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Introduction  

Namdapha Tiger Reserve is named after the river Namdapha originating from Daphabum, the highest mountain peak in the Reserve. Almost the whole of the protected area has a dense cover of vegetation with high hills, and numerous rivers and seasonal streams. Four big cats viz. tiger, leopard, clouded leopard and snow leopard are existing in the Namdapha. Hoolock Gibbon, Golden Cat, Marbled Cat, Mishmi Takin, Red Panda, Namdapha Flying Squirrel, White Wing Wood Duck, Namdapha Shortwing Bird are indicative of unique faunal diversity of Namdapha.

More than 60 per cent of the area of the PA is virgin and unexplored.It has only one motor-able road, that also up to 40th Mile during winter season.

These bottlenecks and remoteness of the large part of the Reserve act as a natural barrier for its protection but at the same time handicap management activities.

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Conservation History

The area was originally Reserved Forest and was declared as Wildlife Sanctuary in 1972 under Assam Forest Regulation. It was declared a National Park in 1983. In the same year, it was declared a Tiger Reserve under Project Tiger Scheme of the Government of India. An area of 177.425 sq. km. of Reserved Forest was added to the Tiger Reserve in 1986.

Prior to constitution of Arunachal Pradesh, the entire Union Territory was known as North East Frontier Agency (N.E.F.A.). A scheme for the creation of a National Park in N.E.F.A. was proposed in 1947. The area chosen for the purpose lies in the valley of the Diyan or Noa-Dehing river and its catchment area, whose elevation above mean sea level varies between 500 ft. at the Miao village to 15,020 ft. at Daphabum. The scheme aimed at the establishment of the National Park for public recreation, research and study of wildlife in natural surrounding of an area of 802.9 sq. miles.

After inquiry and settlement proceeding a draft for final notification proposing the entire area from M'Pen to Vijoynagar for reservation as it was thought, for unknown reasons, that it would be better to do so. As a result of some controversy, the matter remained pending.

Then came the 1962 Chinese war and afterwards papers related to creation of a National Park could not be traced till 1969. The Deputy Commissioner of Khonsa proposed to the Director of Forest in1969 that as area of the proposed Reserved Forest extended upto Patkai range and Daphabum is situated just on the inter-district boundary between Tirap and Lohit, it would be suitable to name it as Namdapha Reserved Forest instead of Daphabum Reserved Forest. The area was declared a Reserved Forest under the Assam Forest Regulation in the year 1970. Subsequently, after persistent follow up by the forest department, the whole reserve was declared a Wildlife Sanctuary in the year 1972.

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Census

Animal
1993
1995
1997
2002
 
  Tiger
  49
  52
57
  61

 

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Forest Types

Assam Valley Tropical Wet Evergreen Forest ,Upper Assam Valley Tropical Wet Evergreen , Upper Assam Valley Tropical Wet Evergreen Forests ,Assam Valley Tropical Semi Evergreen Forests ,Sub Himalayan Light Alluvium Semi Evergreen Forests ,Secondary Moist Bamboo ,Eastern Hoolock Forest ,East Himalayan Moist Temperate Forest ,Moist Alpine Scrub .

Major Flora

More than 700 naturalised plant species have been enlisted in Flora of Melghat. These species belong to about 400 genera representing as many as 97 families. There are 90 tree spp., 66 shrubs spp., 316 herbs spp., 56 climbers, 23 sedges and 99 grass species alongwith 60-70 newly identified species.

Main Species

Dipterocarpus macrocarpus, Terminalia myriocarpa, Shorea assamica, Abies delavavi, Pinus merkusi.

Major Fauna

Main Species

Mammals: Tiger, Panther, Clouded Leopard, Snow Leopard, Sambar, Barking Deer, Himalayan black bear, Gaur, Hoolock Gibbons..

