Tracing the Conservation History of Pench National Park

The history of Pench National Park is a tale of stability and dedication, marked by steps to protect its diverse wildlife and habitats. From challenges to triumphs, it represents the essence of conservation.

The Seoni and Chhindwara districts of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh are home to the Pench Tiger Reserve, located in the southernmost part of the Satpura hill range. This national park got its name from The Pench River, which runs through the reserve from north to south. The ground is undulating, with little hills sharply falling on the sides, covering most of the land. The reserve is located in a region that has a vital role to play in Central India’s natural heritage. Numerous wildlife publications have published its natural splendor and abundant flora and fauna.

Famous naturalists like Captain J. Forsyth and Rudyard Kipling depicted the whole scope of nature’s richness in their works from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Pench National Park has a long history of protection. The “Tiger Conservation Project” included the Pench Tiger Reserve, which became the 19th Tiger Reserve in the world in 1992.

Pench National Park uses large tracts of reserve forests, protected forest regions, and buffer zones to preserve the species. The significant variety of fauna found in Pench National Park are the chital, sambar, nilgai, wild boar, and jackal, which are frequently sighted. The park also has Indian leopards, sloth bears, Indian wolves, wild dogs, porcupines, monkeys, jungle cats, foxes, four-horned antelopes, gaurs, and barking deer.

History of Pench National Park

Mowgli Land and Pench Tiger Reserve are other names for Pench National Park. The Pench Tiger Reserve’s forested areas have a distinguished past. It was designated a national park by the Madhya Pradesh government in 1983 and named Indira Priyadarshini National Park. Before that, it was established as a sanctuary in 1977.

Later, in 1992, it was designated as the Pench Tiger Reserve, which has an area of 758 square kilometers, and the Pench National Park, which forms the reserve’s central zone and has an area of 292.85 square kilometers.

The Mowgli Pench Wildlife Sanctuary has an area of 118.30 square kilometers. In addition, 346.73 square kilometers is occupied by a buffer zone comprising reserve forests, revenue land, and protected forests.

The history of Pench National Park is fascinating. The Ain-i-Akbari (Constitution of Akbar), a 16th-century text by Abu’l-Fazl ibn Mubarak (the Emperor Akbar’s vizier), records Akbar’s administrative empire and depicts its grandeur and natural abundance. Interestingly, Pench inspired Rudyard Kipling to write his magnum opus “The Jungle Book.” Also, “Tiger,” a BBC television series based on the development of four tigers in Pench, was filmed there.

History of Royal Bengal Tigers

The Bengal Tiger is undoubtedly the most notorious subspecies of all tiger (Panthera Tigris) species. The giant wild cat is regarded as an invaluable member of the charismatic megafauna of the planet. (Interesting fact: it is believed that tigers have lived on the Indian subcontinent since the Late Pleistocene period, between 12,000 and 16,500 years ago.)

Poaching, habitat degradation, and fragmentation are significant threats to the tiger population. By 2011, it was reported that only 2,500 wild individuals were left. Only some Tiger Conservation Landscapes could sustain a population of more than 250 adults. With various conservation efforts, India’s tiger population increased to 2,603–3,346 individuals by 2018.

Pench Conservation History

When 449.39 square kilometers of this area was designated as the Pench Sanctuary in 1977, the rife exploitation of this area for timber was instantly stopped, creating an ideal home for big cats. As a result, the government designated Pench as a national park in 1993.

The Bombay Wild Animals and Wild Birds Act was formed in 1951, and, beginning in 1961, it was expanded to include the Vidarbha region. Hunting was outlawed every year from April through the end of October. Additionally, it demanded that arm license holders register with the Wildlife Preservation Officer.

The Maharashtra government soon designated the area as Pench National Park. Then, in 1992, the Indian government established the Pench Tiger Reserve. A healthy tiger population was the goal of this. Though Pench is a relatively new forest, it has the potential to be one of the greatest for ensuring the survival of the Indian National Animal for future generations.

