History of Dampa Tiger Reserve
The word Dampa means "lonely men" and refers to a local narrative about a village, where a lot of women died. The protected area was initially established as wildlife sanctuary in 1985. In 1994, it received the status of a Tiger Reserve.
Flora of Dampa Tiger Reserve
Rare floral species have been found in Dampa Tiger Reserve including rare ginger species like Globba spathulata and Hemiorchis pantlingii.
Fauna of Dampa Tiger Reserve
The reserve is the abode of Indian leopard, sloth bear, gaur, serow, deer, wild boar, hoolock gibbon, Phayre's leaf monkey, gray langur, Rhesus macaque and slow loris. Four Bengal tigers were recorded in 1994. It has one of the highest clouded leopard populations in South and South East Asia. In 2012, tiger presence was confirmed through Scat samples. The National Tiger Conservation Authority recommended that tigers from Assam’s Kaziranga National Park can be introduced to Dampa Tiger Reserve.
Avifauna of Dampa Tiger Reserve
Bird species sighted in Dampa Tiger Reserve are great hornbill, wreathed hornbill, oriental pied hornbill, scarlet-backed flowerpecker, Kalij pheasant, grey peacock-pheasant, speckled piculet and white-browed piculet, bay woodpecker, greater yellownape, greater flameback, great barbet, blue-throated barbet, red-headed trogon, Indian cuckoo and others.
Threats to Dampa Tiger Reserve
An increase in built up (590%), bamboo forest (192.89%) and scrub (74.67%) areas has consequently led the Dampa Tiger Reserve to witness a decrease in cover area of evergreen or semi evergreen closed forests. More specifically, this drop is from 152.47 square kilometers in the year 1978 to 95.27 square kilometers in the year 2005. It is believed that the practice of shifting cultivation by villagers at the border of the reserve is the very reason for the decrement in area. It is important to note that concerns were raised on the restrictions on animal movement consequent to construction of a 62 km fence and patrol road along the Bangladesh boundary near the reserve in Mizoram. Unfortunately, still they are known to be constructed.
Visiting Information on Dampa Tiger Reserve
November to February is generally considered to be the best months to visit this reserve. Nearest airport from Dampa Tiger Reserve is Lenpui Airport in Aizawl, Mizoram. It is located at a distance of about 70 km from the Tiger Reserve. Daily Vayudoot air services forms a connection between Kolkata and Aizawl. Nearest rail head from the Dampa is in Silchar. It is located at a distance of about 180 km from Aizawl. As far as roadway is concerned to reach the destination, it can be noted that Mizoram State Transport buses ply regularly between Silchar and Aizawl. The Reserve is about 133 square kilometers from Aizawl in Mizoram.