A stretches over 800 kilometers, extending from Corbett National Park in the west to Kaziranga in the east. Known as the Terai Arc, this biosphere is utterly unique. Sandwiched between the River Yamuna and the River Bhagirathi, it incorporates the Shivalik Hills, Bhabbar grasslands and Terai flood plains. Terai wildlife has several major parks including Corbett, Dudhwa, Rajaji, Valmiki, and Kaziranga lie within its sphere. Nepal’s Chitwan and Bardia are also part of this belt.
A lush and bountiful wilderness, it’s home to several species of wildlife, including the tiger, the rhino and the elephant. Most importantly, Terai wildlife is home to one of the single largest wildlife corridors in South Asia. Many other species of bear, deer, and primates call this their natural habitat. The sloth and Himalayan black bear, yellow-throated marten, Indian pangolin, Himalayan goral, Gangetic dolphin, gharial, and crocodile are endemic to this belt.
A large part of the Terai Arc falls within the state of Uttar Pradesh and human-animal conflict is a burning issue in this region. The Terai wildlife is known for its three flagship creatures out of Big five of Indian wildlife, mainly the Tiger, the Rhino and the Elephant. Most importantly, they belong to the endangered category. According to IUCN, the Terai habitat supports about 485 tigers. IUCN is making concerted efforts with local wildlife organizations to increase the tiger, elephant and rhino population across the region.
Nepal’s government is quickly coming to grips with the threat that deforestation poses to the environment. They are proactively working with the women of Nepal to conserve their forests’ natural resources in key areas. In the Terai Arc, the local community has been given the right to restore and manage several tranches of government-owned forest land. Close to 35% of the population has chosen to be involved in this conservation initiative.
Meanwhile, Bandhavgarh and Kanha have received star acclaim for their tiger sightings. Some of our favorite and lesser-known gems lie in the Terai. A trip starting in Corbett extending east towards Dudhwa and then delves deep into the jungle at Kishanpur and Katarniaghat is a dream coming true. The jungles are dark and dense and a world away from everyday life. Terai wildlife is also home to several Gharial, Rhinos and a wide variety of rare endemic and migratory birds. Jhadi Tal in Kishanpur is a particular favorite for migratory birds that come from afar.
Forest of Pilbhit
If you’re keen on going deep into the “tiger zone” then you can continue towards Lakhimpur and the Pilibhit forests. These beautiful tracts of land are a gorgeous wilderness and a natural habitat for several tigers. They also have an abundant prey base which keeps the Tigers close to home. Pilibhit is lush with the Duar Savannah grassland that is typical of the Terai. Pilibhit is also home to rare species such as the Hispid Hare and the Bengal Florican.
Several conservationists believe that Pilibhit for tiger conservation has vast potential. They have adapted this habitat. Where else would you find such a pristine habitat in the world? Reach out to us today to learn more about our Gems of the Terai, Corbett and Dudhwa Safari experiences. We promise it will be the safari of a lifetime. Write to us today at [email protected] to plan your epic safari to see the tigers of the Terai.
Born and brought up in New Delhi, it was Sharad’s childhood passion to play cricket for India. While on a holiday in 1990, he saw his first tiger. Little did he know that this one sighting would immerse him into a realm where forests and tigers were all that mattered.
Sharad’s experiences as a wildlife photographer have inspired him to observe the tiger’s behavior for over 30 years and motivated him on his own journey as an entrepreneur. He started Nature Safari India Pvt Ltd, with a focus on “Conservation through Tourism.” to align himself to the mission of saving the regal species and repopulating them in India’s forests. In 2006, he set up one of India’s premier jungle lodges in Kanha National Park.
Sharad believes that there are many lessons to be learned from a tiger that can be applied successfully to leadership—both in business and in life. Here’s a new book by Sharad Vats on management and leadership skills to learn from a Tiger.