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Introduction   

Pench Tiger Reserve has a great ecological significance as it represents the floral and faunal wealth of Satpura-Maikal hill range.

The Reserve is rich in natural features like Nagdeo Pahadi, Ambakhori Waterfall (Seasonal), Totaladoh Dam, Maghdoot Jalashaya (Pond), Out Fall (Gawali Ghat) etc.

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Conservation History    

Prior to re-organisation of State, in the Pench Tiger Reserve area, shooting block system was initiated in 1927, where on receipt of permission from C.F., the D.F.O. used to permit shooting in certain blocks abundant in game.

The Bombay Wild Animals and Wild Birds Act, 1951 was extended to Vidarbha Region from 1.6.1961, which prescribed a closed season between 1st of April to 31st of October every year for hunting and also prescribed registration of arm license holders with the Wildlife Preservation Officer.

The area was declared as Pench National Park (Maharashtra) by the Government of Maharashtra vide notification no. R&F.D./1395/212768/F-1 dated 22/11/1975 with an area of 257.26 sq. km. Government of India declared the area as Pench Tiger Reserve vide their notification no.III(I)-25/98-PT dated 11.2.1999. This was reinforced with Government of Maharashtra declaration of Pench National Park as Pench Tiger Reserve vide resolution no.WLP-1095/CR-110/F-1 dated 23.2.1999.

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Census

Animal
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
 
  Tiger
  9
  10
  12
  5
  3
  8
  Panther
  7
  10
  10
  12
  6
  7
  Gaur
  205
  276
  --
  269
  214
  227
  Sambar
  828
  846
  --
  675
  804
  823
  Chital
  533
  746
  --
  1243
  1703
  1274
  Barking deer
  358
  264
  --
  205
  208
  284
  Blue Bull
  112
  65
  --
  90
  216
  185
  Macaque
  2
  --
  --
  --
  --
  --
  Langoor
  1086
  495
  --
  576
  499
  438
  Wild Boar
  653
  588
  --
  490
  503
  --
  Bear
  17
  24
  --
  6
  23
  17
  Wild dogs
  146
  41
  --
  56
  79
  72
  Civet cat
  2
  7
  --
  1
  1
  5

Note: In the year 1995, due to the heavy rainfall during census period, waterhole count was not reliable. For Tiger and Leopard pug-mark census and for other species waterhole count methodology is used. Figures for Tiger and Leopard based on waterhole count for year 1996, 97 and 98.

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Archeology  

Age old Ghuggusgarh Fort is situated on the western bank of river Pench and is in West Pench Range of the Reserve.

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Forest Types   

Dry teak bearing forests,Southern dry deciduous mixed forests

Major Flora

Main Species

Hardwickia binata, Chloroxylon swietenia, Pterocarpus marsupium, Adina cordifolia, Terminalia leucophioea, Mitragayna parviflora, Acacia catechu, Dolichandrone falcata, Madhaca longifolia, Scherbera swieteniodes, Butea monosperma, Soymida febrifuga, Tectona grandis, Terminalia tomentosa, Dalbergia latifolia, Diospyros melanoxylon, Ougenia ogeinensis

Main Species

Major Fauna

Presbytis entelius, Canis aureus, Canis alphinus, Melursus ursinus, Herpestes edwardsi, Hyaena hyaena, Panthera tigris, Panthera pardus, Felis chaus, Sus scrofa, Axis axis, Cervus unicolor, Muntiacus muntjak, Bos gaurus, Boselaphus tragocamelus, Tetraceros quadricornis, Ratufa indica, Hystrix indica, Mains crassicaudata.

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Management     

Practices, Achievements and Shortfalls

After the notification, the aim of the management has been to protect, maintain and improve the environment of the Pench Tiger Reserve. The soil-moisture conservation and tourism development have been undertaken. Fire protection measure are taken every year by cutting the boundary line of the Tiger Reserve and burning the debris when it is dried. Water holes, salt licks and meadows are also maintained
Tremendous disturbance and biotic pressure has been inflicted on the forests of the Reserve at the time of construction of the Pench Hydal dam at Totladoh, which could have been an excellent abode for the flora and fauna.

