Nameri Forest Guidebook

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Pranad Patil

Other Titles Published by Sanctuary Asia: Forever Stripes – A Guide to Saving Tigers and India Naturally The Inheritance Series: Kaziranga, Bharatpur, Sundarbans, Corbett, Bandhavgarh, Periyar and Tadoba

The Sanctuary Nature Guide to

Nameri

Wild Series: Wild Maharashtra Wild Chhattisgarh Wild Madhya Pradesh Guidebooks: Kaziranga, Pench, Corbett, Bhoramdeo, Achanakmar, Barnawapara,and Tamor-Pingla – Semarsot – Badalkhol – Guru Ghasidas Forthcoming Titles: The Inheritance Series: Ranthambhore and Kanha

Divisional Forest Officer/Field Director, Western Assam, Wildlife Division, Dolabari, Tezpur. Email: dfo.wawl@gmail.com; Website: www.nameritr.org Forest Range Officer, Nameri Wildlife Range, Potasali, Sonitpur.

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How to get there: By air: The main entry to the reserve at Potasali is 34 km. from Tezpur, which is the nearest airport, and 225 km. from Guwahati. By rail: Ranagapara junction (28 km.) and Guwahati are the nearest rail stations. By road: It is well connected by the NH 52 and NH 37 from Tezpur and Guwahati. Regular cab and bus services (private and government) ply to and from the Nameri National Park.

The incredible Nameri Tiger Reserve and National Park in Assam is just one of the many shining examples of the natural wealth of India. Located just two hours from the better-known Kaziranga National Park and adjoining the Pakhui Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh, Nameri offers visitors the opportunity to walk its forest trails, raft along the Jia Bhorelli river, enjoy some of the best birding and butterfly-watching that the Northeast has to offer and enjoy encounters with capped langurs, otters and elephants. The Sanctuary Nature Guide to Nameri will help all those interested in exploring Nameri and nearby natural wonderlands. It provides a glimpse into a little-discovered reserve, its history, geography and the wild denizens which have made this forest their home. Readers will also learn of key conservation issues that will help them to appreciate this biodiverse Protected Area better. The insider tips and checklists will enhance the experience of visitors by introducing them to some of the little lifeforms that this surprisingly informative guidebook expertly summarises. Easy to pack and carry, this booklet will greatly add to the joy of travelling through this gem of a forest. Note: The information contained in this guidebook was correct at the time of going to press in October 2018. Visitors are advised to double-check information just prior to making a trip so that they are aware of changes in rules and access.

Front cover: Varun Satose (Orange-bellied Leafbird) Published by

FLORA AND FAUNA

Back cover: Shashank Dalvi (Hodgson’s Porcupine) Santosh Gavali

BIRDING HISTORY in association with Western Assam Wildlife Division (Department of Environment and Forests, Assam)

ACCOMMODATION MAP CONSERVATION Signature Spider

Small Pratincole in its Habitat

THE WILDLIFE GUIDE THAT TAKES YOU TO ROADS LESS TRAVELLED.


Pranad Patil

Capped Langur with young in its habitat

MAP NOT TO SCALE. BORDERS NEITHER AUTHENTICATED NOR VERIFIED.


The Sanctuary Nature Guide to

NAMERI

Varun Satose

Tiger Reserve & National Park

Published by

In association with Western Assam Wildlife Division (Department of Environment and Forests, Assam)


Nameri

Contents THE NAMERI EXPERIENCE 06 WHAT A FOREST! A LITTLE-KNOWN RESERVE

Editor Randhir (Bittu) Sahgal Executive Editor Lakshmy Raman Senior Editors Anirudh Nair Purva Variyar

ABOUT NAMERI 09 A TOUCH OF HISTORY LAY OF THE LAND FLORA AND FAUNA

Assistant Editor Anadya Singh

SAVING THE PYGMY HOG 26 BEYOND THE TIGER 30 HIDDEN SIGNS A Hidden World 32 WHAT YOU CAN DO IN NAMERI 34 LOOK OUT For

Science, Natural History and Photography Dr. Parvish Pandya, Head Gaurav Shirodkar, Coordinator Art Direction Umesh Bobade and Qamruddin Shaikh

WHAT ONE YOUNG NATURALIST SUGGESTS CAN BE DONE IN AND OUTSIDE NAMERI 37 HOW TO GET THERE USeful Contacts

Maps Umesh Bobade, Gaurav Shirodkar Mitali Baruah/Public Domain

Advertising and Marketing Shashi Kumar, Director Nishita Kanojia, Assistant Image Editing Qamruddin Shaikh Printing Sel Print India Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai ISBN 978-81-935496-5-0

Alexandre Ultré/Public domain

While the information contained in this guide is accurate to the best of our information, it is vital that visitors double-check all key facts and new rules, if any, before their visit.

Where to stay 44

CONSERVATION ISSUES 40

HOW AND WHAT TO LOOK FOR 14 CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL LAND OF THE TIGER THE LARGEST LAND MAMMAL CANOPIES OF HEAVEN THE MALAYAN Giant SQUIRREL WATER WORLD

YES! YOU CAN TAKE GREAT PHOTOGRAPHS 42

PHOTOGUIDE 46 BIRDS MAMMALS REPTILES & AMPHIBIANS BUTTERFLIES A CHECKLIST OF NAMERI 56 BIRDS MAMMALS BUTTERFLIES

ABOUT the SPONSOR 64 ABOUT SANCTUARY Nature foundation ABout the Balipara foundation YOUR FEEDBACK 65 notes 66 Special thanks to Pankaj Sharma, Divisional Forest Officer, Western Assam Wildlife Division for his valuable inputs and guidance.

A BIRDING PARADISE 18

First published in India in 2018 by: Sanctuary Nature Foundation 146, Pragati Industrial Estate, N. M. Joshi Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai – 400 011. www.sanctuaryasia.com Text © Sanctuary Asia All rights reserved.

TIPS FOR NEW BIRDERS 20

Helena Snyder/Wikimedia Commons

No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher.

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JUNGLE ETIQUETTE WHEN YOU ARE OUT BIRDWATCHING

Mike Prince/Wikimedia Commons

FOREWORD 05

Tiger Reserve & National Park

PREPARING FOR YOUR TRIP 22 ON FOREST TRAILS CLOTHING DON’T FORGET!

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

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FOREWORD The Nameri and Pakke Tiger Reserves and the adjoining forest areas make for a wilderness landscape that is one of the last beacons of hope for the wildlife of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Nameri is not only a refuge for tigers, but a prime habitat for important bird species including the White-winged Wood Duck, the state bird of Assam, plus four species of hornbills. It is the diversity of birds, rather than the desire to spot tigers and other megafauna that attracts most visitors, Indian and foreign. People also flock to the Nameri Tiger Reserve to commune with nature and to witness nature up close, something that is not possible to do if one is restricted to a vehicle. At this point, we are working to turn tourism into a conservation tool for Nameri and towards this end we are putting together a coalition of partners to protect the Nameri ecosystem. Uppermost on our agenda is the need to step up conservation education on a mass scale through local communities and to incubate and foster love and respect for wildlife in the minds of the young. Towards this end, the management of the tiger reserve works closely with experts in the arena of conservation and tourism, including the Balipara Foundation with whose help this Sanctuary Nature Guide has been put together. While this encapsulated information is not by any measure a complete or detailed exposition on the natural wealth of Nameri, it does offer visitors entering into the realm of its forests, wetlands, and rivers a deeper understanding of the immense diversity and value of this wilderness, which is part and parcel of the larger Brahmaputra landscape‌ awash with rhinos, elephants, river dolphins, leopards, tigers and all manner of creatures great and small. The Assam Forest Department recognises not just the value of tourism as a conservation stratagem, but also of the scores of selfless NGOs with whom we are partnering to protect the finest heritage we could ever hope to leave our children‌ a living planet.

Shashank Dalvi

Dev Prakash Bankhwal, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests & Chief Wildlife Warden of Assam, Guwahati

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Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

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THE NAMERI EXPERIENCE

Protecting a people’s legacy

WHAT A FOREST! Rafting down the Jia Bhorelli river with Ranjit Barthakur, I watch as Whistling Teal and Ruddy Shelduck scour the banks for food. In the distance, a Merganser pops out of the water, fish in its serrated beak. Stopping at a forest guard hut, we roasted sweet potatoes in the embers of a fire they used to cook their food and drank pure unfiltered glacier water directly from the river. Though I walked five kilometres by crystal forest pools, open grasslands and canopied forests, I was unable to spot the White-winged Wood Duck I had my heart set on, but every Darter, Grey Heron, snipe, sandpiper, stint and wagtail I

saw delivered that soul-satisfying feeling that I was passing by parts of India that represented the best that Planet Earth had to offer. At one point during the walk I kneeled to examine elephant and tiger spoor all mixed up with who knows which birds’ footprints. Tarrying a while to allow the others in our group to vanish from sight, I shut my eyes and then opened them to vistas where no trace of humans was visible. I do that where I can. It’s one of those idiosyncratic pleasures of my life… to place myself in pristine spaces where I pretend I have slipped through a time warp to a time when Homo sapiens had not yet made an

Birders throng to this forest in Northeast India hoping to catch a glimpse of the White-winged Wood Duck, one of the most endangered birds in the world.

appearance on Earth. I felt so very lucky to be alive. A LITTLE-KNOWN RESERVE Nameri is part of the northern bank landscape of the Brahmaputra river. Located near the border of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, it boasts of an avian diversity checklist of nearly 330 species. This includes the endangered White-winged Wood Duck Cairina scutulata. Author and birdman, Bikram Grewal, with whom I have spent much time in Nameri says, “Little work was done on its birdlife till Maan Barua and Pankaj Sharma produced the first serious checklist in 2005, which has now been much augmented. The birdlife boasts of at least eight globally threatened species and five

near-threatened ones, including the White-winged Wood Duck and the Rufous-necked Hornbill. Other fabled birds that inhabit the area include the Pied Falconet, White-cheeked Partridge, Black Baza, Ibisbill and Jerdon’s Baza. To add to all this excitement Sujan Chatterjee had reported the Black-throated Diver, backed by just-aboutidentifiable photographs. It is also the only place in India where a Chestnut-cheeked Starling Sturnus philippensis has been authentically seen.” I have been to Nameri several times, often accompanied by Ranjit, to whom Nameri is second home. On one trip, we were joined by the economist Lord Nicholas Stern. On a six-kilometre trek

Avinash Bhagat

“The real movers and shakers, the keepers of the natural capital of the Eastern Himalaya are its rural communities, thus our focus on rural futures.” Nameri is elephant country. Intrepid travellers can sight large herds as well as lone tuskers such as the one above.

