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Introduction         
 

Sariska Tiger Reserve lies in the Alwar district of the Rajasthan state of India. It is prime tiger country. The forest is typical dry deciduous, dramatically changing with the change in season. The terrain is undulating plateau lands and wide valleys.
Besides tiger, herbivores, spotted deer, sambar, blue bull can be commonly seen and found in good density.

Conservation History       
 
Sariska Tiger Reserve was created in 1978. The present area of the Reserve is 866 sq. km.

In the pre-independence period the forests within the Reserve were a part of the erstwhile Alwar State and maintained as hunting preserve for the royalty. After independence, these were first notified as a reserve wherein it was unlawful to hunt, shoot, net, trap, snare, capture or kill any kind of wild animals in 1955. The reserve was upgraded to a Sanctuary in 1958. Later on, in view of the preservation of wild animals in a better way few forest areas contiguous to the Sanctuary were also incorporated.

The primary notification to declare part of the core as National Park was issued in 1982. Final notification is pending in view of need of relocation of few villages from the Park.

 

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Census         
 
Species
1991
1992
1993
1995
1997
 
     
  Tiger
  18
  22
  24
  25
  24
  Leopard
  28
  34
  39
  46
  49
  Jungle Cat
  166
  140
  140
  100
  97
  Hyena
  147
  100
  100
  100
  81
  Jackal
  311
  170
  170
  250
  340
  Sambar
  4839
  4500
  4500
  4800
  5600
  Spotted Deer
  2899
  2500
  2500
  2900
  2900
  Nilgai
  3830
  4100
  4100
  4300
  4780
  Chowsinga
  55
  54
  50
  20
  24
  Chinkara
  17
  20
  2
  7
  -
  Wild Boar
  2193
  2500
  2500
  2600
  2900
  Civet
  -
  -
  -
  22
  12
  Palm Civet
  -
  -
  -
  20
  18
  Ratel
  -
  -
  -
  50
  52


Offence cases

Year
Forest Offences
Wildlife Offences
 
  1994-95
  350
  226
  1995-96
  160
  117
  1996-97
  11
  6
  1997-98
  51
  -
  1998-99
(Upto March, 1999)
  12
  09

 

Archeology       



Ancient Kankwari Fort is situated in the middle of the Reserve. Archaeological treasures, Neelkanth and Garh Rajor of 9th and 10th century are ruins of Shiva and Jain temples, contemporary of the world famous Khajuraho.

Forest Types       
 
Tropical Dry Deciduous Forest

Tropical Thorn Forest
 

Major Flora

 

Main Species

Dhok (Anogeissus pendula) is the dominant tree species. covering over 90 per cent area of the forest. Boswellia serreta and Lannea coromandelica grow at rocky patches. Kattha (Acacia Catechu)and Bamboo are common in the valleys. Some valleys support Palas (Butea monosperma)and Ber (Zizyphus spp.) Besides these some noteworthy tree species are Arjun (Terminalia arjuna), Gugal (Commiphora wightii), Kadaya (Sterculia urens), Amla (Emblica officinalis), Bahera (Terminalia bellerica).

Major Fauna

Main Species

 

Tiger, Leopard, Caracal, Rusty Spotted Cat, Jungle Cat, Four-horned Antelope, Sambar, Spotted Deer, Wild Boar, Blue Bull, Jackal, Hyena etc.

Management       
 
Practices, Achievements and Shortfalls

Due to effective management, the forests of the Reserve have responded positively. The satellite imageries conducted by Survey of India have shown an increase of 133.19 per cent in the density of forests. Correspondingly the wildlife density has also been increased.

The Reserve needs the conservation of soil and water on priority basis. The management has created 46 ani-cuts, 30 earthen stock dams during last five years. Large tracts of land have been closed to raise trees and grasses in the buffer zone to meet the need of fuel wood and fodder. It also helps in deflecting the pressures of livestock on the core zone.


Special Projects       


Diversion of SJH-13 Ghata Bandrole to Kushalgarh.


New Initiatives

Rehabilitation of Villages

There are several villages in the core of the Reserve. Relocation of some of them would effectively help the wildlife as well as villagers. Furthermore this would facilitate notification of the National Park. The management is seriously pursuing the matter.


Eco-development

Eco-restoration of degraded hills and pasture development activities are being carried out in the peripheral area to meet the fuel wood and fodder needs of local people.

Village Forest Protection Committees
 
Village forest protection committees are functional in almost all the villages. The Committees play an important role in forest protection.