As per the directive and judgement of Hon'ble Supreme Court of India fishing is totally banned in Pench Tiger Reserve. But due to the interference of Anti-social elements, there is occasional and deliberate illegal fishing in the Pench Reservoir. Due to alertness and strict vigilance of the staff, illegal fishing is under total control.

There is a total control on illicit felling due to strict patrolling by the staff.

The flow of tourists is kept under check on holidays like 31st December/ 1st January, Holi, 15th August, 26th January etc.

Special Projects 

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New Initiatives

Eco-development

Village eco-development works have been started in Sillari and Tuyapar villages of East Pench Range. Due to the introduction of this programme with assistance of World Bank the result of the scheme is encouraging. 11 families of Sillari village and 13 families of Tuyapar village were provided with Bio-gas to reduce their fire wood consumption. There is demand of people to implement this scheme in other villages around the Reserve. Due to benefits, villagers reciprocate by help in forest/fire protection etc.

Village Forest Protection Committees

Village protection committees have not been yet formed in Pench Tiger Reserve. But due to the introduction of village eco-development programmes in villages like Sillari and Tuyapar, the people help in tracing and reducing forest offences. The people in above villages are help in patrolling in forest with forest staff.

Protection Squads / Patrolling

In Pench Tiger Reserve, patrolling is done on foot as well as by vehicles when available. Recently, a system of group patrolling (group of 4-5 guards) has been introduced. The patrolling groups camp deep inside the forest. A joint patrolling programme was executed with Madhya Pradesh forest authorities during 1998-1999.

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Constraints

Human population

Looking to the statistics of 1981 and 1991 census there is about 25 per cent increase in the human population of Nagpur District (1981-25.89 lacs, 1991-32.87 lacs). There is only one village named Fulzari inside the boundary of the Reserve, whereas about 9 villages are situated on the periphery of Pench Tiger Reserve. As such about 3700 people of these villages are entirely dependent on the Reserve for their daily needs of firewood and small timber.

Livestock population

The cattle population of 9 villages around and one village inside the Reserve is 4097 which is solely dependent on Pench for grazing.

Encroachment

There is some encroachment in protected area by villagers of Fulzari and Ghatpendhri. The process of shifting the village "Fulzari" from inside the Reserve is in progress. The encroachments along the boundary of Pench Tiger Reserve need to be identified. There are illegal occupants in the temporary structures of Irrigation Department at Totladoh.

Grazing

Domestic cattle from the villages in and around the Reserve i.e. Fulzari, Sillari, Pipariya, Totladoh, Ghatpendhri, Narhar, Banera are more or less dependent on this Reserve.

Fire

Proper fire fighting measures are taken to keep the protected area safe from fire, even though the grants sanctioned for the fire fighting measures are inadequate.

Fire incidence year wise

Year
Cases No.
Total Area(Ha)
% of area to the total area of PTR
       
  1994-95
  18
  3875
  15.07
  1995-96
  18
  1137
  4.42
  1996-97
  23
  3661
  14.24
  1997-98
  8
  2062
  8.02
  1998-99
  9
  538
  2.09

Poaching of fauna and flora

Few cases of poaching of fauna and flora have been detected. Though there is great pressure of illegal fishing in Totladoh Reservoir, but it is controlled through round the clock patrolling and vigilance.

Criminals and Extremists

Except for fishermen involved in illegal fishing, criminals and extremists are not noticed in Pench Tiger Reserve.

Diseases

Diseases among the wild animals are not noticed in the Reserve.

Control of the Buffer

The buffer zone is not with the management of the Pench Tiger Reserve. Hence no comments are offered. The forests around the Reserve are with Nagpur Forest Division or Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra.

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Conflicts     

Man-Animal

Damage to crops by herbivores is the main reason of man-animal conflict. Few cases of cattle lifting by tiger or leopard from inside the Reserve has occurred. The damage to human and cattle in the villages around the Reserve is not reported.

Man-Forest

In Pench , the main man and forest conflict arises for grazing of domestic cattle.


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