Monday, July 19, 2010

Tigers in the grasslands

Large extensive edaphic grasslands are typical to many of our tiger reserves. Earlier inhabited by local tribesmen these precious habitats were vacated for subsistence of wild species to whom the habitat belonged since eons.

The grasslands are prime habitat for deer specie especially for animals like the swamp deer. Swamp deer survive solely on marshy grasslands in India. The swamp deer or Barasingha at Kanha is an exception as it has adapted for existence on hard ground.

The grassy meadows are at the fulcrum of activities in our tiger reserves. Most of the prey and predator saga unfolds here - the grassland are vital element of the food chain.

Bandhavgarh is a prime example of grassland ecosystem interspersed with dense Sal forests. Many of the grasslands inhabited by tribesmen have been vacated. Inundated by rivulets, the wet marshy grass lands are preferred hunting grounds for the majestic tigers. Bandhavgarh though small is a prolific breeding ground for Bengal tigers. The undulating terrain, inaccessibility, dense canopy and large prey base is the reason. The survival rate of the cubs is very high in this picturesque animal kingdom.

The tall grass act as effective camouflage and hence allow the tigers to creep close to the prey before striking. Unlike lions, tigers cannot run for a long distance hence they hunt by ambush. The marshy grasslands are effective killing grounds and the big cats love them. They are excellent for raring cubs in absolute safety and shelter.

The grassland ecosystem is frequented by large number of herbivores hence are ideal prey base. The most powerful of the tigers reign over these habitats. The meadows are also frequented by territorial females and young males. The struggle for survival means the fittest should exist. Prime grasslands in BTR are Chur Bohera, Raj Bohera, Chakradhara, Bathan, Sehra and Mahman.

High fecundity, low mortality and abundant prey makes the preserve ideal tiger habitat with highest density. As the reason tiger sightings in the wild is very high. The jungle roads intersect prime tiger habitats in order to accord high visibility of these magical cats.

The tourism infrastructure is well developed. A large number wildlife resorts are available for stay in Bandhavgarh. One can avail of best packages for accommodation. For safari jeeps can be hired at Tala village or are arranged by the hotels.

The tiger reserve is well protected though danger looms all over. Bandhavgarh nature preserve in India is best place to see tigers in the wild. Every year thousands from all over the World visit the park.

No comments: