History of Pilibhit Tiger Reserve
When Uttrakhand became the new home of Corbett Tiger Reserve, Uttar Pradesh desired to develop the Pilibhit forests area to provide a home for the striped cats. Consequently, a proposal was created in 2005 and was sent to the government of India in April 2008, to house the endangered cats in Pilibhit forests. In a place where special type of ecosystem was available with vast stretch of open spaces and enough feed for the elegant predators, the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve came into existence in September 2008. The forest region was identified as exceptionally valuable from biological, ecological and conservation point of views. Thus, the State Government decided to declare such a region a protection site called Pilibhit Tiger Reserve. This reserve can be thus called an attempt to conserve the forest wildlife environment and ecology in Uttar Pradesh. Conservation attempts have also been estimated to provide a thrust to the national and global conservation and preservation of wildlife. Thus, all the areas in the Terai belt of the state to be conserved are a part of the conservation network.
Geography of Pilibhit Tiger Reserve
Globally, Pilibhit Tiger Reserve can be pinpointed at coordinates 28.692 degrees north and 79.853 degrees east. Pilibhit Tiger Reserve is known to be a highly diversified and productive Terai-Duar savanna and grasslands eco-system. This reserve has an elevation of about 172 m (564 ft) above mean sea level. It is spread over a total area of about 730.24 square kilometers (281.95 sq mi). The area of the reserve has been divided into core zone area and buffer zone area. More specifically, the former is about 602.79 square kilometers (232.74 sq mi), while the latter is about 127.45 square kilometers (49.21 sq mi). River Sharda (also known as Mahakali River in Nepali Language) forms the northeastern boundary of the Pilibhit. The southwest boundary of the reserve is formed by two rivers namely, the Sharda River and the Ghaghara River. The reserve area receives an estimated precipitation of about 780 millimeters (31 in). Its average summer temperature has been recorded as 36.8 degrees Celsius (98.2 degree F), while the average winter temperature has been recorded as 14.5 degrees Celsius (58.1 degree F). In the year 2004, this tiger reserve witnessed an attendance of about 5,000 visitors. The Terai forests and grasslands of the reserve region are a home to about 6 million people. They are dependent on them for their livelihoods. The Chuka Interpretation Zones with nature interpretation center, cottages and edge of huge water body is unique and attract the attention of the tourists.
Flora of Pilibhit Tiger Reserve
Pilibhit Tiger Reserve is a home to high sal forests, plantation and grasslands. Terai forests and grasslands is a home to about 2,100 flowering plants.
Fauna of Pilibhit Tiger Reserve
Pilibhit Tiger Reserve provides shelter to a large number of rare and threatened species. They are the Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, swamp deer, hispid hare and Bengal floricans. Terai forests and grasslands house over 127 animals and 556 bird species. The large carnivores have a range of animals to prey upon. They are blue bull, cheetal, sambar, wild boar, hog deer and others. This Tiger Reserve is diverse in terms of its bird population too.
Pilibhit forests are a home to Dudhwa tigers. Dudhwa tigers are divided into one major and three smaller populations. Dudhwa reserve which comprises of Dudhwa National Park, Kishenpur and Katarniaghat wildlife sanctuaries, Pilibhit forests and the north and south Kheri forests has the major population of Dudhwa tigers. Bijnor forests in the west and Suhelwa and Sohagibarwa wildlife sanctuaries in the east are the habitats for the smaller population of tigers. A study conducted by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) found that the Dudhwa- Pilibhit tiger population is the only population, which can ecologically and behaviorally adapt to the conditions in the Tarai region, similar to the tigers specific to this region. They therefore are known to have high conservation value in the region.
Managing Body of Pilibhit Tiger Reserve
Pilibhit Tiger Reserve is managed by the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department, National Tiger Conservation Authority.
Other Places of Attraction around Pilibhit Tiger Reserve
Chuka Beach, Gurudwaras, Jaisantri Devi Temple, Raja Venu Ka Tila, Gauri Shankar Temple and Jama Masjid are some of the other places of attraction around Pilibhit Tiger Reserve.
The time period between September to mid-June is generally considered to be the best time to plan a tour to Pilibhit Tiger Reserve. It is from September to June that the reserve is open to the public. When June approaches it generally becomes a little too hot, which causes discomfort to the visitors. It is important to note that the rainy season is not a comparatively suitable season for a trip to this reserve, due to the weather conditions in this season. So, this season is advised to be avoided. Pilibhit Tiger Reserve is a high altitude reserve therefore December to February will be experienced by the visitors as chilly. Woolens undoubtedly become imperative during the trip. As far as accommodation is concerned, the reserve has its own forest rest houses, log huts and lodges at Mala, Bankatti and Chuka and other places.
The nearest airports from Pilibhit are at Lucknow and Delhi. The one in Lucknow is located at a distance of about 250 km (160 mi) from Pilibhit, whereas the one in Delhi is situated at a distance of about 264 km (164 mi) from Pilibhit. The town of Pilibhit is known to be nearest major town with rail head and bus services to reach Pilibhit Tiger Reserve. It has railway lines forming connections with most major cities in northern India like Delhi and Lucknow. Pilibhit city is well connected with Bareilly in west and Nainital in north (Via Khatima). Tiger Reserve has its own station too, but connections to it are scarce, moreover Government of Uttar Pradesh is planning to stop rail traffic in the tiger reserve area. Other nearby towns of this reserve are Puranpur and Bisalpur. They too are connected to other parts of Uttar Pradesh via railway lines. As far as roadway is concerned, Shahjahanpur is well connected to Pilibhit Tiger Reserve by good road ways. The roads connecting Bareilly, Delhi, Lakhimpur Kheri, Shahjahanpur and other towns to Pilibhit are motorable by private coaches and buses. These private coaches and buses are managed by Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation.
Indian National Parks
Tiger Reserves in India
Indian Wildlife Sanctuaries
Indian Flora and Fauna
Eco Parks in India
Bird Sanctuaries in India