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Vishwatej Pawar

Underscoring the truth that nature will only be nurtured if ordinary people love, understand and respect it, Bittu Sahgal, drums up a smattering of memories of days spent in kinship with wild nature in Nameri. It is such experiences he believes that we need to expose young India to if we wish them to grow up with a sense of appreciation for the exquisite natural heritage with which the Indian subcontinent is blessed. This vital national objective can be achieved by tourism, provided policymakers enable young Indians to experience nature as they deserve to… the way he did when he fell in love and dedicated his life to nature decades ago.

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

– Ranjit Barthakur, Founder, Balipara Foundation Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

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ABOUT NAMERI One hundred years of conservation

A solitary hog deer can be seen in the tall grasslands and reed beds adjoining the Jia Bhorelli river.

life… the tiger, of course, and wild pig, sambar, elephant and more. “This forest is a carbon storehouse,” said Nick, gazing about him in wonder at the sheer beauty and productivity of the forest. “It makes economic sense for India to protect such biodiversity vaults, as it searches for ways to meet the legitimate aspiration of development of the poor, without destabilising the ecological foundations upon which all economic security is dependent.”

Aniruddha. After the battle, Banasura’s daughter Usha was married to Aniruddha and the defeated Asura king spent his life in worship of Lord Shiva in the Himalaya. In the 8th and 9th centuries, the area is believed to have been under the rule of the Guptas. Some of the architecture of the historical ruins as seen in the Bamuni hills stand testament to this. Post the British annexation in 1826, lower Assam and Central Assam were made into a separate division and

Archyusman Dubey

Koolzadityax/Public DOmain

through the reserve’s riverine forests, we had stopped at a large, sweet-waterbody, bustling with waterfowl of all descriptions and marvelled at the manner in which disparate creatures all managed to fashion a living out of a common resource, without spoiling it for other species. We moved on, following the pugmarks of a tiger that had stopped to drink at the same crystal water source for over 500 m., and found ourselves variously in tall grassland, thick forest and sandy river beds. Everywhere there were signs of

A TOUCH OF HISTORY The Nameri National Park lies in the northern part of the Sonitpur district of Assam. It is a part of the ‘North Bank Region’ of the Brahmaputra, which includes D’Ering, Dibru-Saikowa, Eagle’s Nest, Mehao, Pakke (Pakhui) and Sonai-Rupai, and which, in turn, is a part of the greater Indo-Burma hotspot. The main town here is Tezpur, or the city of blood, a reference, according to legends, to the gory battle between Lord Krishna and the Asura king Banasura who had captured Krishna’s grandson

Public domain

Joydip suchandra kundu

The Nameri National Park is located at 26°50’48” to 27°03’43” North and 92°39’00” to 92°59’00” East. This 200 sq. km. park lies in the foothills of the Eastern Himalaya in Assam and forms the core of the Nameri Tiger Reserve (344 sq. km.). To the east of the park, flows the Bor-Dikorai river while the Jia Bhorelli flows to its west. Tributaries of the Jia Bhorelli traverse the length and width of the park. The two rivers join at the park’s southern border. Along with the Pakhui Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh that it is contiguous with in the north, Nameri extends to around 1,000 sq. km. The Balipara Reserve Forest adjoins Nameri to the west.

The Jia Bhorelli and the Bor-Dikorai rivers flowing through the west and east of the park respectively are vital lifelines for the flora and fauna found here. 8

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

Sculptures on the Agnigarh hill in Tezpur portray the mythological battle between Lord Shiva and Krishna’s followers. Legend has it that the rivers of blood that flowed lent its name to the city. Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

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this included the Darrang, Nagaon and Raha areas. Later, Darrang was constituted as a separate district and Tezpur was made its headquarters in 1835. Several tea estates were soon established and this changed the landscape of the area forever. Post-independence, Darrang district was divided and a new administrative district of Sonitpur was created. In 2015, Sonitpur district was bifurcated as Tezpur (Sadar) and Biswanath District 28. During colonial times, two reserve forests – Balipara and Nauduar – had been created here in 1874 and 1876 respectively. More than a century later, in September 1985, the Nameri Wildlife Sanctuary was carved out from the Nauduar Reserve Forest.

In August 1998, it was notified as the Nameri National Park. In March 2000, the national park along with the Nauduar Reserve Forest and part of the Balipara Reserve Forest were together constituted as the Nameri Tiger Reserve. It was notified as part of the Pakhui-Nameri Tiger Reserve. The national park forms the core of the tiger reserve with part of the Nauduar Reserve Forest forming its buffer to the east and part of the Balipara Reserve Forest forming its buffer to the west. The tiger reserve is also contiguous with the Charduar Reserve Forest on the west, the Bishwanath Reserve Forest on the east and Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary, Papum Parre Reserve Forest and Doimara Reserve Forest in Arunachal Pradesh to the north.

The core area of the reserve is under the administrative control of the Western Assam Wildlife Division, Tezpur, in Sonitpur district and is monitored by the Nameri Wildlife Range with its headquarter at Potasali. The East Buffer is under the administrative control of Sonitpur East Division, Biswanath Chariali, and is looked after by the Diplonga Range with its headquarter at Itakhola. The West Buffer is under the administrative control of Sonitpur West Division, Tezpur, and is looked after by the Charduar Range Office with its headquarter at Charduar. The East Buffer has 21 Compartments under Hatipati Block of Nauduar RF. The West Buffer has 16 Compartments of Bhorelli Block and one

compartment of Satai Block under Balipara Reserve Forest. LAY OF THE LAND The reserve’s terrain is undulating and ranges between 80-100 m. above sea level along the Jia Bhorelli and its tributaries to 200–225 m., above sea level in the central and northern parts of the park. The soil is mainly sandy or sandy loam alluvial in composition. One of the richest and most threatened reservoirs of plant and animal life in the world, the area is drained by the Jia Bhorelli and its tributaries, namely the Diji, Dinai, Doigurung, Nameri, Dikorai and Khari. The percolation of water at lower elevation and depressed terrain zones has led to the formation of numerous swamps and streams. This land receives heavy rainfall between

Vikramjit Kakati/Public domain

Of the five national parks in Assam, Nameri is arguably the most scenic.

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Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

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Sandipan Mukherjee

Seen usually in pairs or small groups, the Ruddy Shelduck’s beautiful rusty orange plumage distinguishes it from other species of waterfowls.

May and September, with winters being mostly cool and dry. FLORA AND FAUNA Most parts of Nameri are covered by moist mixed deciduous forests and over 600 species of plants are found in the area. Tropical evergreen and semi-evergreen forests mingle here with the moist deciduous forests, while cane and bamboo brakes and narrow strips of open grassland can be found 12

along the many waterbodies. Orchids are found in abundance in the region and the forests are also rich in epiphytes and lianas. Semi-aquatic plants thrive in the wet alluvial soil. The park’s management plan reports that the vegetation of the park is a mosaic of four major forest types – Eastern alluvial secondary semi-evergreen forest, which includes species such as Pterospermum acerifolium, Dillenia indica, Dysoxylum Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

procerum, Bischofia javanica, Artocarpus chaplasha, Duabanga sonneratoides and Litsea sebifera; Low alluvial savannah woodland species such as Bombax ceiba, Albizzia procera, Dillenia indica, Cordia dichotoma, Premna bengalensis and Trewia nudiflora with dense tall grass including Saccharum spp. and Erianthus spp.; Eastern Dillenia swamp forest including Dillenia indica, Bischofia javanica, Albizzia lucida, Lagerstroemia flos-reginae and Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

Terminalia chebula; and Wet bamboo forest, which can be seen along streams or on badly-drained hollows, with areas of cane brakes formed by Calamus tenuis. It is also extremely rich in faunal resources. Over 30 species of mammals have been recorded here, including tigers and elephants. It is a good place to see the capped langur as well as the Malayan giant squirrel. 13


How and what to look for

and sets an hour earlier than it does in most of India. We advocate arriving with a good bird book and loads of curiosity. Look out for birds, squirrels, insects, sunrises and sunsets and in the process, in all likelihood you might, just might, sight a tiger or leopard, or a yellow-throated marten that calls this forest home. Creatures great and small Visitors can see several mammals ranging from sambar, hog deer, bison, muntjac, wild pigs to the capped langur. The

Nameri’s bountiful floral density and diversity ensure healthy prey density, which allows apex predators such as rroyal Bengal tigers to thrive.

dogs or dhole may often be seen in packs. Nameri National Park also houses a wide variety of rare reptiles such as the Assam roof turtle Pangshura sylhetensis or the Khasi hill terrapin, once believed to be extinct and rediscovered at Nameri in 1992. Among insects found here is the atlas moth with a wingspan of an incredible 25 cm., and many butterflies. Given the high humidity of the area, insect diversity is high. Land of the tiger Camera trap studies in Nameri have indicated the presence of five to eight tigers in this tiny reserve, which boasts a

density of 1.3 to 1.5 tigers per 100 sq. km. Almost every visitor comes away having spotted pugmarks or the signaturedroppings of a Nameri tiger or leopard. A rafting trip down the Jia Bhorelli could well reveal elephants, wild buffalo or, with luck, even a rhino or two. The largest land mammal This reserve is possibly best known for its elephant population. Contiguous with the Pakhui Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh, which is home to 250 elephants, Nameri too serves as a vital habitat for the pachyderms. The plentiful

Diganta talukdar/Pubic Domain

Kuldeep Chaudhari

Life here is slower paced than city dwellers expect. It is also more quiet. The overwhelming response of visitors who enter the wonderland that is Nameri is that their experience somehow left them more viscerally connected to nature. Rafting down a river, or trekking in a forest, or riding atop a quiet elephant they are able to hear the sights and sounds of nature’s magic in ways that are simply not possible in the company of scores of “Show-mea-tiger” vehicles populated by picnicking weekenders. That said,

Pankaj Sharma/Western Assam Wildlife Division

There are no guarantees in a forest. The birds, animals and insects are all there – often less than a few metres from you, but it takes experience and knowledge to know how to find them. In Nameri, living in sunlight and shadow are some of the most elusive creatures that many world-renowned naturalists will never see unless they travel to Assam, simply because they exist only here and nowhere else on Earth. Scientists often spend their entire lives studying just one species and its wild home, but for the benefit of lay persons, we have appended some thumbnail sketches of fascinating creatures you could spot in Nameri.

The Assam roofed turtle is an endangered reptile with highly localised distribution in India’s Northeast and eastern Bangladesh.

the wildernesses around Nameri are so easily accessible that hundreds of school children from nearby Tezpur and Guwahati manage to find their way to this wild forest where the sun rises 14

plentiful food plant supply ensures that herbivores such as hog deer and wild pigs thrive here. The sloth bear, Himalayan black bear and the highly endangered hispid hare are also found here. Wild Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

Nameri has a sizeable elephant population owing to the plentiful food and water resources in the park. An adult elephant can consume upto 136 kg. of food in a single day. Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

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Habitat destruction and hunting have taken a toll on populations of capped langurs, which were once widespread throughout Northeast India. 16

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

Kuldeep ChaudharI

The arboreal Malayan giant squirrel or the black giant squirrel mainly feeds on seeds, pine cones, fruits and leaves.

