Wildlife Sanctuaries in JalpaiguriThe district of Jalpaiguri has a huge forest area. This large forest cover of mostly deciduous vegetation is responsible for nurturing a wide variety of wildlife. In fact, the prominence of Jalpaiguri as a tourist destination is as much the result of its breathtaking natural beauty as its multiple national parks and wildlife sanctuaries which hold many endangered bird and mammal species.
From endangered birds like the Bengal Florican found in Jaldapara wildlife sanctuary, the One-horned Rhinoceros to near extinct species like Pygmy Hog and Hispid Hare in Gorumara National Park, Jalpaiguri wildlife sanctuaries are a treasure house for the animal lover.
Find below some of the prominent wildlife sanctuaries in Jalpaiguri district which inspires every tourist visiting the place. Their proximity will fill you with a just sense of wonder, excitement and adventure.
Famous Wildlife Sanctuaries in Jalpaiguri:
Gorumara National Park (Source:flickr)
- Gorumara National Park- This national park within the Terai sub-Himalayan foothills is situated in the Malbazar subdivision of Jalpaiguri district. Covered with forests and grasslands, the medium sized park is predominantly known for its range of Indian rhinoceros. The National Park had been declared as one of the best protected areas in 2009 by the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
Gorumara National Park is famous for its herbivorous population like the Asian elephant, gaur, chital, sloth bear and Sambal deer. Even though tigers are found occasionally, the national park does not have a resident population of the Royal Bengal Tiger, Indian wolf or the Indian wild dogs. A large number of snake species, venomous and non-venomous have been reported here.
Some of the bird species found in Gorumara National Park include the sunbird, scarlet minivet, spangled drongo, Asian paradise suncatcher and the Indian hornbill. Besides this, a large population of pheasants, peafowls and woodpeckers have made Gorumara their natural habitat. Rare migratory birds like the Brahminy duck are also found here.
Wild elephants in Jaldapara National Park (Source: flickr)
- Jaldapara National Park – This national park in eastern Himalayan foothills is situated in the Alipurduar sub-division of the Jalpaiguri district on the Torsha River bank. It covers an area of 216.51 sq. km and has vast stretches of grasslands intermingled with riverine forests. Declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1941 for its great variety of flora and fauna, the Jaldapara National Park contains the largest number of one-horned rhinoceros after Kaziranga in Assam, which is an endangered species. The Chilapata forests in its vicinity are also known as an elephant corridor between Buxa Tiger Reserve and Jaldapara.
Some of the common animals in the Jaldapara National Park include elephants, the Royal Bengal Tiger, barking deer, sambar, hog deer, spotted deer, bison and wild pigs. The forest of Jaldapara National Park is essentially savannah with tall elephant grasses. Jaldapara also contains the endangered bird species called the Bengal florican. Some other birds observed here are the peafowl, Pallas’s fish eagle, Finn’s weaver, shikra, jungle fowl, partridge, and Pied Hornbill. Besides this, snakes like cobras, pythons and geckos, besides 8 varieties of fresh water turtle species have made Jaldapara National Park their habitat.
Entrance to Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary (Source: flickr)
- Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary- Situated quite close to the Gorumara National Park, Chapramari is an important national wildlife sanctuary in Jalpaiguri and a prime tourist attraction. The name derives from the words “Chapra” which are a small fish species found in north Bengal and “Mari” which means abundance. It is located about 30 km from Lataguri and Chalsa, which are other famous tourist destinations in the tourist.
Chapramari is primarily known for its population of elephants. Some other animals include the Indian Bison or gaur, Bengal Tiger, boars, deer and leopards. Chapramari is a paradise for bird watchers with a number of bird species like kingfishers, parrots, green pigeons found here.
Tiger in Buxa National Park (Source: flickr)
- Buxa National Park- Situated in the Alipuduar subdivision in Jalpaiguri district in the north east corner of the state of West Bengaland bordered by Assam and Bhutan, Buxa National Park was declared so in January 1992. This picturesque reserve covers an area of 759 sq km. and is interspersed by hilly landscape, rivers and rivulets. It is extremely rich in its bio-diversity with a large collection of medicinal plants and rare orchids. Its numerous flora and fauna attracts tourists and wildlife lovers who flock to the area every year. Some of its inaccessible terrain in the Sinchula range still lies unexplored.
The Buxa Tiger Reserve contains animals like leopard, Indian civet, fishing cat, palm civet, jungle cat, wild dogs, Asian elephants, gaur, Malayan Giant squirrels, Mangoose, chital, barking deer, sambar, wild buffalo, hog deer, small clawless otter besides 3 python varieties, land tortoises and the monitor lizard. The Chinese mangolin and clouded leopard are endemic to the Buxa National Park.
Fed by the gurgling rivers of Jainti and Rydak, several colorful avian (or bird) species have made Buxa their habitat. These are both migratory and endemic bird varieties. Some of them are resident fork tails, ibis bill, wag-tails, varieties of red-stars, migratory common teal, large whistling teal, gargani teal, pied hornbills and others. The rarest of bird species, the black necked crane have also been sighted in the reserve. Read about Buxa Fort Here.
All the wildlife sanctuaries in Jalpaiguri district have been blessed with a wide variety of flora like the Sal, Odal, Katus, Dilenai, Lali, Toon, Champ, Teak and Terai grasslands in other places.
Some of the other less known wildlife sanctuaries in Jalpaiguri are the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary, Jorpokhri Wildlife Sanctuary and South Khairbari National Park. So rediscover the natural beauty of the Jalpaiguri district by exploring its wildlife sanctuaries and have the experience of a lifetime!