“Dudhwa was classified as a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1958, a National Park in 1977, and then as a Tiger Reserve in 1988. Located on the India-Nepal border at the foothills of the Himalayas, the Protected Area covers approximately 2,200 km2 with a core area of 1,100 km2. A rich biodiversity of flora and fauna exists within this range including mega-fauna such as the Bengal Tiger, Asian Elephant, Leopard and One-Horned Rhino five species of deer, over 423 species of birds, and even endangered Gharial and River Dolphins within the Katarniaghat site.
Forest guards patrol our natural heritage all year, even through extreme weather and difficult field conditions. The Habitats Trust been involved in distributing patrol kits for the aid of forest guards in the Dudhwa landscape.”
Across the country there are grassroots conservationists working dedicatedly, with little to no support, to protect our biodiversity. The work they do in their individual capacity has a huge positive impact on conservation in the country. This grant aims to recognize these conservation heroes and provide them a platform to expand their activities and garner further support for their work.
Dudhwa was classified as a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1958, a National
Park in 1977, and then as
a Tiger Reserve in 1988. Located on the India-Nepal border at the
foothills of the
Himalayas, the Protected area covers approximately 2,200 km 2 with a
core area of 1,100
km 2 . Dudhwa National Park, Kishanpur and Katerniaghat Wildlife
Sanctuaries, along with
the forests of Shahjahanpur, North Kheri and South Kheri Forest
Divisions are together
classified as Dudhwa Tiger Reserve.
A rich biodiversity of flora and fauna exists within this range including mega-fauna such as the Bengal Tiger, Asian Elephant, Leopard and One-Horned Rhino (following a successful re - introduction program), five species of deer, over 423 species of birds, and even endangered Gharial and River Dolphins within the Katarniaghat site. Additionally, the reserve is connected to important wildlife parks in Nepal including Bardia, Banke and Shukhaphanta National Parks. However, due to its proximity to the border and growing tiger population, Dudhwa has become the target of poachers and illegal wildlife traders. Additionally, a large population of forest dependent communities puts great pressure on the forests.
Forest guards patrol our natural heritage all year, even through extreme weather conditions like torrential rain, harsh winters, blistering heat; they are the first line of defence in the fight to secure our wildlife and natural habitats. On 8 August 2018, The Habitats Trust distributed 1,000 monsoon patrol kits to forest guards and rangers of Dudhwa Tiger Reserve. Each kit comprised of life straw filtration water bottles, camouflage raincoats, sturdy gumboots and a weather proof torch, all packed together in a forest green backpack.
Over the past couple of years, our on-going work in Dudhwa Tiger Reserve has led to a deeper understanding of the landscape and meaningful relationships with the local forest department. The staff’s work on ground is challenging and intense, and we were hoping to provide support in the most relevant ways possible. Mobility assistance was one of those areas.
In October, 2022, The Habitats Trust fulfilled their commitment to the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve to provide support for mobility infrastructure in terms of three Tata Safari vehicles (one Tata Safari Kaziranga edition for the Field Director of Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, and two Tata Safari XEs). We hope that these vehicles will help the department with sound patrolling work and reach locations that need attention with ease. The vehicles, which came from dealers in Noida, UP, reached the office of the Field Director DTR in Lakhimpur on October 22, 2022, where this handover took place. - Kaushik Sarkar