Assam gets 2 new national parks; total goes up to seven
Two new national parks in Assam have got officially notified taking the total number of such protected areas in the state to seven.
The two new national parks are Dihing Patkai and Raimona. Assam already has five national parks—Kaziranga, Manas, Dibru-Saikhowa, Nameri and Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park.
“With the new notifications, Assam will have the third highest numbers of national parks in the country after Madhya Pradesh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands,” Assam forest and environment minister Parimal Suklabaidya said.
Located in Kokrajhar district of the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) in lower Assam, Raimona national park will be spread across 422 sq km.
With Phipsoo wildlife sanctuary in Bhutan to its north, Buxa tiger reserve in West Bengal to its west and Manas national park in Assam to its east, Raimona is located in a 2300 sq km trans-boundary landscape which is essential for long-ranging animals like elephants and tigers.
Raimona is home to elephants, tigers, golden langurs, clouded leopard, wild buffalo, spotted deer, over 150 species of butterflies, 170 species of birds including the white bellied heron and nearly 380 species of plants.
“Conservation of this area will provide water security to more than 2 million people downstream in Kokrajhar and Dhubri districts, will open opportunities for community-based tourism and focused wildlife management,” said a state government release.
Falling in Tinsukia and Dibrugarh districts in upper Assam, the Dihing Patkai national park will be spread over 234 sq km. Known earlier as the Dihing Patkai rain forest, it used to have an area of 111 sq km and was considered the “last remaining stretches” of the Assam Valley tropical wet evergreen forests.
Till date, 47 mammal species including tiger, 47 reptile species and 310 species of butterflies have been recorded in Dihing Patkai.