Papikonda National Park

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A view of Papikonda Wildlife Sanctuary from river Godavari in Andhra Pradesh

Papikonda National Park (Papi Hills) is located in East Godavari and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh[1], covering an area of 1,012.86 km2 (391.07 sq mi).[2]. It is an Important Bird and Biodiversity area and home to some endangered species of flora and fauna[3]. No part of Papikonda remains outside East and West Godavari districts after 2014 and after the construction of Polavaram Dam.

History[edit]

Papikonda national park was initially notified as a wildlife sanctuary in 1978[4]. It was upgraded to a national park in 2008[3][1]

Geography[edit]

The park boundaries lie between 18° 49’ 20” N to 19° 18’ 14” N, 79° 54’ 13” E to 83° 23’ 35” E spread across the East and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh. River Godavari flows through the park[3]. The elevation in the park varies between 20-850 metres and receives an annual rainfall of 1168 mm[3].

Flora[edit]

The vegetation of Papikonda national park contains species of moist deciduous and dry deciduous forests [4] . Some of the trees include Pterocarpus marsupium, Terminalia tomentosa, Terminalia arjuna, Adina cardifolia, Sterculia urens, Magnifera indica, Anogeissus latifolia.[4][3]

Fauna[edit]

Mammals[edit]

The mammals either sighted or camera trapped includes Tiger, Leopard, Rusty-spotted cat, Jungle cat, Sloth bear, Civets, Mongoose, Wild boar and Honey badger[5].

The herbivore population spotted includes Spotted deer, Sambar deer, Indian muntjac, Mouse deer, Indian bison, Nilgai, Four-horned antelope[5]. The national park has population of both Rhesus macaque which are normally found north of Godavari and Bonnet macaque that are usually found south of Godavari. Gray langurs are also seen inside the national park.[3] Presence of water buffaloes from this region was recorded during the British imperial time[6]

Birds[edit]

The national park was recognized as an Important Bird and Biodiversity area by Birdlife International1,6 in 2016. Some of the endangered, vulnerable and near threatened species of birds reported includes Black-bellied tern, Pale-capped pigeon, Yellow-throated bulbul, Oriental Darter, Pallid Harrier, Great Thick-knee, River Lapwing, River Tern, Malabar pied hornbill, Alexandrine Parakeet.

Some of the tropical moist forest species of birds sighted were Black-throated munia, Indian scimitar babbler, Jerdon's Nightjar, Malabar Trogon, Malabar Whistling-thrush. A subspecies of Abbot's babbler identified and named after ornithologist K.S.R.Krishna Raju was sighted around the periphery of the national park.[7]

Reptiles[edit]

Indian Golden gecko, endemic to the eastern ghats was reported from this national park.[8] King cobras were sighted in and around the protected area[3][9].

Threats[edit]

The Polavaram irrigation project once completed will submerge parts of the national park.[2]

Poaching, forest fires and clearing forest for podu cultivation were some of the threats.[3][10][11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Wildlife Protected Areas Andhra Pradesh 2014".
  2. ^ "PAPIKONDA Wildlife Sanctuary". AP forest department. Archived from the original on 25 January 2014. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Rahmani, A.R; Islam, M.Z.; Kasambe, R.M (2016). Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas in India: Priority Sites for Conservation (Revised and updated). India: Bombay Natural History Society, Indian Bird Conservation Network, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and BirdLife International (U.K.). pp. 206–208. ISBN 978-93-84678-02-9.
  4. ^ a b c Gujja, Biksham; Ramakrishna, S.; Goud, Vinod; Sivaramakrishna (2006). Perspectives on Polavaram, a Major Irrigation Project on Godavari. Academic Foundation. ISBN 9788171885787.
  5. ^ a b "View of Mammals of Papikonda Hills, northern Eastern Ghats, India". threatenedtaxa.org. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  6. ^ Francis, W. (1989). Gazetteer of South India. 1. New Delhi: Mittal Publications. p. 270.CS1 maint: Date and year (link)
  7. ^ Ripley, S. D; Beehler, B. M. "A new subspecies of the babbler genus Malacocincla abbotti from the Eastern Ghats, India". Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club. 105 (2): 67.
  8. ^ S.M, Maqsood Javed; Archana, Waran; Tampal, Farida (June 2007). "On the Occurrence of Golden Gecko(Calodactylodes aureus) in Papikonda Hills,Eastern ghats, Andhra Pradesh, India" (PDF). Zoos' Print Journal. 22 (6): 2727–2729.
  9. ^ Satyanarayana, Jarugulla Eswar; Balaji, Kumpatla (2018-03-21). "King Cobra: Occurrence of Ophiophagus hannah in Papikonda National Park, Eastern Ghats, Andhra Pradesh". Zoo's Print. 33 (3): 15–18.
  10. ^ nilesh, v (2015-06-25). "Papikonda forest area shrinks, hunting on rise". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  11. ^ Ganesh, Thyagarajan; Aditya, Vikram (2018-11-08). "Deciphering forest change: Linking satellite-based forest cover change and community perceptions in a threatened landscape in India". Ambio: 1–11. doi:10.1007/s13280-018-1108-x. ISSN 1654-7209. PMID 30406924.