Education and Awareness

Camps are organised for school children to educate them about environment.


Protection Squads / Patrolling

 

Wildlife protection flying squad is stationed at Sariska, the headquarter of the Reserve. The Squad is readily available to help the field staff in enforcement.

 

Constraints      

 

Human population
 
According to 1991 census, there were 10344 human beings in 24 villages in the core zone and 243667 human beings in 246 villages in the buffer zone respectively. Human population inside and around the Reserve is increasing rapidly because of illiteracy.
 
Livestock population
 
According to 1994 census, there were 35396 cattle in the core zone and 142998 cattle in the buffer zone. Cattle rearing is the main profession of the local people and they depend on forest area for grazing. The population of livestock is increasing steadily.
 
Encroachment
 
Total encroachment of 60 ha. has been recorded by the management. The peripheral area of the reserve experiences problem of encroachment.
 

Grazing

 

There are many villages inside the Reserve and hundreds of villages on the periphery. Cattle rearing is the main profession of the local people. Thus, core as well as buffer zone experiences heavy burden of grazing.

 

Fire

Forest fires are common during summer when the grasses dry up.

Poaching of fauna and flora

 

Illegal collection and felling of timber and fuel wood takes place round the year. Poaching of wild animals is occasional. During winter, certain tribal communities poach sambar, blue bull, wild boar, spotted deer for meat.

Poaching of Fauna and Natural Death

Year
Sambar
S. Deer
Leopard
Tiger
Others
 
1991-92
 
  15(Poaching)
1 (Accident)
  1 (Poaching)
 
1992-93
  13(Poaching)
 
1 (Poaching)
1 (N.D.)
   
1993-94
 
  18(Poaching)
1 (Poaching)
  1 (Poaching)
3 (N.D.)
1994-95
  14(Poaching)
     
3 (N.D.)
1995-96
   
1 (N.D.)
 
15(Poaching)
6 (N.D.)
1996-97
   
2 (N.D.)
  2 (N.D.)
35(Poaching)
2 (N.D.)
1997-98
   
2 (Accident)
  1 (N.D.)
19(Poaching)
7 (Accident)
1998-99
4 Poaching)
 
2 (N.D.)
 
11(Poaching)
2 (Accident)
 
Criminals and Extremists
 
No criminal or extremist gangs are reported in the Reserve.
 

Diseases

 

F.M.D. is found in local cattle. There is a possibility of spread of disease among the wild animals.

Others

Spread of Prosopis juliflora

Prosopis juliflora had been a favourite species in the past in Rajasthan in afforestation activities. This was more so because of dire shortage of fuel wood for the consumption in villages and cities. The Prosopis juliflora plantations raised around the Reserve in the past has started posing serious problem to the eco-systems of Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary and Keladevi Sanctuary. It is encroaching upon the natural flora. The spread of Prosopis juliflora is being facilitated by goat and sheep. An estimated 100 sq. km. of the Reserve is infested with P. Juliflora. The Prosopis juliflora unfortunately was not tended in the past. It has gained bushy growth devoid of thick stem, therefore, it has not helped in reducing the pressure on forest where the demand is for good fuel wood or small timber for agricultural implements. The area covered by Prosopis juliflora is likely to double in the next 10 years.


Control of the Buffer

 

The Buffer zone is under the direct control of Field Director, Project Tiger.

Conflicts      
 

Man-Animal

 

Due to availability of sufficient prey base in the Reserve, man-animal conflict does not exist.

Man-Forest

 

As a result of increased population and biotic pressure the forest areas have been degraded particularly on the fringes.

Action Points      

 

  1. The two State Highways passing through the heart of the Sariska National Park are the most disturbing features in the free movement of wild animals. Therefore Sariska-Kalighati-Tehla road should be immediately closed and Alwar-Sariska-Thanagazi Road should be diverted from Kushalgarh to pass from Talvraksh-Narainpur-Gahtabandrol and connected to Shahpura.


  2. It is important to shift the villages from the National Park, which have been paid compensation and alternate land allotted. This would be possible only with the strong political will.

  3. The inquiry into the rights of the villagers residing within the National Park was started by the District Collector of Alwar with the issue of the notification in this regard in 1975 This inquiry is still pending! This needs to be geared up as the final notification can only be issued when this procedure is complete. The delay is highly damaging.

  4. Declaration of the Sariska Reserve Forest, as Reserve Forest under Rajasthan Forest Act, 1953 is the foremost requirement, as the court of laws do not give credence to the Reserved areas declared during the erstwhile State of Alwar.

 

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