Northeast India, eastern Nepal, Bhutan, southern China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and western Indonesia. The head and body length varies from 35 to 58 cm. in length, and the tail is up to 60 cm. long, with an overall length of up to 118 cm. The back, ears and bushy tail are deep brown to black with a lighter buff-coloured belly. R. bicolor is diurnal and arboreal, but may climb down to feed on the ground. It prefers to feed on seeds, pine cones, fruits and leaves. It raises its litter of one to two young in a drey (or nest) that is usually within a hollow space of a tree. Also seen in Nameri is the red giant flying squirrel Petaurista petaurista. This species has been recorded from the eastern regions of Afghanistan into northern India and Pakistan through to Java and Taiwan, and also Sri Lanka. Like other species of flying squirrels, the membrane of skin between its legs allows it to glide between trees. Dark red in colour with large eyes, it is nocturnal and feeds on conifer cones, leaves, branches, fruits, nuts and sometimes on insects. Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

Water World Frequently sighted along the Jia Bhorelli, Bar Dikorai, Marisuti, Balipung and Khari river banks, the common otter enthralls visitors to the reserve. The diverse hill streams and the rich fish diversity ensure that otters are doing well in Nameri. The very presence of otters indicates that the aquatic ecosystems are flourishing and Nameri is consequently one of the finest forests in which to search for amphibians and reptiles of all descriptions. The Jia Bhorelli river is also home to many fish such as the mahseer, golden mahseer, saal mural, goruagoonch, korang and sundari (Indian trout), and chocolate mahseer.

Kuldeep Chaudhari

common in the large, contiguous forests in the Assam foothills along the Arunachal border, habitat loss due to cultivation and human settlements, traditional hunting for meat and skin and the sociopolitical tensions in the area have put the species in peril. Nameri is still home to a small population of the species and can be seen easily in the forested areas. Malayan giant squirrel The black giant squirrel or Malayan giant squirrel Ratufa bicolor is a large, solitary, tree squirrel that has been recorded in northern Bangladesh,

Kuldeep Chaudhari

water and food sources in the reserve make it an attractive habitat for elephants. Much of the population is concentrated in Khari-Bagijuli, PotasaliBalipung and Sijusa camp site. However, migration of the elephants to nearby villages and tea gardens that were all once their forest home has resulted in much conflict. Canopies of Heaven Nameri and its adjoining forests in Arunachal Pradesh are one of the last strongholds of the endangered capped langur Trachypithecus pileatus. Once

The rich aquatic ecosystem of Nameri harbours a rich diversity of waterbirds such as this River Lapwing. 17


Unsung jewel of the East By Bikram Grewal and Sumit K. Sen The birdlife of Nameri is varied and abundant with nearly 330 species finding their way into an ever-expanding checklist. Nameri’s most important avian residents are the White-winged Ducks. A sizeable population is known to frequent the forest pools here and they form an important core of the Indian population of the remaining 150 odd pairs of this highlyendangered species. Other key birds include White-cheeked Partridge, Great Wreathed and Rufous-necked Hornbills, Ruddy, Blue-eared and Oriental Dwarf Kingfishers, Pallas’s, Greyheaded and Lesser Fish Eagles, Silver-backed Needletail, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Blue-naped Pitta, Slender-billed Oriole, Hill Blue Flycatcher, White-crowned Forktail, Sultan

Tit, Black-bellied Tern, Jerdon’s Babbler, Rufous-backed Sibia, Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker, Red-throated Pipit, Long-billed Plover and Ibisbill. Despite its obvious attractions, Nameri is often seen as Kaziranga’s poor cousin and most stop here briefly, on their way to the fabled Eagle Nest Sanctuary, further down the same road in Arunachal Pradesh. However, birders are now discovering its worth and Nameri is increasingly becoming more popular. Another advantage of this wonderful park is that you have to do all your birding on foot, as there are no motorable roads. While you can stay at the most luxurious and beautiful Wild Mahseer Lodge at Balipara Tea Estate, birders may also choose to stay at the charming Eco Camp,

The brilliant blue Small Niltava is an inhabitant of tropical and sub-tropical montane forests.

banks hide the Ibisbill and the Long-billed Plovers, and one must keep a sharp eye for these extremely shy birds. Other birds that can be seen from the rafts include Common Mergansers, Thick-knees and Ruddy Shelducks. It is best to observe each kingfisher carefully for it could very well turn out to be the rare Blue-eared or Oriental Dwarf. Nameri is one of those few truly wild places in the world and offers an enchanting and unique experience unlike any other.

Varun Satose

The large and bulky Greylag Geese is a common winter visitor to the north and parts of Northeast India and are seen in Nameri.

which was started for anglers, but is now mostly used by birders and tourists from the surrounding tea gardens. This tented camp, surrounded by a grove of tall trees, is in itself worth a full day of birding. A centre for the captive breeding of the pygmy hog is next door, as are the offices of the Forest Department where permits are issued. The two-kilometre stretch from the Eco Camp to the Jia Bhorelli is particularly good for raptors, including the rarely seen Oriental Hobby and the Black Baza. One can cross the river by boats belonging to the Forest Department and follow a circuitous route taking in the several shallow pools that house the fabled duck. This trek can take several hours and one must be accompanied by an armed guard. It is advisable to wear leech socks here. Another alternative is to raft down the Jia Bhorelli river in small rubber rafts. The most popular point to start is 14 km. upstream where the rapids are gentle, though photographic and other equipment must be protected. Among the stony

Kuldeep Chaudhari

A Birding Paradise

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Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

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Tips for New Birders

30 is the diameter (in mm.) of the objective lens. Select a pair which has a magnification between 8 and 12 and the diameter between 20 and 30. A larger diameter has better ability for gathering light (as when you are in a dense forest) but makes the binoculars heavier. A spotting scope (differs from a telescope – the latter inverts the image, but the former has a prism, which results in a upright image) with a tripod is good for watching comparatively stationary birds at wetlands. 4. Field guides: Carry one which fits in your bag, has good illustrations, possibly with markers, with identification characteristics, a description of the bird’s behaviour, calls, distribution map and migration pattern. Some suggested titles are Birds of the Indian Subcontinent by Richard Grimmett, Carol Inskipp and

Shashank Dalvi

1. Time and season: Early mornings from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. and evenings from 4 to 7 p.m. are the periods when birds are quite active. During summer season, many birds are nesting and during winter you have a chance to see many migratory species as well. 2. Attire: For a forest visit, wear dull, earth-coloured clothes (green, brown, grey) which are loose fitting; for grasslands, green or dull brown; for sea shore dull brown (sandy) or dark grey (resembling rocks). Sports or hiking shoes make the walk safe from ground creatures and comfortable. A cap or hat helps to break the body’s outline and also protect you from the sun. 3. Equipment: A pair of binoculars are essential. On any binoculars, you will find some numbers printed, e.g. 10 x 30, where the first numeral 10, is the magnification and

Like other members of the hornbill family, a male Great Hornbill feeds his mate and chicks through a slit in the mud-sealed hollow of a tree. 20

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

Pranad Patil

Birdwatching can be more rewarding in Nameri if you prepare yourself in advance, as well as incorporate some commonly followed codes of conduct. These guidelines will help you not only at Nameri but also back home, whether you plan to watch birds in a forest or along the sea shore:

Relatively common across the country, the Chestnut-tailed Starling is the smallest member of the starling family.

Tim Inskipp, Field Guide to the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent by Krys Kazmierczak, Birds of South Asia – The Ripley Guide (Vol. 1) by Pamela Rasmussen and John Anderson, A Photographic Guide to the Birds of India by Bikram Grewal, Bill Harvey and Otto Pfister and Birds of the Indian Subcontinent - A Field Guide by Ranjit Manakadan, J. C. Daniel, and Nikhil Bhopale. 5. Preparations: Before a visit to any area, it’s good to check on the Internet about the topography, vegetation, geographical maps, blogs, local checklists of flora and fauna, etc. to prepare well in advance. Emphasis must be laid on awareness of any possible danger from wildlife or people, so as to take necessary precautions. It is also advisable to have at least one companion along, but not more than four in a group. 6. Unobtrusiveness: On a nature trail, maintain silence, decide whether you wish to stay on surfaced roads or forest paths, walk without snapping branches or dry leaves, take a roundabout approach to move closer to birds, keep bushes or Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

natural objects between you and wildlife, look for tracks and signs and move slowly since your sudden actions can disturb wildlife. 7. Recording: Maintain records and notes of your observations. Procure a hard copy of the area’s checklist, so that you’ll be able to maintain a systemic, family-wise list of your recordings. In case of an unidentified species, note details such as comparative size, length and type of beak, colours of various parts, calls and other behaviour. 8. Referencing: Back home read books and magazines about characters of bird families and individual species. A study of details such as preferred habitats, heights preferred among vegetation and trees, behaviour, breeding season, etc. can be very useful. Cassettes and CDs are available for listening to bird calls – Indian Bird Calls by Erach Bharucha, Bird Songs of the Himalayas by Scott Connop and Bird Sounds of Goa and South India by Hannu Jannes are some of the better-known products in the market. 21


PREPARING FOR YOUR TRIP Travelling in the wilderness requires a special sensitivity. The laws of the jungle are just as important to obey, as our own. Leaving just footprints and taking back memories should be your aim. Here are some useful tips from veteran wildlifers. These hold good for virtually every forest you might visit anywhere in India or overseas:  Always inform someone at your base camp of the route you intend to take for excursions into the forest.  While inside the forest, listen for the alarm calls of chital, sambar and langurs and you may get to see a tiger or leopard.  Stay vigilant. If you have company, try to sit facing in different directions to double the chances of spotting animals. CLOTHING: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS BAD WEATHER, ONLY INAPPROPRIATE CLOTHING!  Dress to suit the climate. Choose muted forest colours like greens and dull browns. Shashank Dalvi

ON FOREST TRAILS: CHARTING YOUR COURSE  Visit http://maps.google. com/maps, then key the latitude and longitude coordinates provided on each map into the search box for an unprecedented bird’s eye view of the respective wildernesses.  Use a map and trace out the route you intend to take. Always carry a compass and travel with a companion and hire an experienced guide.  Find out whether the route is safe before venturing out. The office of the Field Director is the best source of information.

Kuldeep Chaudhari

Binoculars, a bird book and a camera will help you save memories such as sighting a Red-breasted parakeet for posterity.

