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A city in Maharashtra that has been a pivotal part of India’s cotton trade and is famous for its unending store of scenic beauty and natural flora and fauna – Wardha – has for long been attracting throngs of tourists from all parts of the world into its mystical fold. Besides its usual repository of tourist attractions, Wardha also richly abounds in historical fame for being a central venue to the numerous nationalist movements and campaigns carried out by Mahatma Gandhi in the pre-independence era. For this reason, some people also refer to this place as ‘Gandhi’s Wardha’. In this article, we shall deal with one of the prime tourist attractions that reside of Wardha – the Bor Wildlife Sanctuary.
Location of Bor Wildlife Sanctuary
Of the few well known habitats of the Bengal Tiger in India – Pench Tiger Reserve, Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary, Umred Karhangla Wildlife Sanctuary, Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve, Melghat Tiger Reserve and Satpura National Park and Tiger Reserve, Bor Wildlife Sanctuary’s location, near Hingi in Wardha, is most central and it is almost equidistant from all the aforesaid tiger reserves. With an area of more than 121 square kilometers, this wildlife sanctuary is one of the most famous centres of natural flora and fauna in Central India.
Zones in Bor Wildlife Sanctuary
To make management of the resources in the sanctuary more efficient and error-free, the whole area has been subdivided into a number of ‘zones’. Pertinent information concerning these zones is given below –
Core Zone – This is ecologically the most sensitive, important and expansive zone in the sanctuary, covering nearly 115 square kilometers (roughly 95% of the total area) and densely populated with various species of plants that constitute a thick forest blanket here. Visitors are not allowed entry in this Core Zone, except under special circumstances and vigilance.
Eco Tourism Zone – The zone covering only 4% of the total sanctuary area, the Eco Tourism Zone is open to visitors all throughout the calendar year. The administration’s purpose of making this area accessible to tourists and travelers is to make them aware of the various nuances that lie entrenched in issues such as wildlife conservation and environmental sustainability.
Buffer Zone – This is a sparsely forested zone in the sanctuary that acts as a cushion for the more important Core Zone.
The Bor Dam is an integral part of the sanctuary and its drainage basin is included in the area covered by the Bor Wildlife Sanctuary. The Bor Reservoir bisects the area of the sanctuary into two parts – the western half is a part of the Wardha district, whereas the eastern half forms a part of the Nagpur district. However the area of the Bor Reservoir is not used in calculating the total area of the sanctuary.
Flora and Fauna
Forests – South Deccan Plateau Dry Deciduous variety.
Dominant species of trees – Teak, Bamboo, Tendu(Ebony), Ain.
Main varieties of herbs – Tenella, Tarwar, Wight, Vanbhendi, Velatri, Tarot, Gokhru.
Dominant animal species – Indian leopard, Bengal Tiger, Blue Bull, Indian Bison, Sambar Dear, Peacock, Sloth Bear, Wild Boar, Wild Dog, Indian Leopard.
According to the official statistics revealed by the Wildlife Institute of India, Bor Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most prominent breeding grounds for tigers in India – official estimates put the number of tigers in this sanctuary to 15 at present, including the newborn cubs that saw the light of the day in early 2011.
Besides being famous for tigers, the Bor Sanctuary is also a vibrant venue that is home to myriad species of exotic birds and reptiles. The bird population residing here includes nearly 9 species of endangered birds. The main species of reptiles seen here include Indian Cobra, Indian Rock Python, Monitor Lizard and Indian Cobra.
Future plans for Sanctuary management
According to the official statements of several government departments, the Bor Sanctuary along with some its adjacent areas shall soon be amalgamated with the Pench Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra, in order to form an ecologically sensitive and strategic zone known as ‘Satellite Core Are’. The creation of this new core area shall ensure doubling of the forested areas in the region and also give greater breeding grounds to various endangered species of animals, especially the Bengal Tiger.