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Wildlife in Pench National Park

 

Pench National Park, nestling in the lower southern reaches of the satpuda hills is named after Pench river, meandering through the park from north to south. It is located on the southern boundary of Madhya Pradesh, bordering Maharashtra, in the districts of Seoni and Chhindwara.

The undulating terrain of Pench is covered with small hills and well stocked taek and mixed forest. The main flora being Teak (Tectona grandis) , Saja (Terminalia tomentosa), Bija (Pterocarpus marsupium), Lendia, Haldu, Dhaora, Aonla, Amaltas etc. The ground is covered with a number of grasses, bushes, herbs & shrubs. Dazzling white Kullu trees scattered around singly in the forest is conspicuous among various hues of green. The old plantations of Teak & Bamboo add orderly vistas in the otherwise general wilderness.

The flow of Pench river stops in December, what remains are a few scenic and serene pools in the river bed. There are a few perennial springs and tanks. At the southern boundary of park, the Pench river has been dammed for Pench hydroelectic project at Totladoh. At the maximum capacity the reservoir submerges 54 sq kms of the park area. This had been the loss of best valley forest, which was once referred by Sir Rudyard Kipling in his book named "Jungle Book". This large reservoir of Pench with sporadic islands attract a number of winter birds from north.

Cheetal, SamBAR, Neelgai are commonly seen grazing on the open sites on roadsides and banks of river & reservoir. Jackals can be seen in search of food anywhere in park . Packs of wild dogs can also be seen occasionally . Herds of Gaur can be spotted near streams and bamboo patches, more common during summer months.

Langurs are very common. Whereas Rhesus monkeys may be seen occasionally on the fringes There are around 50 Tigers and 30 Leopards they are a shy lot and can be seen on roads and near water pools of river during summer months. Pench boasts of more than 210 species of birds including several migratory ones. Commonly seen are Pea fowl, Red jungle fowl, Crow pheasant, Crimson breasted barbet, Red vented bulbul, Racket tailed drongo, Magpie robin, Lesser whistling teal.
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