Always choose to wear muted forest colours like greens and dull browns on a forest trail. This allows you to blend with your surroundings and increases you chances of spotting wildlife. 22

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

 Wear comfortable walking shoes, travel light and don’t forget a hat and shades (they also protect your eyes from low-hanging vegetation)!  High boots with socks are a sensible option on jungle walks as basic protection from snakes.  Always check your shoes before you wear them to avoid scorpions and other creatures that love dark places.  Avoid perfumes, deodorants, aftershaves Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

– such fragrances could attract biting insects! DON’T FORGET!  Fires are a SERIOUS problem. Absolutely no smoking in the wildernesses. Carefully put out every last ember in your campfires before you leave.  Keep a first-aid kit handy and always travel with enough food and water for at least 24 hours (chocolates are a great energy option).  Binoculars, a bird book and a camera are prerequisites 23


disturb them in any way. Never feed wild animals.  Bringing arms and ammunition into a sanctuary or national park is a serious offence, for which a jail term is likely.  Swimming and fishing are not permitted inside Protected Areas. Strictly follow all park rules.  While staying inside the forest conform to the ‘no bright lights’ unspoken rule or you could have beetles and other insect life as hard-to-get-rid-of companions for the night. WHEN YOU ARE OUT BIRDING  Don’t ‘look for birds’ in a forest. Just let your eyes wander to detect movement where nothing else is moving.  Edges or ecotones, where one type of landscape

merges into another, are usually sites of greater activity, especially at dawn and dusk. Birding just outside the forest is often better than birding inside it. Ponds, streams, lakes and river banks are all excellent birding spots. Most birds can distinguish colours very well, which can scare them off (or at least alert them). It’s a good idea not to wear blues or reds! Dress in muted greens and browns. Noise is an absolute no-no. Don’t chat on the trails and try and wear fabrics that don’t rustle. Even a noisy camera shutter can ruin your birding experience. Enjoy all your birds – there aren’t any ‘better’ or ‘more

exotic’ species and if the birds are where you are, stay and watch for you may not see any more that day!  Carry a notebook in which to record your observations. Important details you might wish to keep a record of would include the date, time and place, species observed, sex of the bird, unusual behaviour if any, type of habitat (thick or sparse forest, hilly terrain, dense undergrowth). If you have a GPS, make a site reference of a particularly interesting sighting.  Carry a good bird book with you to help identify birds. The more enthusiastic might even want to go equipped with a micro-cassette recorder or video recorder. Either way, don’t miss out on capturing memories for later recall.

Come well-prepared according to the season, be it monsoon, summer or winter. Always carry appropriate clothing and gear.

Nikhil Devasar

for a good trip. A magnifying glass would be very useful too. JUNGLE ETIQUETTE  Try to avoid weekends, so you do not add to the overcrowding. Set a good example. Remember the park authorities’ real job is to protect wildlife. Do not over-strain them with your own demands.  Try not to talk too much. Absorb your surroundings. Leave your music systems at home.  No littering in the park. In fact, pick up nonbiodegradable materials and carry it back for safe disposal in a large city. Locals often burn your waste, which is bad for the destination.  Do not try to get too close to the animals or startle or

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Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

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SAVING THE PYGMY HOG

Pranad Patil

By Lakshmy Raman

The critically endangered pygmy hog suffered a massive decline in its numbers, so much so that, they were feared extinct, until serious conservation interventions turned the tide.

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Peccaries and Hippos Specialist Group, the Assam Forest Department and the Indian government, and local partners such as EcoSystems India and Aaaranyak initiated the Pygmy Hog Conservation Programme (PHCP). PHCP researchers began a seven-year study of the

linked to the degradation of Assam’s grasslands. Historically, its preferred habitat has been the tall, dense, riverine grassland areas where it feeds on roots, tubers and other vegetable matter and, occasionally, insects, earthworms and other invertebrates. The modification and destruction of its habitat for agriculture, settlements including those by illegal immigrant settlers from Bangladesh and Nepal, overgrazing by cattle, thatchgrass harvesting, uncontrolled seasonal burning and floodcontrol and forestry projects, had led to its systematic eradication. Adding to the litany of problems was the spread of violence in the Northeast and the increased poaching and killing of wildlife for pot and market. In the Khalingdaur Reserved Forest, for instance, pygmy hogs became extinct because the habitat was replaced by hardwood plantations and the remaining grasslands burnt by herdsmen.

Conservationist William Oliver engaged in recapturing of pygmy hogs in Potasali near the Nameri National Park.

dr. goutam narayan

It is the world’s smallest and rarest extant suid and only a handful of people claim to have seen it in the wild. It is 55 to 71 cm. long, weighs around eight to 11 kg. and stands just 20 to 30 cm. tall. The days when the pygmy hog was common along the foothill plains of the Himalaya in India, Bhutan and Nepal are long past. By the 1980s, it was already known to be endangered with only two small, isolated populations on record – in the Manas and Barnadi Wildlife Sanctuaries in Assam. Even here, the species was rapidly declining. By the mid-90s, the situation was so grim that it was classified as Critically Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). But this was one species, a small group of committed wildlife researchers and conservationists were just not ready to lose. In 1995, a group of organisations, including the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust based in Jersey, Channel Islands, the IUCN’s Pigs,

pygmy hog to understand its conservation issues and suggest solutions to revive its population in the wild. Field study surveys were initiated to determine the species’ distribution, search for any other surviving remnant populations and identify suitable sites for future reintroduction. Plans were made to establish a captive-breeding programme as a safeguard against extinction, as a source for reintroduction and as a beginning to long-term field studies on the pygmy hog’s behavioural-ecology and habitat management requirements. Dr. Goutam Narayan, a wildlife scientist who had earlier worked for the Bombay Natural History Society, knew just how vital this project and its recommendations were as it presented the last hope for the pygmy hog. He therefore chose to dedicate his life to the resurrection of the species. The pygmy hog is an important indicator species whose rapid disappearance is intricately

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

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mitochondrial DNA in blood samples from the captive breeding programme and two specimens collected by 19th century taxonomist, B. H. Hodgson, and maintained by the National History Museum in London. The study, published in the journal Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, was a reaffirmation of Hodgson’s belief that the pygmy hog was evolutionarily unique and completely different from boars, warthogs and pigs. The original genus status has been resurrected and the pygmy hog reclassified as Porcula salvania by GenBank (database produced at the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S.A.). In 2003, PHCP released its report confirming that the captive breeding programme had been hugely successful with over 75 hogs literally jostling for space in their pens. The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad helped with DNA studies. Apart from the first phase of radio-tracking in Manas, a field station was established to study grassland ecology and management. Another breeding centre was opened in Potasali near the Nameri National Park. A small, restricted, pre-release area was prepared near Nameri

bRIJ KISHOR GUPTA

The late Sanjay Deb Roy, who spent a large chunk of his life in the forests of the Northeast, wrote that in the Barnadi Reserve Forest in 1977, village hunters accounted for at least 15 per cent of the total estimated population of about 35 pygmy hogs. The PHCP began its captivebreeding programme in 1996. Six animals were captured from the wild and bred in custombuilt enclosures in Basistha in Assam, in environs as close to their natural habitat as possible. Their food was buried in the soil so they would learn to search for tubers and succulents as they would need to in wild grasslands. Five more hogs were also caught during the capture operation but released in the wild after four of them were fitted with transmitters for radiotelemetry studies. The pygmy hog had always been regarded as a member of the genus Sus and a sister taxon of the domestic pig/Eurasian wild pig Sus scrofa. However, scientists from the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, and other researchers based in Hyderabad in India and Durham in the U.K. revealed through phylogenetic analyses that it belongs to a unique genus Porcula. The researchers analysed

Pygmy hogs were once regarded as members of the genus Sus. But several phylogenetic analyses later, it was proved that it really belonged to a unique genus Porcula. 28

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

to acclimatise the animals to life without human interference. The grassland in the pre-release area was restored and electric fences constructed to keep larger animals out. Eighteen pygmy hogs were transferred to this area and monitored closely. Three reintroduction sites were selected – the Barnadi Wildlife Sanctuary, Orang National Park and SonaiRupai Wildlife Sanctuary. The future of the species is not only dependent on whether the captive-raised hogs are able to survive, adapt and breed in the wild, but also on how their habitat is restored and managed. Protection of the habitat will be beneficial to a host of other species, including the hispid hare and the Bengal Florican. So far the pygmy hogs raised in Basistha and Nameri have been released in Sonai-Rupai (where challenges such as habitat management in the form of indiscriminate grass burning and overgrazing had to be overcome), Orang and Barnadi Wildlife Sanctuary. The hogs are doing particularly well in Orang, where the population has increased to around 200. Goutam Narayan who has probably done more to resurrect the species in the wild than any other person alive today says

the key to ensuring the future of the pygmy hog is to stop the indiscriminate dry season burning of grasslands every February and March, and limit it to some controlled fire till mid-January to clear dried grass debris and to delay the transformation of these successional grasslands into a different habitat. He also suggests that efforts be made to “convert the hoards of cattle grazing the grasslands bare and trampling the soil hard into a few high-yielding breeds of stall-fed animals.” He also hopes that the “plans for the scores of mega dams on Himalayan rivers do not go ahead and instead plans are made for ecologically and economically-viable smaller alternatives that do not cause flash floods in the grassland plains and downstream areas when water is released from reservoirs, particularly during the monsoons.” Modern technology is, undoubtedly, offering us a chance to protect beleaguered creatures such as the pygmy hog, but how we convert this chance into an opportunity to staunch the tide of extinction for the pygmy hog and other endangered species depends on our ability to protect their natural, wild habitats in the difficult days ahead.

The Pygmy Hog Porcula salvania With darkish-brown skin, a vestigial tail measuring just 2.5 cm., a sharp tapering head, and a slightly hairy crest on the forehead, it definitely does not possess the looks to match its fame. It has only three pairs of mammae. The upper canines are visible on the sides of the mouth only in the adult male. It is believed to be non-territorial and lives in small family groups of four to five, comprising one or two adult females and juveniles and occasionally an adult male, usually during the rut. The species builds nests that are used by both sexes throughout the year. The nest is basically a trough dug out with its snout and then lined with grass. Reproduction is seasonal, with a birth peak just before the monsoon (late April to May in western Assam). The gestation period is about four months, after which two to six young are born. The pygmy hog is the sole host of the pygmy hog-sucking louse Haematopinus oliveri, incidentally also classified as endangered because of the precarious status of its host.

