There is nothing quite like the thrill and awe of seeing a tiger in the wild or hearing the rutting call of a Barasingha stag and the alarm call of a spotted deer in its natural habitat. The tiger is India’s iconic national animal and Madhya Pradesh is virtually a Tigerland places like Kanha Bandhavgarh Pench satpura and the nearby forests are home to the bulk of the population of tigers their co predators prey and habitat of central India. The state has a diversity of life forms owing to its rich unique geographical and climatic attributes. The large number of protected areas in the state highlights the concerns and efforts of the state government to conserve and protect its floral and faunal heritage.
Land of the striped wildlife of Madhya Pradesh presents a broad picture of the prominent tiger reserves protected areas and flora and fauna of Madhya Pradesh.
The information provided in this book will not only help visitors plan their trips to the protected areas and tiger reserves of Madhya Pradesh but will also foster awareness about the ecological imperatives to protect the wildlife of the region.
Rajesh Gopal served as director Bandavagarh national park and field direction Kamha Tiger reserve the government of India as inspector General of forests and director. Project Tiger in August 2001 Dr. Gopal has several publications to his credit and has also authored a textbook numerous awards including the Ministry of Environment and forests Medal (1993) for meritorious service towards tiger conservation the WWF-TCP award for conservation the Madhya Pradesh Government Medal for meritorious work in Kanha Tiger fellowship for his work in the area of tiger conservation.
Rajesh Bedi has worked as a Photographer for over thirty eight years. His wildlife photos and footage while spreading a strong conservation message have also made significant contributions to the subcontinent’s naturally history.
Madhya Pradesh has a diversity of life forms owing to its rich unique geographical and climatic attributes. The number of protected areas in the state highlights the concern and efforts of the state government to conserve and protect its floral and faunal heritage. The state is virtually a tigerland and places like Kanha, Bandhavagarh, Pench, Satpura and the nearby forests are home to the bulk of the population of tigers their co predators prey and habitat of Central India. I had the good fortune of working for over thirteen years in Kanha and Bandhavgarh. Every day was a learning experience for me during these wonderful years which I would love to relive if given a chance!
This book is a modest effort to present a broad picture of the prominent protected areas tiger reserves and flora and fauna of Madhya Pradesh. However the thrill of seeing a tiger in the wild or hearing the rutting call of a Barasingha stag the alarm call of spotted deer or the urgent calls of a peafowl are those moments which should best be experienced. The direct sighting of a wild animal in its natural habitats is the best understanding of Nature.
The tiger is India’s iconic national animal. It widely inhabits forested and non forested natural habitats in seventeen states of India including Madhya Pradesh. Owing to its significant ecological position the conservation status of the tiger in our ecosystems signifies the status of their health. The good health of these ecosystems in turn signifies that the quality of ecological services rendered by them including ensuring water security critical to our survival and to sustainable development is optimum.
This is unfortunately not the case. The degradation and fragmentation of forests and non forests natural areas across the length and breadth of our country reflects the decline in ecological services. This is seen in the form of poor water regime and the loss of our unique biodiversity. The decline has also undermined the productivity of the livestock of people inhabiting the forested regions further aggravating their impoverishment.
The need for conserving the tiger other wild animals and their habitats must therefore be seen in the light of these ecological imperatives. This calls for an integrated holistic approach towards tourism as well as managing land use. This uphill task can only be achieved by mainstreaming wildlife concerns in various types of land use operating in protected areas where the primary goal may not be wildlife conservation.
Over the years protected areas in many states have witnessed a steep increase in the number of visitors and Madhya Pradesh is not exception. This is indeed a welcome sign for fostering tourism but is a cause fro concern as well. We must not forget the fact that these protected areas and core areas of tiger reserves are the birth place of the tiger and other wild animals requiring complete tranquility from any kind of disturbance. Thus it becomes an ecological imperative to foster low key ecologically sustainable tourism restricted to the fringes of these reserves and protected areas. The outer corridor connectivity of these areas should not be used for large scale tourism infrastructure since such actions are detrimental to tigers and other wild animals. The governments of India stare governments and various institutions of civil society are jointly responsible for the conservation of wildlife. The constitution of India urges us to protect our wild denizens. Our visits to protected areas should be both for the enjoyment of our natural heritage and to elicit public support for its conservation.
It is earnestly hoped that the information provided in this book would not only help visitors in planning their tips to the protected areas and tiger reserves of Madhya Pradesh but will also foster awareness on the ecological imperatives to protect our wildlife to give an assured future to our wild flora and fauna. A visitor to a protected area must assume the role of a naturalist so that the visit is rewarding without causing any distress to the natural inhabitants or our forests.
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