(Last Updated on : 24/06/2014)
A handful of national parks, tiger reserves, and sanctuaries are scattered, here and there, in the eastern region of India. Buxa Tiger Reserve is a significant one. It is located in West Bengal
comprising of shallow fringes leading to Gangetic delta region, grasslands, eastern Himalayan hilly regions. With in the Buxa Tiger Reserve, the areas of Buxa and Jaldapara are mainly important as they harbor more than a few endangered species.
The northern boundary of the Buxa Tiger Reserve is fringed by the Sinchula Hills, where the highest altitude is about 1,700 m, and the Sankosh River has formed its eastern boundaries. Tea plantations have altered much of the western and southwestern regions of the Buxa Tiger Reserve. The 761 sq km area of Buxa has a wealth of a wide range of natural habitats. These are low, forested foothills, lavish doors, mixed deciduous forests, sal, semi-evergreen and evergreen trees. Also stretches of moist savannah, cut by rivers from the north, are prone to flood in the rainy season.
Buxa Tiger Reserve is rich abode of wild flora and fauna. Almost four hundred species of birds and more than 50 species of mammals, including the Tiger, Asian Elephant, Gaur, Hog-deer, Leopard-cat and Large Indian Civet, provide evidence of the worth of the reserve.
Other mammals include one horned Rhinoceros, Asian Elephant, Tiger, Leopard, Fishing Cat, Marbled Cat, Large Indian Civet, Spotted Linsang, Himalayan Black Bear, Wild Dog (Dhole), Clawless Otter, Assamese Macaque, Gaur (Indian Bison) (above), Sambar, Spotted Deer (Chital), I log-deer, Barking Deer, Malayan Giant Squirrel, Parti-coloured Flying Squirrel etc. Woodland birds comprise of Swamp Francolin, Black Francolin, Red Junglefowl, Kalij Pheasant, Grey Peacock Pheasant, and Indian Peafowl below), Great Hornbill, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Great Slaty Woodpecker, Green-billed Malkoha, Redheaded Trogon, Hill Myna, Crow-billed Drongo, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Green Magpie, White-hooded Babbler, Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush, Rusty-fronted Barwing, and Black-throated Sunbird Crested Kingfisher is especially found near the banks of rivers and streams. The sweet chirping of woodland birds nicely juxtapose with the howling of bird raptors. These include Bengal Florican, Pallas'S Fish Eagle, Lesser Fish Eagle, Pied Harrier, Crested Goshawk, Oriental Hobby, and Grass Owl etc.
Numerous Himalayan Rivers are formed here, the wide Torsa flows through the narrow, low-lying wilderness, which gets affected by monsoon floods every year. During monsoons The Asian Water Buffalo was once seen, mostly near river pools. Nowa days the rhinoceros too find safe haven there. Floods can be severe, though causing less harm to the wildlife there. The tourists too can spot a tiny herds of Asian Elephant and Gaur, the most pleasing way to see the area on the back of huge elephants.
Buxa Tiger Reserve is impaired by natural and man -made problems, such as flooding, poaching and encroaching agricultural land, plantations and railway lines etc. It is, therefore, becomes very important that these passage ways of wildlife that form the main wealth of the region, be intimately protected and preserved in their natural ways and habits.