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

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Though referred to as lesser lifeforms, it is microfauna such as this spangle butterfly that add to the wholesome experience that visits to forests such as Nameri provide.

you will see images of some of the animals, birds and insects you are likely to see, however, nothing can replace a knowledgeable guide, or wildlife expert. Seek them out and do not be afraid to ask for help to find and identify animals. Remember, even if you do not see an animal, you could see the evidence of its presence. A tiger may leave claw marks on a tree, an owl may leave its droppings with the bones of its victims, under its perch, a snake could have left its shed skin. Learn to look for clues. Most people whiz through sanctuaries and national parks claiming they

Shirog Karekar

Yes, Nameri is a tiger reserve. And it is fine to be drawn to these magnificent animals, but those who visit Nameri ‘only’ to see the tigers will miss out on the experiences of a lifetime. The exquisite beauty of the tiger’s home is filled with birdsong, flowering plants, verdant hills, sparkling rivers and all the tiny creatures that form the foundation on which the tiger itself is so totally dependent. Tarry a while along the Jia Bhorelli in search of otters, mahseer and any one of the many bird species you could see. Elsewhere in this guide,

With a distribution in India that spans the plains of West Bengal and parts of the Northeast, the tokay gecko, the second largest of its kind in the world, has learned to colonise very varied habitats. 30

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

saw ‘nothing’. The truth is that every inch of the forest is alive and exciting for those who know where to look. Curiosity is your greatest asset, right after patience and a deep respect for the forest. Which animals live in the forest? Which ones seem to enjoy walks along streams? Which animal left that hoof mark? What could have gnawed at the bark of a tree? Which creatures visit that fruiting tree you see? What is that plant growing out of the elephant dung left on the trail? Every question you ask will enhance your experience. HIDDEN SIGNS  Half-eaten leaves, fruits and droppings beneath favoured food trees may indicate that langurs have been there. The leaves and fruit they drop also attract deer.  Zigzag patterns in loose soil may suggest the passage of a snake.  Nail marks on tracks indicate a member of the dog family – a jackal or fox. Felids like tigers, leopards and jungle cats retract their claws when they walk. The heavy curvature of the toes and large-sized pugmarks can help differentiate hyaena spoor from those of wolves and jackals.  Tiger and leopard scats (faeces) are usually seen in grass in the centre or at the edges of roads and are accompanied by scrape marks left by their hind legs.  White droppings below a tree suggest a possible bird roosting site.  Nest holes in dead wood are often the handiwork of woodpeckers and barbets.  Carpets of green or black spherical pellets below plants could belong to caterpillars of butterflies and/or moths. Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

 Empty moults attached to twigs or rocks near waterholes or streams usually belong to nymphs of dragonflies and damselflies.  Typical gnaw markings on bark of trees suggest that a hungry porcupine has been busy at night.  Five toe markings in soft mud suggest a mongoose has passed by.  Deep scratch marks, as high as 15 m. from the ground is the handiwork of sloth bears that clamber up trees in search of fruit, honey or insects.  Rust-coloured patches on tree trunks may mean a male deer has rubbed its antlers to peel off the outer, velvety sheath of dead skin.  Discover Nameri in its entirety. At the risk of repetition, celebrate the sight of a tiger, but please do not be ‘disappointed’ if one does not reveal itself. Come away happy and humbled by the sheer beauty of this wilderness. It is a magical creation of nature that no human hand could craft.

Kuldeep Chaudhari

Varun Satose

Beyond the tiger

The hoary-bellied squirrel or Irrawady squirrel belongs to a family of squirrels known as ‘beautiful squirrels’ for their extremely alluring appearance.

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Pankaj Sharma/Western Assam Wildlife Division

Pankaj Sharma/Western Assam Wildlife Division

A Hidden World

A colour variant of the Indian leopard, melanistic leopards are reported frequently from the dense forests of Assam.

Solitary and nocturnal, the large Indian civet spends most of its time on the ground.

The common palm civet or toddy cat is both terrestrial and arboreal, seeking out fruits by its keen sense of smell.

The Nameri Tiger Reserve is home to three elusive lesser cats – leopard cat (seen here), jungle cat and golden cat.

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Pankaj Sharma/Western Assam Wildlife Division

Pankaj Sharma/Western Assam Wildlife Division

Pankaj Sharma/Western Assam Wildlife Division

The smallest of the big cat species distributed in north west Bengal and Northeast India, the clouded leopard is not very easily seen.

Pankaj Sharma/Western Assam Wildlife Division

Mysterious in their ways, leopards have coats varying from pale yellow to deep gold, with distinctive dark spots called rosettes, which help them camouflage in their surrounds.

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

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WHAT YOU CAN DO IN NAMERI

the premises and you can book tents online. Nameri is a four-hour drive from Guwahati (do check Google Maps before setting out) and most visitors rent a jeep or taxi from the airport or rail station there. Do not hesitate to stop for some birding enroute. The town of Mangaldoi might reveal some avians such as Lesser Adjutants and Lesser Whistling Ducks. Choose to stay at the delightful Eco Camp that offers tents and semi-permanent rooms and a common dining area, set amidst a grove of high trees that is perfect for some early morning birding including raptors such as the Oriental Hobby that is a resident of the area. The captive pygmy hog breeding centre (see page 26) is adjacent to the camp. Take a slow two-hour drive toward the Jia Bhorelli river. The park is also known for large elephant herds. Maintain a safe distance during any encounters with these giants and always

Aditya Akerkar

One of the most exciting aspects of Nameri is that if you desire, you can do all your birding on foot. The other alternative is to raft down the Jia Bhorelli river. However, it is mandatory that an armed guard accompany all visitors. It is also recommended that you employ the services of a local guide for a greater experience. Vehicle safaris are not possible in Nameri. Go for a moderate trek inside the park with an armed Forest Department guide. The trail is five kilometres long starting from Potasali Ghat and is open from 7 a.m. to 12 noon and then again from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. The walking trail in Potasali has two watchtowers for viewing wildlife. Angling, which used to be allowed earlier, is no longer permitted, but what used to be the Fishing Camp is now a nature hub right in the heart of this biodiverse wonderland. There is a functioning café on

There are very few experiences that match up to the thrill of walking down a forest trail and Nameri provides visitors exactly that. 34

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

Kuldeep Chaudhari

Slow down, take in the smells and sounds, not just the sights. Every once in a while choose to be where other people are not, so the silence of the forest is able to pervade your being. You can also choose nature and birdwatching walks in the buffer areas.

Visitors to the Nameri National Park and Tiger Reserve can raft down the Jia Bhorelli river, accompanied by a guard, to spot and photograph its many denizens.

allow them the right of way. Do not take any risk by approaching them too close or driving through a herd where a mother separated from her calf might get spooked. If you keep a sharp eye out, you could see capped langurs high up on simul trees that line the road. Birding enthusiasts are likely to spot Red-vented Bulbuls, Asian Koels, Indian and Plaintive Cuckoos, Common Hawk Cuckoos, Eurasian Cuckoos, Asian Barred Owlets, Red-breasted Parakeets, Bluethroated and Lineated Barbets, Hill Mynas, Yellow-footed Green Pigeons, Green ImperialPigeons, Spotted and Emerald Doves, Dollarbirds, Whitecheeked Partridges, Blue-naped Pittas, Rufous-necked Hornbills, Jerdon’s Bazas, Jerdon’s Babblers and Pied Falconets. Malayan giant squirrels live in the canopy of these trees. One can spend hours along the Jia Bhorelli. Gentle and calm, except during the rains when water can quickly rise up and cut off access to the park, visitors can choose to just rest on its banks, go rafting or on a boat ride. The river is also the home of mahseer. Most birders go to the park to catch sight of the highly endangered and elusive Whitewinged Wood Duck. Stop by any Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

of the forest pools and if you have the patience to sit quietly and unobtrusively you just might spot the duck. The Greater Necklaced Laughingthrushes or Eurasian Wigeons are much easier to spot and will delight you with their antics. Dead trees in some of these waterbodies are infact alive with life because they provide great perches. The grassland areas of the park are perfect for Siberian Stonechats and Striated Grassbirds. Drive up to the 14th kilometre point near Balukpong on the Arunachal border or even higher up the river to raft down the Jia Bhorelli. It’s an unforgettable experience suitable even for children as young as 10 or 12 and for the elderly, provided they are ‘walking-fit’. As the glacial waters carry you downstream keep an eye out along the rocky edges for Ibisbills, Long-billed Plovers and Small Pratincoles. River Lapwings, Great Thicknees, Crested Kingfishers, Green Herons, Common Mergansers, Great Crested Grebes, Ospreys, Pallas’s Fish Eagles, Sand Larks and River Terns. The journey takes a leisurely two or three hours to cover and every 30 minutes or so, the lapping of oars will be interrupted by mild rapids. 35


FLORA: Albizzia lucida, Albizzia procera, Amoora wallichii, Artocarpus chaplasha, Baccaurea sapida, Bischofia javanica, Bombax ceiba, Canarium strictum, Castanopsis indica, Cordia dichotoma, Cinnamomum cecicodaphnea, Dendrocalamus hamiltonii, Dillenia indica, Duabanga grandiflora, Duabanga sonneratoides, Dysoxylum procerum, Endospermum chinense, Lagerstroemia flos-reginae, Litsea sebifera, Mesua ferrea, Morus roxburghii, Premna bengalensis, Pseudostachyum polymorphum, Pterospermum acerifolium, Sapium baccatum, Shorea assamica, Sterculia hamiltonii, Syzygium cumini, Terminalia citrina, Terminalia myriocarpa, Trewia nudiflora and Vatica lanceaefolia. BIRDS: White-winged Duck, White-cheeked Partridge, Great Indian Hornbill, Wreathed Hornbill, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Ruddy Kingfisher, Oriental Hobby, Amur Falcon, Jerdon’s Baza, Black Baza, Pallas’s Fish Eagle, Lesser Fish Eagle, Silver-backed Needletail, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Blue-naped Pitta, Slender-billed Oriole, Hill Blue Flycatcher, White-crowned Forktail, Sultan Tit, Jerdon’s Babbler, Rufous-backed Sibia, Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker, Redthroated Pipit, Long-billed Plover and Ibisbill. REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS: King cobra, spectacled cobra, Russell’s viper, banded krait, Indian rock python, rat snake, Assam roof turtle, Malayan box turtle, keeled box turtle, Asian leaf turtle, narrow-headed soft-shelled turtle, Indian soft shelled turtle. MAMMALS: Royal Bengal tiger, Himalayan black bear, Asian elephant, Indian leopard, clouded leopard, Indian gaur, Indian pangolin, Indian wild dog, barking deer, hog deer, civet cat, capped langur, golden jackal, Malayan giant squirrel, yellow-throated martin, slow loris, Assamese macaque. Fishes: Golden mahseer, Short gilled mahseer, Silghoria.

the tea gardens in the area. Some tea estates are turning organic and are therefore great birdwatching destinations in themselves. If you plan on buying tea, choose brands that are eco-friendly. Visit any of the nearby vilwlages to understand the socio-dynamics of the area. The local women of Nameri are being been trained in alternative livelihood skills. Ketekee, an outlet at the Nameri Eco Camp showcases their tailored products for sale as souvenirs.

