trees including: teak (Tectona grandis), rosewood (Dalbergia latifolia), sandalwood (Santalum album V), Indian-laurel (Terminalia tomentosa), Indian kino tree (Pterocarpus marsupium), giant clumping bamboo (Dendrocalamus strictus), clumping bamboo (Bambusa arundinacea) and Grewia tiliaefolia.
There are also several notable flowering and fruiting trees and shrubs including: kadam tree (Adina cordifolia), Indian gooseberry (Emblica officinalis), crape-myrtle (Lagerstroemia lanceolata), axlewood (Anogeissus latifolia), black myrobalan (Terminalia chebula), Schleichera trijuga, Odina wodiar, flame of the forest (Butea monosperma), golden shower tree (Cassia fistula), satinwood (Chloroxylon swietenia), black cutch (Acacia catechu), Shorea talura (E), indigoberry (Randia uliginosa).
Bandipur supports a good population of endangered and vulnerable species like Indian elephants, gaurs, tigers, sloth bears, muggers, Indian rock pythons, four-horned antelopes, jackals and dholes.
The commonly seen mammals along the public access roads in the park include chital, gray langurs, Indian giant squirrels and elephants. A list of medium to large-sized mammals in the park is given in the following census table published in 1997:
The foot hill plains of Nilgiri hills abutting smaller hill ranges along with the main chain of Nilgiri Mountain range bordering Bandipur Tiger Reserve comprises of Achaean metamorphic rock which include Charnockite, Biotitic, Magnetite, Quartzite, Hornblende, Granulite, Pegmatite, and Dolerite and Quartz veins. Intensive bands of Charnockite forms bulk of the rock units in bordering Mudumalai Tiger Reserve area, extending in to the Bandipur Tiger Reserve. This hypersthenes-bearing bluish grey rock forms the basement in high-grade metamorphic terrain. The Charnockite has granolithic texture and contains quartz, feldspar, hypersthenes garnet and hornblende, Biotite, apatite and zircon as accessory minerals. Hornblende Granulite is found along the areas bordering Wayanad, extending into the Bandipur Tiger Reserve.
The underlying rocks belong mainly to the metamorphic formations of which Gneiss, Quartzite, Mica, Hornblende and Schists are found generally all over. The Igneous rocks, Granite and Charnockite are found intruding through the metamorphic rocks appear as out crops at higher levels and in the beds of water course. Quartz is a major component of the rock formations in the south east extreme of the Reserve in Kaniyanapura Block-II and III, Moyar Area and the fissile character of the Granite near Yelchatti is largely due to the banding of Quartz veins. A variety of Pinkish Grey Granite is seen in the beds of Heballa, Honnurhatti and Arekadu halla (Dr. Kadambi).
Two Principal types of Soil are –
Clay soil, generally deep, mixed with nodular lime stone on undulating ground.
Grey or Red Sandy loam on slopes and other well drained areas.
The soils are shallow on the hill tops and deep in valleys.
The substratum of clayey soils is generally a variety of white, soft, easily disintegrating rock in which feldspar predominates. The clayey soils are confined to low lying localities in patches. The substratum of loamy soils consists generally of metamorphic formations which are highly ferruginous. The reddish loam soils are the product of the process of weathering of these underlying ferruginous rocks. The best forest growth is found on deep well drained loamy soils.
There are patches of shale mixed with powdered quartz containing some minerals and salts which form the Natural Salt Licks for the Wild Animals. The one at Upneerhalla and some on Chammanalla road are good examples of this type.
The Central Government vide notification SO 2364(E) dated 4th October, 2012 under the provisions of the Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986 (29 of 1986) subsection (1) read with clause (v) and clause (xiv) of sub-section (2) of section (3) and sub-rule (3) of rule 5 of the Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986 have notified the Eco-Sensitive Zone of the Bandipur Tiger Reserve covering a geographical area of 597.45 Sq.Km. which includes 123 villages.