Kaptai National Park
|Kaptai National Park|
|Location||Rangamati District, Chittagong Division, Bangladesh|
|Area||54.64 km2 (21.10 sq mi)|
|Governing body||Bangladesh Forest Department|
Kaptai National Park is a major national park of Bangladesh situated in Rangamati District. It was established in 1999 and its area is 5,464.78 hectares(13,498.0 Acres). Prior to declaration of the national park it was Sitapahar Reserve. The original Sitapahar Reserve area was 14,448.0 acres.Out of this an area of 100 acres have been dereserved for the establishment of the industrial estate at Kaptai. It is about 57 kilometre from Chittagong city. It comprises with two Ranges namely Kaptai Range and Karnaphuli Range. Kaptai National park is being managed under CHT South Forest Division. It is historically important because of first time teak (Tectona grandis) plantation in Bangladesh was started from this area. Its forest type is mixed evergreen forest. In 2009 IPAC(Integrated Protected Area Co-management) project started its activities in this protected area.
The NP is situated inside the Kaptai City and since the natural scenery is very attractive and it receives lots of visitors year round. Nearly 60 local people are employed as service providers to the tourists and the services range from transport, vendors, restaurants and gift shop. The NP has high community development opportunities through eco-tourism if properly planned. The Park also provides subsistence to local people through NTFPs. Surrounding population of the National Park area is about 3000. Also it is close to the largest lake of Bangladesh which is Kaptai lake, another tourist destination.
Kaptai National Park is unique for its historic monumental Teak plantations of 1873, 1878 and 1879, the starting points of modern Forest Management in this sub-continent. These plantations have taken the look of natural forests and supports wildlife.
Notable animals are Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), western hoolock gibbon (Hylobates hoolock), Phayre's leaf monkey (Trachypithecus phayrei), capped leaf monkey (Trachypithecus pileatus), dholes (Cuon alpinus), wild boar (Sus scrofa), sambar (Cervus unicolor), barking deer (Muntiacus muntjak), clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), rock python (Python molurus), etc. Among these, elephants, clouded leopards and dholes are critically endangered species of Bangladesh. Although elephants and gibbons are fairly common, dholes and sambars are very rare.
It is a harbour of many wild birds. Notable birds are red junglefowl (Gallus gallus), kalij pheasant (Lophura leucomelanos), lineated barbet (Magalaima lineata), oriental pied hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris), Indian roller (Coracias benghalensis), cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis), great egret (Casmerodius albus), greater racket-tailed drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus), jungle myna (Acridotheres fuscus), large blue flycatcher (Cyornis magnirostris) etc.
There are many important plants available in the Kaptai National Park such as kali garjan (Dipterocarpus turbinatus), gutgutia (Fortium serratum), bohera (Terminalia belerica), pitali (Trewia nudiflora), pitraj (Aphanamixis polystachya), jarul (Lagerstroemia speciosa), chatim (Alstonia scholaris), ashok (Saraca indica), mehogoni (Swietenia mahagoni), toon (Toona ciliata), dharmara (Stereospermum personatum), udal (Sterculia villosa), civit (Swintonia floribunda), bandorhola (Duabanga grandiflora), barmala (Callicarpa arbores), amloki (Phyllanthus embelica), horitoki (Terminalia chebula), dhakijam (Syzygium grande), teak (Tectona grandis), sonalu (Cassia fistula), champaphul (Michelia champaca), bonsimul (Salmalia insignis) etc. It is especially famous for its Burmese teak plantations. 
The main threats to this NP are illicit felling of commercially important teak, intensive collection of fuel wood and over grazing of livestock. Fuel wood collection takes many forms, from collection of dead wood to harvesting of branches and whole stem which if not sustainably done may damage the ecological balance of this NP. Continuous droughts and civil strife have resulted in a large increase in the number of people along the boundaries of the park in the last three decades. Most of these people own livestock and engage in subsistence agriculture. The presence of large numbers of livestock has increased pressure on the national park.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kaptai National Park.|
- Bhawal National Park
- Satchari National Park
- List of protected areas of Bangladesh
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- Sangu Wildlife Sanctuary
- Para, Bangladesh – a village located within Lawachara National Park
- Punji – a village located within Lawachara National Park
- Bonnozahid (26 June 2010). "BonnoZahid: Kaptai National Park,Rangamati,Bangladesh".
- "Monitoring and Conservation of Wildlife in Kaptai NP of Bangladesh". m.facebook.com.
- "Say hello to the new bird!". 13 May 2014.