Ajay Talukdar/PUBLIC DOMAIN

Remember to only use approved guides and, even if you are a champion swimmer, wear the life jacket and make sure others in your group do the same. There are leeches in the densely-wooded areas and your guides can give you ‘leech-socks’ that are quite effective. In any event, leeches do trekkers no harm and are easily removed (though they might take a tiny blood donation from you in the process!). Another great morning’s escape could be to explore

Rafting down the Jia Bhorelli approximately takes two to three hours in which one can spot a variety of water birds. 36

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

WHAT ONE YOUNG NATURALIST SUGGESTS CAN BE DONE IN AND OUTSIDE NAMERI By Sutirtha Lahiri The excitement kicked in immediately as we took the right turn from the highway. It was a dirt track through a forested patch, and we took our torches out to scan the surroundings for some nocturnal animals. The meandering road took us to the Nameri Eco Camp and exhilaration filled me as I inspected the small, metalframed canvas covering pitched on the ground, imagining how snug it would be inside? Post unpacking, I stepped out. The soft rustle of the wind, the darkness, the tall trees, the beaten down road and the most amazing clear, night sky. Millions of stars shined down on us. On one side, the Orion shone bright. The cold wind gently touched the trees, creating the sound of an invisible stream flowing somewhere very near. Far away, an Asian Barred owlet let out a call for its mate, but I no longer bothered to look for it. Nature, in its entirety, had provided enough for the night. At about 5 a.m., I heard a loud call and emerged from my tent. I found the source perched high up in the tree – a pair of Great Hornbills! After giving me a visual treat for around 10 minutes, they took off to explore the day. Nameri gives you the best of many worlds. With several options for nature watching and observing, one is spoilt for choices. Wake up early and take a walk just outside the camp, and you are likely to not just be enthralled by the sheer diversity of birds, but also the occasional Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

capped langur prancing from one tree to the next before finally settling down on a branch and quietly chewing on some leaves. Walk a little ahead, and if the sky gods are happy, you will see the snow-capped peaks bathed in a subtle shade of pinkish-orange. Try observing Mt. Gorichen – the highest of them all - through the leafy foliage. Lulled by the gurgles of Jia Bhorelli flowing not very far take a raft down the river! This 15-kilometre ride on the emerald river passes though the national park. With the mountains of Arunachal Pradesh standing tall in the backdrop and the dense forests of Nameri on one side, the raft navigates gingerly on the river, evading the stony islands and the fast swirls. This, however, is not your typical raft ride, for you also get to be privy to the lives of a great number of birds that

NISHANT ANDREWS

Look out for

A strong flier, the grasshopper can frequently be seen sunning itself on walls, bare ground and paths on warm days. 37


Kaziranga National Park, situated at a distance of around 90 km. from Nameri, is another quick getaway. A world heritage site, Kaziranga is famous not only for its numerous Indian one-horned rhinoceros, which are ubiquitous in the landscape but is also a stronghold for the water buffalo, Asian elephant, swamp deer and the royal Bengal tiger. With vast stretches of grasslands and waterbodies, Kaziranga provides for an ideal getaway to watch wildlife at leisure from the comforts of your jeep (or perhaps, a watch tower!). The Agoratoli range of Kaziranga is particularly famous not just for the big five mammals, but also for its diversity of birds. And while in

HOW TO GET THERE:

BY AIR: The main entry to the reserve at Potasali is 34 km. from Tezpur airport, which is the nearest airport, and 225 km. from Guwahati. BY RAIL: Ranagapara junction (28 km.) and Guwahati are the nearest rail stations. BY ROAD: It is well connected by the NH 52 and NH 37 from Tezpur and Guwahati. The reserve can be approached on the eastern side by the Choibari-Seijosa road, which is connected from the NH 52 at Choibari. This will take you to the Diplonga Range Office at Itakhola, about 50 km. from Tezpur. The Seijosa camp is 20 km. from the NH 52 junction. and about 64 km. from Tezpur. The Balipara-Bhalukpung road also starts from NH 52 at Balipara and provides the approach for the Charduar Range of Sonitpur West Division. To reach land on the western boundary of the park, one has to cross the Jia Bhorelli river by boat. The approach road to the Nameri Wildlife Range from the 10th km. post of the Balipara-Bhalukpong-Bomdila road is via a PWD graveled road. Another approach road is from the Gamani village (Hati-Gate) on the same road. These roads meet the Jia Bhorelli river at about three kilometres from the Balipara-Bomdila road from where the Range Office is about two kilometres away. There is also a motorable road in the core area from Seijosa camp to Bogijuli camp and then to Khari Chariali camp of the national park. No other motorable roads are present in the core area. However, Range Offices, Beat Offices and other camps situated in both Eastern and Western Buffers are well connected with motorable roads. BEST TIME TO VISIT: The rainy season extends from May to September and makes most of the park difficult to traverse. In winter, the higher ridges to the north of the tiger reserve may experience snow but the park is usually cool and dry. October to March is the best time to visit the reserve. The summer months from March to May can be quite hot. The average temperature varies from 5o C in winter to 37o C in summer. The relative humidity is high and varies between 65 and 90 per cent. PARK TIMINGS: Entry permits are issued from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday through Sunday. Permits are required for rafting and also for trekking on the wildlife trail. The park remains open for visitors from November 1 to April 30.

38

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

Monish Matthias

call the river their home. The Common Merganser, the Great Thick-knee and the elusive Ibisbill are the most sought-after birds, with the Pied Kingfishers, Fish Eagles, Black Storks, Sandpipers, Redstarts and many others vying for attention. If you have enough days in hand, why not drive to the nearby Tippi Orchid Sanctuary to check out some 1,000-odd species of orchids? Or better, endure the rough road and go all the way to Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary. One of the world’s most biodiverse region, Eaglenest is also home to the newly-discovered Bugun Liocichla, found nowhere else on Earth! Also worth visiting is the Pakhui Tiger Reserve that adjoins Nameri.

A pair of Great Indian Hornills exchange a nuptial gift. Courtship displays of these remarkable birds, which form monogamous pair bonds, are a sight to behold.

Kaziranga, do drop by at the Hathikuli organic tea estates to not just marvel at the way they function in symbiosis with the wildlife, but also to take a hot sip of some of the world’s most famous tea! For someone seeking to immerse in the cultural diversity of the state, Tezpur is an ideal gateway. Also called the cultural capital of Assam, Tezpur has a longstanding history that is reflected in the various sites and places of historical importance. The Bamuni Hills, for example, will take you back to the 9th century. With intricate carvings and sculptures depicting the different avatars of Vishnu, and even animals like crocodiles and tortoise, it is a must visit for any history enthusiast. If you want to travel further back in time, drive to Daha Parvatiya village. Excavations in 1924 and later in 1989-90 revealed a stunning ruin of an ancient temple. Dating back to the 6th century, the ruins, in the form of a stone door frame, has extensive carvings featuring the goddesses Ganga Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

and Yamuna, several attendants to the goddesses as well as flying geese and the sculptures of the Naga. These art forms are typical of the Gupta period with striking familiarity to Hellenistic art form of ancient Greece. Other notable places to visit in and around Tezpur include the man-made hill of Agnigarh, the lakes Bor Pukhuri and Padum Pukhuri, and the Rock Inscriptions of 829 A.D. With the best of many worlds, the Nameri Tiger Reserve and areas in its vicinity will be a holiday worth cherishing for long, as well as be a reason to return back to the place again and again.

Useful contacts

Divisional Forest Officer/ Field Director, Western Assam, Wildlife Division, Dolabari, Tezpur. Email: dfo.wawl@gmail.com Website: www.nameritr.org Forest Range Officer, Nameri Wildlife Range, Potasali, Sonitpur. Tourist Information Office. Jenkins Road, Tezpur.

39


Conservation Issues While sporadic poaching does take place, the forest staff is both dedicated and effective and for now, this is not as major a threat to Nameri as it could have been. A more vital issue is that of humanelephant conflict in the buffer areas of the tiger reserve and the adjoining Reserve Forest areas, particularly along the foothills of Arunachal Pradesh. Once densely forested, the foothills are now under heavy biotic pressure in the form of paddy fields and tea gardens. Wild elephants that visit these fields and gardens face the ire of mobs. Several cases of elephant deaths due to poisoning have been recorded here. The illegal felling of trees, grazing of domestic cattle and some extraction of non-timber forest produce are some of the other threats to the park.

However, the park has lost nearly 50 per cent of its grasslands between 1973 and 2011. The grasslands are crucial to herbivores such as hog deer and their carnivorous predators. The buffer areas of Naduar and Balipara Reserve Forests have also suffered much encroachment leading to grassland habitat degradation and loss. While no village exists inside the core area of the tiger reserve, there are four forest villages and one Agriculture Farming Corporation in the West buffer of the reserve. Four forest villages and a Taungiya village (where villagers are given the right to cultivate agricultural crops during the early stages of forest plantation establishment) are located in the East buffer. Several revenue villages are situated outside

the southern and southwestern boundary of the reserve. The self-sufficient and proud tribal people of the area are primarily Mising, Garo, Karbi, Bodo, Nepalese, Adivasi (former tea garden labour), plus other groups that resides along the South Buffer. These simple people primarily rear cattle for agriculture, farm and raise poultry and pigs. They also practice cultivation in river islands and other fallow land. Fish is a key food supplement and they do enter the forest to collect firewood. The tea garden labourers are now largely cultivators and they too depend on the forest from which

they obtain wild tubers, roots, timber and firewood and other items used to craft household materials and applicances. The Forest Department is largely overworked and understaffed. They have a very difficult job on hand and need the support and understanding of visitors. These brave people are the ones protecting our nation from the worst impact of storms, floods and droughts. The forests, wetlands and riverine ecosystems they protect are the lifeline for the people living both upstream and downstream of the protected forests they are mandated to watch over.

Aditya Akerkar

The Forest Department staff have a very difficult job on hand and a word or two of encouragement from visitors can go a long way in boosting their morale.

Forest guards play a critical role in protecting the tiger reserve that you come from afar to experience. It is vital that you respect them and obey them because they have a tough enough job as it is, without having to deal with demanding (and influential) visitors who may be offended when rules are quoted to prevent them from doing things that are not allowed. Forest guards patrol their territories on foot along animal trails, and they risk snakebite and animal attacks. They are also the target of ruthless poachers and irate villagers. They spend vast periods away from their families and a word of appreciation from you would go a long way in motivating them.

40

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

41


Amongst the largest of flying squirrels in Southeast Asia, the predominantly nocturnal red giant flying squirrel can glide distances of up to 100 m. or so between trees.