This was made from the Pench Sanctuary, established in 1977, with a total of 449.39 square kilometers. The park has a total area of 292.85 square kilometers and is divided into two districts with a combined area of 145.36 square kilometers. 6.26 square kilometers of protected forest, 138.24 square kilometers of reserve forests, and 2.78 square kilometers of revenue lands make up the 147.28 square kilometers in Chhindwara and Seoni, respectively.

The 465 square kilometer buffer zone comprises 29.59 square kilometers of income land, 102.36 square kilometers of public land, and 333.05 square kilometers of recreational land. The reserve covers 757.86 square kilometers in total.

Tiger Conservation History

The best news is that there are now 3,890 tigers in the world, as opposed to 3,200 in 2010. As a result, there are now 690 more tigers on the globe. It has taken years for this to happen, so this is terrific news. India is home to 520 of the 690 tigers in this population. The remaining 190 tigers come from nations including China, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Russia, Nepal, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Undoubtedly, India is the world leader in tiger conservation.

The number of tigers in India increased from 1,706 in 2010 to 2,226 in 2014, and with that, we have hope for the survival of an endangered species. However, it’s depressing to find that one famous tigress, Bhaginnala, was discovered dead in recent times, and the cause of death was poisoning. The Pench Reserve’s main gate featured a picture of her. Following the incident, authorities were more careful in their conservation efforts for the tigers.

It is generally found both excessive construction and poaching are to blame for the tiger deaths in Pench. Therefore, adequate corridors connecting forests are urgently needed to save our national animals and allow tigers to roam freely. Tigers can only be restrained when forest personnel collaborate with locals to stop poaching in the forest region and conserve forests and animals.

Timeline of Pench National Park
16th CenturyThe Deogarh Kingdom ruled over this area. It was once the center of the Gond dynasty. It is currently located somewhere close to Chhindwara.
17th CenturyGond rulers allowed the deforestation of land to develop it for cultivation.
1818The Marathas took control of this region. Deforestation continued during this period as well.
1831A human child was captured from this forest area in Amodagarh, near Seoni town. This incident is described in books written by Sir William Henry Sleeman. This incident was the inspiration for Kipling’s “The Jungle Book.”
1882Kipling was in India but had yet to visit the Pench Forest area. During this time, he heard of stories in which wolves lifted village children and nurtured them.
1861This region was under British Indian rule. It became part of the newly formed Central Province, comprising a belt of Saugor, Nerbudda Territories, and Nagpur province.
1862During British Indian rule, indiscriminate forest cutting was prohibited and declared a reserved area.
1977Pench Sanctuary was established with an area of 449.39 square kilometers.
1983Indira Priyadarshini National Park was declared.
1990Long-term research was initiated in Pench to study the interactions between wild animals and their habitat.
1992-93Pench Tiger Reserve was declared. It was the 19th tiger reserve in the world in those days.
1993The government passed a declaration for Pench National Park.
2005The Famous Collarwali tigress was born to the Badi Mada tigress. In the Pench Tiger Reserve, both tigresses are well-known. The father of the Collarwali tigress was the Charger tiger of Pench.
2006-07Won an award under the category of “Best maintained tourist-friendly national park.”
2008Collarwali tigress first (May 2008) and second (October 2008) litters were documented.
2010To safeguard the Pench core forest area, the Madhya Pradesh state government decided to add a buffer area of 768.302 square kilometers surrounding the core forest area.
Oct-2010The third litter of Collarwood tigers, with five cubs, was discovered.
2016Estimated tiger population was 31.
2016The poaching of a famous tigress called “Baghin Nala Female” was reported. It was a poisoning incident involving her and her cubs.
2017The estimated tiger population was 44
Jan-2019Collarwali tigress was seen with her eighth litter, comprising 4 cubs.

The current tiger reserve is located in a region with a rich past. In Ain-i-Akbari, the natural wealth and richness of the area are described. Forsyth’s “Highlands of Central India,” R. A. Strendale’s “Seonee – Camp life in Satpura Hills,” and Dunbar Brander’s “Wild Animals of Central India” explicitly show the detailed picture of nature’s riches in this area. Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book was influenced by Strendale’s semi-autobiographical work “Seonee.” You can also explore this beautiful & unique national park by booking the best Pench National Park tour package with Indian Visit!

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