Pilibhit Tiger Reserve
|Pilibhit Tiger Reserve Area|
|Tiger Reserve Area|
|District||Pilibhit, Lakhimpur and Gahraich|
|• Total||1,079 km2 (417 sq mi)|
|Elevation||172 m (564 ft)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
50,000 expected in 2015
|Governing body||Uttar Pradesh Forest Departmant , National Tiger Conservation Authority|
|Precipitation||780 millimetres (31 in)|
|Avg. summer temperature||36.8 °C (98.2 °F)|
|Avg. winter temperature||14.5 °C (58.1 °F)|
Pilibhit Tiger Reserve is located in Pilibhit district, Lakhimpur Kheri District and Bahraich District of Uttar Pradesh state in India. It lies along the India-Nepal border in the foothills of the Himalayas and the plains of the ‘terai’ in Uttar Pradesh. It is one of India's 41 Project Tiger Tiger reserves.
Pilibhit is one of the few well forested districts in Uttar Pradesh. According to an estimate of year 2004, Pilibhit district has over 800 km2 (310 sq mi) forests, constituting roughly 23% of the district’s total area. Forests in Pilibhit have at least 36 tigers and a good prey base for their survival.
With Corbett Tiger Reserve going to Uttrakhand, Uttar Pradesh always wanted to develop the Pilibhit forests area as a home for the striped cats. A proposal, created in 2005, to make a home for the endangered cats in Pilibhit forests was sent to the government of India in April 2008. Pilibhit Tiger Reserve was declared in September 2008 on the basis of its special type of ecosystem with vast open spaces and sufficient feed for the elegant predators.
The northeastern boundary of the reserve is the River Sharda (Nepali:Mahakali River) which defines the Indo-Nepal border, while the southwest boundary is marked by the River Sharda and the River Ghaghara. The reserve has a core zone area of 1,089 km2 (420 sq mi) (proposed) and buffer zone area of 627 km2 (242 sq mi) (proposed). Elevation ranges from 168 to 175 meters above MSL
Indian government has decided to reserve four new areas for tiger conservation, including Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, in September 2008. Pilibhit Tiger Reserve lies on the India-Nepal border in the foothills of the Himalayas and the plains of the ‘terai’ in Uttar Pradesh.
This new reserve would run through Pilibhit District, Kishenpur sanctuary and Khutar range of Shahjahanpur, the existing one would have Dudhwa, Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary and Kakraha range of Bahraich division. Pilibhit, Khutar and Kakraha are reserved forest areas which will be converted into protected areas for the reserves.
This reserve is one of the finest examples of the highly diversified and productive Terai-Duar savanna and grasslands eco-system. The Terai forests and grasslands constitute habitat for over 127 animals, 556 bird species and 2,100 flowering plants. They are also home to around 6 million people who depend on them for their livelihoods.
The Dudhwa tigers are distributed in one major and three smaller populations. Major population is constituted by Dudhwa reserve which includes Dudhwa National Park, Kishenpur and Katarniaghat wildlife sanctuaries, Pilibhit forests and north and south Kheri forests. Smaller tiger populations are present in Bijnor forests in west and Suhelwa and Sohagibarwa wildlife sanctuaries in east.
According to a study by Wildlife Institute of India (WII), the Dudhwa-Pilibhit tiger population has high conservation value since it is the only population having the ecological and behavioural adaptations of the tiger unique to the Tarai region.
The nearest major town with railhead and bus service is Pilibhit which has train connections to most major cities in northern India, including Delhi and Lucknow. Pilibhit Tiger Reserve has its own station too, but connections to it are scarce, moreover Government of Uttar Pradesh is planning to stop rail traffic in the tiger reserve area as it has caused the death of wild animals. Puranpur and Bisalpur are other towns near to Tiger Reserve, which also has a few trains coming in from other parts of Uttar Pradesh.
Pilibhit city is well connected with Bareilly in west and Nainital in north (Via Khatima). There are good road connections to Pilibhit Tiger Reserve via Shahjahanpur. Private coaches and buses operated by the UP State Road Transport Corporation connect Pilibhit to Bareilly, Delhi, Lakhimpur Kheri, Shahjahanpur and other towns.
- Where to stay
For visitors, the tiger reserve area has its own tourist log huts, lodges and forest resthouses at Bankatti, Mala, Chuka and other places. All are pretty minimalist (except the one at Chuka, which has a small canteen attached to it), and charge no more than a nominal tariff.
Alternatively, Pilibhit and Bareilly have hotels where tourists can have air conditioned or non-air conditioned rooms at nominal price. Hotels also provide daily vehicles to the tiger reserve areas.
- Best time to visit
The best time to visit Pilibhit Tiger Reserve is between September and mid-June. The Reserve area remains open to the public from September to June, but by June it’s usually a little too hot for comfort. In the rainy season, also, the weather can ruin your trip, so this season is better to avoid. Remember to take your woollens along if you’re going between December and February — it can get pretty chilly here, but then you see lot of wild animals due to clean grass in the foothills of the Terai.
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- Four new Tiger reserves in the making, 2008-05-23
- "Pilibhit Tiger Reserve", Reserve Guide - Project Tiger Reserves In India (National Tiger Conservation Authority), retrieved 2012-02-29