1. Be patient. Be observant and wait for the action. Close encounters with large wild animals are rare, brief, unexpected and often anti-climactic. Do not violate their space, restrict their movements or invade their privacy. Do not restrain snakes or insects or approach a bird’s nest. Never harm your subject in any way and obey the rules of nature and of the park. 2. Read up on the subject beforehand. And experiment with your camera and read the owner’s manual very carefully. Interact with officials, conservationists, forest guards and villagers. Knowledge will give you an edge and better images will be the result. 3. Try to frame your image according to your own aesthetics, anchor your camera to ensure sharp images, try to include a little background so your subject looks natural. Don’t ‘set-up’ shots by moving insects, or placing flowers out of context. 42

4. Try to understand wildlife behaviour to anticipate a picture opportunity. Patience and perseverance will be rewarded. 5. Avoid taking pictures from moving vehicles, or even from vehicles whose engines are running. Even fast shutter speeds will show up a camera shake. 6. If you have just one or two frames remaining, your battery is exhausted or your compact disk (data card) is full, take action early to avoid disappointment. The most amazing wildlife shots have been lost by those who ignored this advice. 7. Shoot more rather than fewer frames. This will almost certainly result in a choice of better images on your return. 8. If you are riding an elephant, remember to take into account the steep angle of view and camera shake. Use a fast shutter speed, follow the rhythm of the elephant, shoot when the animal is steady. Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

9. Colour fidelity and lighting are vital. Side-lit and backlit scenes can be dramatic. Angular light (morning and evening), spotlight (light shafts shining through the canopy), soft, diffused light can make all the difference between a good and great photograph. Light conditions between 7.30 and 9.30 a.m. and between 4.30 and 6 p.m. are great for nature photography. 10. Keep the subject at the focal point of the frame. Try to get the ‘catch-light’ in your subject’s eye. Leave ‘breathing space’ near the head of your subject, less behind its tail might be fine. Similarly, by and large, leave less space in the foreground than the background. Experiment with different angles, elevations and perspectives. 11. Enhance contrast by framing a darker subject against a well-lit background, or a light subject against a dark background.

12. Use a tripod, shoulder pod, monopod or chest pod to avoid camera shake. 13. Use the slowest possible shutter speed for still subjects such as landscapes. You can do so by placing your camera on a rock or a tripod. To avoid shake caused by the pressing of the click button, use a self-timer. Use the fastest possible shutter speeds for moving subjects. 14. Protect your cameras, lenses and film from heat, dust and moisture and handle the equipment with respect. Follow a daily maintenance routine of brushing and cleaning lenses and accessories. 15. Keep back-up batteries and chargers. Check all your equipment before going into the field by shooting frames in different conditions at home. 16. Do not forget to enjoy the forest and its wildlife. Your eye is the best lens and your brain the best hard-disk.

anjana bhargava

Milind Raut

Yes! You can take great photographs

The Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker is known to excavate holes and probe into crevices in the wood and bark for prey. Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

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Where to stay There are a number of places to stay from good value rest houses to high-quality lodges and budget accommodation in and around Nameri. Several lodging and food arrangements are available in the buffer area at Potasali and at Bhalukpung. Bungalow, The Golden Tips has two bedrooms and was the Group Accountants Bungalows, the Second Flush was originally the Visiting Agents office and now houses four spacious bedrooms. The Ambrosia with two spacious bedrooms and the Wild Mahseer Heritage Bungalow has three bedrooms. Ethnic village homestay options are also available with the Assamese, Nepali, Garo, Mishing and Nyshi communities in Balipara county and can be booked through Wild Mahseer. Wild Mahseer Balipara Division, Addabari T.E . P.O Lokra , Sonitpur – 784101, Balipara, Assam. Email: reservations@wildmahseer. com Website: www.wildmahseer.com https://wildmahseer.com/Booking Tel.: 9833631377 Eco Camp Nameri The Assam (Bhorelli) Angling and Conservation Associations manages the Eco Camp of about seven acres, located about

two kilometres off the highway proceeding towards Bhalukpong. It offers nine tents, two buildings (dormitories) and one cottage, all with double occupancy. It also offers family accommodation options with double and single beds. Activities offered include bicycling, rafting along the Jia Bhorelli and guided forest treks.

Website: http://www.nameri.co.in/ The Tourism Department, Government of Assam has a tourist lodge at Bhalukpung, along the western boundary of the tiger reserve and the west buffer. The Tourism Development Corporation of Assam has also newlyconstructed cottages at Bhalukpong.

Eco Camp Nameri Village Torajan Potasali, P.O.: Gamani, District Sonitpur, Assam: 784103. Tel.: +91-3714-292644 (O) Mobile No.: +91 8638753988/ +91-98540-19932 (O)/ +91-8472800344 (M) Email: ecocampnameri@gmail.com

Prashanti Tourist Lodge Tel.: 03712221016 Bhalukpong Tourist Lodge Mobile No.: 7085757646, 9436256310 Prashanti Cottages Bhalukpong. Mobile No.: 8259039770

Rohit Bose

Sandesh Kadur

Eastern Himalaya Botanic Arc in residence at Wild Mahseer In the verdant depths of the Eastern Himalaya along the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra, lies the biodiverse haven of the Eastern Himalayan Botanic Arc in residence at Wild Mahseer. Nurtured and crafted by a unique blend of people and local communities, the heritage property is dotted with 75+ species of birds, 72+ species of butterflies, 100,000+ species of plants and other wild animals. Wild Mahseer is Balipara Foundation’s social enterprise for fostering history, community growth and environmental interdependence in the region through mindful tourism. The lodge is located just 20 minutes from Tezpur and two hours away from the Kaziranga National Park. There are five independent bungalows with 14 double bedrooms and suites with individually attached bathrooms. The Silver Tips has three bedrooms and was originally Doctor Sahib’s

Wild Mahseer is Balipara Foundation’s social enterprise for fostering history, community growth and environmental interdependence in the region through mindful tourism. 44

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

Located close to the park, the Nameri Eco Camp provides thatched tented accommodation to visitors. Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

45


Great Hornbill Buceros bicornis

Kalij Pheasant Lophura leucomelanos

White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis

Black Stork Ciconia nigra

Brown Fish-owl Ketupa zeylonensis

Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea

Spotted Owlet Athene brama

Ibisbill Ibidorhyncha struthersii

Pankaj Sharma Pankaj Sharma Praveen P. Mohandas

Common Merganser Mergus merganser

Varun satose

VALMI shah

Sachin Rai

Jungle Owlet Glaucidium radiatum

Coppersmith Barbet Psilopogon haemacephalus

Nayan Khanolkar

Bernard Castelein

Clement Francis

Pied Harrier Circus melanoleucos

Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo

Joydip suchandra Kundu

Anand Arya

Black Baza Aviceda leuphotes

Red Junglefowl Gallus gallus

Sandeep Desai

Shashank Dalvi

Black Bulbul Hypsipetes leucocephalus

Nikhil Devasar

Crested Serpent Eagle Spilornis cheela

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Pallas’s Fish-eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus

Nayan Khanolkar

Pankaj Sharma

D. K. BHASKAR Prashant Gahale

Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus

Praveen P. Mohandas

Photoguide (Birds)

Shriyog Karekar

Photoguide (Birds)

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

Small Pratincole Glareola lactea

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Sumit Sen

Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis

White-rumped Shama Copsychus malabaricus

Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis

Oriental White-eye Zosterops palpebrosus

Blue-throated Barbet Megalaima asiatica

Common Iora Aegithina tiphia

Wallcreeper Tichodroma muraria

Black-headed Munia Lonchura malacca

Siva Kumar A. N. Pranad Patil

Nayan Khanolkar

Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon Treron sphenurus

Kuldeep Chaudhari

Gaurav Sharma

Plumbeous Water-redstart Phoenicurus fuliginosus

Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher Culicicapa ceylonensis

Clement Francis

Nayan Khanolkar

Shashank dalvi Dhritiman Mukherjee

Wreathed-Hornbill Rhyticeros undulatus

Blue Whistling-thrush Myophonus caeruleus

Amano Samarpan

Nayan Khanolkar

Sandeep Desai

Emerald Dove Chalcophaps indica

Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri

Nayan Khanolkar

Plum-headed Parakeet Psittacula cyanocephala

Siva Kumar A. N.

sumit sen

Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis

48

River Lapwing Vanellus duvaucelii

Nayan Khanolkar

Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus

Umesh Kathad

Photoguide (Birds)

Nayan Khanolkar

Nayan Khanolkar

Photoguide (Birds)

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

Streaked Spiderhunter Arachnothera magna

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Jungle cat Felis chaus

Assam macaque Macaca assamensis

Grey mongoose Herpestes edwardsii

Sloth bear Melursus ursinus

Small Indian civet Viverricula indica

Hoary-bellied squirrel Callosciurus pygerythrus

Smooth-coated otter Lutrogale perspicillata

Leopard cat Prionailurus bengalensis

Golden jackal Canis aureus

N. A. Nazeer / Public Domain Shrikant Rao/Public domain

T.N.A. Perumal

Bernard Castelein

Dhole Cuon alpinus

Rhesus macaque Macaca mulatta

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

D. K. Bhaskar

sandeep desai

John Everingham

Crestless Himalayan (Chinese) porcupine Hystrix brachyura

Indian hare Lepus nigricollis

Mike Prince/Public domain

nayan khanolkar

Dr. Ullas Karanth

Malayan giant squirrel Ratufa bicolor

Flying fox Pteropus giganteus

Dr. Anish Andheria

Axel Gomille

Saurabh Sawant

Clouded leopard Neofelis nebulosa

Saurabh R. Desai

Saurabh R. Desai

Bengal fox Vulpes bengalensis A. J. T. Johnsingh, WWF-India, NCF/PD

Leopard Panthera pardus

Nayan Khanolkar

Cathleena Beams/Public Domain

Tiger Panthera tigris

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Photoguide (Mammals)

Sachin rai

Nayan Khanolkar

Photoguide (Mammals)

Capped langur Trachypithecus pileatus

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Indian muntjac Muntiacus muntjak

Banded treebrown Lethe confusa

Red Giant Flying Squirrel Petaurista petaurista

White-edged blue Baron Euthalia phemius

Wild pig Sus scrofa

Pallid nawab Charaxes arja

Bengal slow loris Nycticebus bengalensis

Paris peacock Papilio paris

Gaur (Indian bison) Bos gaurus

Varun Satose Varun Satose Varun Satose

Chocolate albatross Appias lyncida

Varun Satose

Dr. Nilanjan Das

Helena Snyder/Public Domain

Large Indian civet Viverra zibetha

Blackvein sergeant Athyma ranga

Varun Satose

Dhritiman Mukherjee

Rohit NAniwadekar/Public Domain

Hog deer Axis porcinus

Blue-striped palmfly Elymnias patna

Varun Satose

Jagdeep Rajput

Nandini Velho/Public domian

Varun Satose

Jagdeep Rajput

Sambar Rusa unicolor

False dingy sailer Neptis pseudovikasi

Varun Satose

Staff sergeant Athyma selenophora

Rushenb/Public domain

Himalayan black bear Ursus thibetanus laniger

Varun Satose

Varun Satose

brijendra singh

Asian elephant Elephas maximus

52

Photoguide (Butterflies)

Dr. Anish Andheria

Photoguide (Mammals)

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

Orange oakleaf Kallima inachus

53


Constable Dichorragia nesimachus

Brahmaputra palmfly Elymnias peali

Knight Lebadea martha

Grey count Tanaecia lepidea

Angled sunbeam Curetis acuta

Chestnut angle Odontoptilum angulata

Varun Satose

Spangle Papilio protenor

Varun Satose

Dr. Anish Andheria

Varun satose Varun Satose

Peacock pansy Junonia almana

Myanmarese wizard Rhinopalpa polynice birmana Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

