Kazinag National Park

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Kazinag National Park or Qazinag National Park is a commissioned future national park in the Baramulla district in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is part of a proposal for a trans-Karakoram peace park with Pakistan.

History[edit]

Following the ceasefire after the Kargil War, and based on mounting pressure to conserve the rare markhor wild goat, the Government of India, based on the Wildlife Trust of India, commissioned a new national park near Uri close to the Line of Control, the international jurisdiction boundary with Pakistan.[1] It was created after the Kargil War and based on the increasing pressure to protect the endangered and rare markhor wild goat. After a recommendation of the Wildlife Trust of India, the Indian Government commissioned a new wildlife national park near the Line of Control in Uri, which is the international jurisdiction boundary with Pakistan. This national park is being set up by the Jammu Kashmir Government and is the fourth in the state with an aim to conserve the rare species of goats and other species like brown bear, musk deer and leopards. This park was decided to be made out of the Limber and Lachipora wildlife sanctuaries and the Nagnari conservation reserve.

Climate[edit]

Kazinag is a temperate system, with warm summers and cold winters, and a temperature range of -20 to +30 °C. Precipitation is mainly in the form of snow in winter and rains in early spring with occasional showers during summer. There are four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter.

Vegetation[edit]

Vegetation in Kazinag is dominated by coniferous forests with deodar (Cedrus deodara) at lower altitudes, fir (Abies pindrow), spruce (Picea smithiana) at middle to upper elevations and kail (Pinus wallichiana) is widely distributed from lower to upper elevations. Birch (Betula utilis) occur mainly in the subalpine zone whereas the other broad leaved forests including Prunus and Acer which occur in middle elevations and the horse chestnut (Aesculus indica) strands are distributed in lower elevations mainly along streams. The temperate scrub occurs at middle and lower elevations and is dominated by Indigofera, Spirea and Rosa. The sub-alpine and alpine scrub occurs at higher elevations and is dominated by Juniperus, Lonicera and Salix. Alpine meadows occupy the highest elevations. Other shrub species include Rosa macrofolia and Viburnum grandiflorum that are dominant along nallas[clarification needed] in lower elevations.

Mammals[edit]

Around 20 species of mammals, including some which are rare, threatened or endangered are found in within Kazinag National park. Key animal species sighted are markhor (Capra falconeri), Himalayan musk deer (Moschus leucogaster), Himalayan brown bear (Ursus arctos), Himalayan black bear (Ursus thibetanus), common leopard (Panthera pardus), Himalayan marmot (Marmota caudata) and small Kashmir flying squirrel (Eoglaucomys fimbriatus).[2]

Birds[edit]

The Kazinag National Park is home to about 120 species of birds including the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), Impeyan or monal pheasant (Lophophorus impejanus), cheer pheasant (Catreus wallichii), sparrow hawk (Accipiter nisus melaschistos), snow pigeon (Columba leuconota), cuckoo (Cuculus canorus), Himalayan pied kingfisher (Ceryle lugubris), lesser pied kingfisher (Ceryle rudis), nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes), jackdaw (Corvus monedula), long tailed minivet (Pericrocotus flammeus), sooty flycatcher (Muscicapa infuscata), Kashmir red breasted flycatcher (Ficedula subrubra) and yellow throated martin (Martes flavigula).[3]

Butterflies[edit]

The park is home to 17 species of butterflies which include regal Apollo (Parnassius charltonius), common blue Apollo (Parnassius hardwickii), common red Apollo (Parnassius epaphus), brown argus (Ypthima hyagriva), meadow brown (Hyponephele pulchra), narrow-banded satyr (Aulocera brahminus) and large tortoiseshell (Nymphalis xanthomelas).[4]

Topography[edit]

It is located at 1800 to 4300 metres above sea level and the terrain is rugged.

Where to stay[edit]

Those who wish to visit the Kazinag National Park can get a place to stay in the guest house at Limber Wildlife Sanctuary. Also alpine tents and sleeping bags are available.

Best time to visit[edit]

This park has a temperature range of -20 to +30 degrees Celsius. Precipitation is in the form of snow in the winter, occasional showers during the summer and rains in the start of spring. The best time to visit for birdwatching is from May to September and those who wish to spot mammals should be there from April to May. The time period from June to August is also considered perfect to visit the location.

References[edit]

Coordinates: 26°34′44″N 93°10′01″E / 26.5790°N 93.1670°E / 26.5790; 93.1670