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Management

Practices, Achievements and Shortfalls

The management practice is confined to the improvement of habitat and maintenance of the existing infrastructure, setting up of new camps in the interior and taking up anti-poaching steps.

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Special Projects 

New Initiatives

Eco-development

The Reserve management achieved remarkable success in generating goodwill, among the people along the periphery of the Reserve, by free distribution of medicine and organising free medical check-up camps in the villages.

Village Forest Protection Committees

Nil

Protection Squads / Patrolling

NIL

Education and Awareness

Since 1996-97, every year more than 50 villagers are taken to Kaziranga, to learn about the importance of wildlife and its potential in improving the economic condition of the people through wildlife tourism and other activities and also to make people feel proud about Namdapha heritage.


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Constraints


Human population

Within the core there are 6 small patches covering a total area of nearly 25 hectares, which are subjected to wet cultivation by local tribal community and is under illegal occupation. Deban, M'pen and Gandhigram settlements are on the periphery of the Reserve. They are very small in size. Gandhigram has about 2000 people belonging to Lisu tribe. The population of the other two villages is nearly 445 persons.

Livestock population

There is no livestock in core. There exist a few 'Khutis of cattle' between M'Pen and Gibbonsland on the periphery of the Reserve wherein around 500 cattle are kept and are allowed to graze in the nearby forest area. However, these cattle occasionally enter the Reserve also. Cattle population of M'Pen and Deban villages is merely 460 cows and 198 buffaloes. The figure of Gandhigram is not available.

Encroachment

Happy Valley (6 ha.) encroachment since 1950 and 42nd Mile (7 ha.) encroachment since 1982 were removed/Vacated in 1998. There exist about 37 ha encroachment.

Grazing

None in the core. In the buffer there is small pressure from the cattle of P.W.D. Camps and surrounding villages.

Fire

The incidents of fire are rare. However, sometimes due to burning of Jhum cultivation area in the fringe of the Reserve, the fire spreads and thus few instances of forest fire occur along the boundary. In recent years, forest fire incidents haves been detected inside the Reserve also, which in all probability, are caused by the illegal activities of some miscreants/ poachers.

Poaching of fauna and flora

Occasional.

Poaching Cases

   
Year
Case
  1992-93
  One Sambar
  1995-96
  A case of Fishing
  1996-97
  A case of Fishing
  1997-98
  A Wild Boar and a Barking Deer







Criminals and Extremists

Activities cannot be ruled out.

Epidemics

Foot and mouth disease is noticed sometimes. But no epidemic has been recorded.

Control of the Buffer

Legal Status of the area is Reserved forests. Steps have been taken to change it to Wildlife Sanctuary under Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

Highways

Miao to Gandhigram Road, 105 km. was constructed prior to constitution of the Tiger Reserve. It is being maintained by the State P.W.D. who have permanent camps at Deban and 40th Mile. Miao - Vijoynagar Road (13 km.) passes through buffer zone.

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Conflicts

Man-Animal

One case was reported in 1998, when 3 persons were injured by one black panther in the village Bodhi-Satva near Deban.

Man-Forest

Occasional reports are received regarding collection of non-timber forest produce in the fringe area.

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Action Points

The forest personnel are provided with arms and ammunitions but have not been provided with legal powers to use these arms for the protection of the tiger project. It has been experienced over the years that at the time of necessity, management does not get any armed force from the local law and order maintenance authority since the deployment of force inside the tiger project comes last in their priority of work. If at all the force is deployed it shows no initiative or involvement in going inside the forest. Thus it is important that forest staff and officials should be legally empowered to use to fire-arms for discharge of wildlife protection duty.

Strive to provide basic necessities such as housing, medical aid, education, safe drinking water, kerosene, electricity, transport etc. to the field personnel and their families.

A proposed highway, bifurcating the Reserve may cause increased poaching and illicit cutting of timber. This needs serious attention.

Illegal settlers are encroaching the area of the Reserve from across the international border of the country. This must be checked.

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