Indian red admiral Vanessa indica

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

Isaac Kehimkar

Animish Mandrekar

Varun Satose

Animish Mandrekar

Fluffy tit Zeltus amasa

Popinjay Stibochiona nicea

Monsoon Jyoti Gogoi

Varun Satose Varun satose Varun Satose

Cruiser Vindula erota

Common mormon Papilio polytes

Monsoon Jyoti Gogoi

Purple sapphire Heliophorus epicles

Chocolate demon Ancistroides nigrita

Dr Anish Andheria

Monsoon Jyoti Gogoi

Lesser batwing Atrophaneura aidoneus

Monsoon Jyoti Gogoi

Autumn leaf Doleschallia bisaltide

Yuwaraj Gurjar

Common pierrot Castalius rosimon

54

Photoguide (Butterflies)

Varun Satose

Animish Mandrekar

Photoguide (Butterflies)

Common maplet Chersonesia risa

55


A Checklist of NAMERI Birds

Order: Anseriformes Family: Anatidae  Fulvous Whistling-duck Dendrocygna bicolor  Lesser Whistling-duck Dendrocygna javanica  Bar-headed Goose Anser indicus  Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea  Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna  Gadwall Mareca strepera  Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope  Indian Spot-billed Duck Anas poecilorhyncha  Mallard Anas platyrhyncahos  Northern Pintail Anas acuta  Green-winged Teal Anas crecca  White-winged Duck Asarcornis scutulata  Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina  Common Merganser Mergus merganser Order: Galliformes Family: Phasianidae  White-cheeked Partridge Arborophila atrogularis  Grey Peacock-pheasant Polyplectron bicalcaratum  Red Junglefowl Gallus gallus  Kalij Pheasant Lophura leucomelanos Order: Podicipediformes Family: Podicipedidae  Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis  Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus Order: Columbiformes Family: Columbidae  Oriental Turtle-dove Streptopelia orientalis  Eurasian Collared-dove Streptopelia decaocto  Red Collared-dove Streptopelia tranquebarica  Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis  Barred Cuckoo-dove Macropygia unchall  Asian Emerald Dove Chalcophaps indica  Orange-breasted Pigeon Treron bicinctus

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 Ashy-headed GreenPigeon Treron phayrei  Thick-billed Pigeon Treron curvirostra  Yellow-footed Pigeon Treron phoenicopterus  Pin-tailed Pigeon Treron apicauda  Wedge-tailed Pigeon Treron sphenurus  Green Imperial Pigeon Ducula aenea  Mountain Imperial Pigeon Ducula badia Order: Cuculiformes Family: Cuculidae  Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis  Lesser Coucal Centropus bengalensis  Green-billed Malkoha Phaenicophaeus tristis  Chestnut-winged Cuckoo Clamator coromandus  Pied Cuckoo Clamator jacobinus  Asian Koel Eudynamys scolopaceus  Asian Emerald Cuckoo Chrysococcyx maculatus  Banded Bay Cuckoo Cacomantis sonneratii  Plaintive Cuckoo Cacomantis merulinus  Large Hawk-cuckoo Hierococcyx sparverioides  Common Hawk-cuckoo Hierococcyx varius  Indian Cuckoo Cuculus micropterus Order: Caprimulgiformes Family: Caprimulgidae  Jungle Nightjar Caprimulgus indicus  Large-tailed Nightjar Caprimulgus macrurus  Savanna Nightjar Caprimulgus affinis Order: Apodiformes Family: Apodidae  Silver-backed Needletail Hirundapus cochinchinensis  Himalayan Swiftlet Aerodramus brevirostris  Little Swift Apus affinis  Asian Palm-Swift Cypsiurus balasiensis Order: Gruiformes Family: Rallidae  Eurasian Moorhen Gallinula chloropus

 Grey-headed Swamphen Porphyrio poliocephalus  White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus  Ruddy-breasted Crake Zapornia fusca  Brown Crake Zapornia akool Order: Charadriiformes Family: Burhinidae  Indian Thick-knee Burhinus indicus  Great Thick-knee Esacus recurvirostris Family: Ibidorhynchidae  Ibisbill Ibidorhyncha struthersii Family: Charadriidae  Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus  River Lapwing Vanellus duvaucelii  Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus  Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus  Long-billed Plover Charadrius placidus  Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius Family: Rostratulidae  Greater Painted-snipe Rostratula benghalensis Family: Jacanidae  Bronze-winged Jacana Metopidius indicus Family: Scolopacidae  Temminck’s Stint Calidris temminckii  Eurasian Woodcock Scolopax rusticola  Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago  Pin-tailed Snipe Gallinago stenura  Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos  Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus  Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia  Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis  Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola  Common Redshank Tringa totanus Family: Turnicidae  Small Buttonquail Turnix sylvaticus  Yellow-legged Buttonquail Turnix tanki Family: Glareolidae  Oriental Pratincole Glareola maldivarum  Small Pratincole Glareola lactea Family: Laridae  Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus  Brown-headed Gull Chroicocephalus brunnicephalus  Pallas’s Gull Ichthyaetus ichthyaetus  Little Tern Sternula albifrons

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

 Black-bellied Tern Sterna acuticauda  River Tern Sterna aurantia Order: Gaviiformes Family: Gaviidae  Arctic Loon Gavia arctica Order: Ciconiiformes Family: Ciconiidae  Asian Openbill Anastomus oscitans  Black Stork Ciconia nigra  Woolly-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus  Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus Order: Suliformes Family: Anhingidae  Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster Family: Phalacrocoracidae  Little Cormorant Microcarbo niger  Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo  Indian Cormorant Phalacrocorax fuscicollis Order: Pelecaniformes Family: Ardeidae  Yellow Bittern Ixobrychus sinensis  Cinnamon Bittern Ixobrychus cinnamomeus  Grey Heron Ardea cinerea  Purple Heron Ardea purpurea  Intermediate Egret Ardea intermedia  Little Egret Egretta garzetta  Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis  Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii  Striated Heron Butorides striata  Black-crowned Night-heron Nycticorax nycticorax  Malayan Night-heron Gorsachius melanolophus Order: Accipitriformes Family: Pandionidae  Osprey Pandion haliaetus Family: Accipitridae  Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus  Oriental Honey-buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus  Jerdon’s Baza Aviceda jerdoni  Black Baza Aviceda leuphotes  Red-headed Vulture Sarcogyps calvus  White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis  Slender-billed Vulture Gyps tenuirostris  Himalayan Griffon Gyps himalayensis  Crested Serpent-eagle Spilornis cheela  Short-toed Snake-eagle Circaetus gallicus  Mountain Hawk-eagle Nisaetus nipalensis  Rufous-bellied Eagle Lophotriorchis kienerii  Black Eagle Ictinaetus malaiensis  Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga  Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis

 Bonelli’s Eagle Aquila fasciata  Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus  Pied Harrier Circus melanoleucos  Crested Goshawk Accipiter trivirgatus  Shikra Accipiter badius  Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus  Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis  Black Kite Milvus migrans  Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus  White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla  Pallas’s Fish-eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus  Lesser Fish-eagle Haliaeetus humilis  Grey-headed Fish-eagle Haliaeetus ichthyaetus  Common Buzzard Buteo buteo Order: Strigiformes Family: Strigidae  Oriental Scops-owl Otus sunia  Spot-bellied Eagle-owl Bubo nipalensis  Brown Fish-owl Ketupa zeylonensis  Collared Owlet Glaucidium brodiei  Asian Barred Owlet Glaucidium cuculoides  Jungle Owlet Glaucidium radiatum  Spotted Owlet Athene brama

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

 Himalayan Owl Strix nivicolum  Brown Boobook Ninoxs cutulata Order: Trogoniformes Family: Trogonidae  Red-headed Trogon Harpactes erythrocephalus Order: Bucerotiformes Family: Upupidae  Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops Order: Bucerotiformes Family: Bucerotidae  Great Hornbill Buceros bicornis  Oriental Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros albirostris  Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis  Wreathed Hornbill Rhyticeros undulatus Order: Coraciiformes Family: Alcedinidae  Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis  Blue-eared Kingfisher Alcedo meninting  Ruddy Kingfisher Halcyon coromanda  White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis  Crested Kingfisher Megaceryle lugubris  Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis Family: Meropidae  Blue-bearded Bee-eater Nyctyornis athertoni  Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis

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 Blue-tailed Bee-eater Merops philippinus  Chestnut-headed Beeeater Merops leschenaulti Family: Coraciidae  Indian Roller Coracias benghalensis  Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis Order: Piciformes Family: Megalaimidae  Coppersmith Barbet Psilopogon haemacephalus  Blue-eared Barbet Psilopogon duvaucelii  Great Barbet Psilopogon virens  Lineated Barbet Psilopogon lineatus  Golden-throated Barbet Psilopogon franklinii  Blue-throated Barbet Psilopogon asiaticus Family: Picidae  Speckled Piculet Picumnus innominatus  White-browed Piculet Sasiaochracea  Grey-capped Woodpecker Yungipicus canicapillus  Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker Dendrocopos macei  Greater Flameback Chrysocolaptes guttacristatus  Rufous Woodpecker Micropternus brachyurus  Himalayan Flameback Dinopium shorii  Common Flameback Dinopium javanense  Black-rumped Flameback Dinopium benghalense  Lesser Yellownape Picus chlorolophus  Grey-headed Woodpecker Picus canus  Greater Yellownape Chrysophlegma flavinucha  Great Slaty Woodpecker Mulleripicus pulverulentus Order: Falconiformes Family: Falconidae  Collared Falconet Microherax caerulescens

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 Pied Falconet Microhierax melanoleucos  Eurasian Kestrel Falco tinnunculus  Amur Falcon Falco amurensis  Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo  Oriental Hobby Falco severus  Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus Order: Psittaciformes Family: Psittaculidae  Alexandrine Parakeet Psittacula eupatria  Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri  Blossom-headed Parakeet Psittacula roseata  Red-breasted Parakeet Psittacula alexandri  Vernal Hanging-Parrot Loriculus vernalis Order: Passeriformes Family: Eurylaimidae  Long-tailed Broadbill Psarisomus dalhousiae  Silver-breasted Broadbill Serilophus lunatus Family: Pittidae  Blue-naped Pitta Hydrornis nipalensis  Hooded Pitta Pitta sordida Family: Vangidae  Large Woodshrike Tephrodornis virgatus  Common Woodshrike Tephrodornis pondicerianus  Bar-winged Flycatchershrike Hemipus picatus Family: Artamidae  Ashy Woodswallow Artamus fuscus Family: Aegithinidae  Common Iora Aegithina tiphia Family: Campephagidae  Small Minivet Pericrocotus cinnamomeus  Grey-chinned Minivet Pericrocotus solaris  Short-billed Minivet Pericrocotus brevirostris  Long-tailed Minivet Pericrocotus ethologus

 Orange Minivet Pericroctus flammeus  Large Cuckooshrike Coracina macei  Black-winged Cuckooshrike Lalage melaschistos Family: Laniidae  Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus  Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach  Grey-backed Shrike Lanius tephronotus Family: Vireonidae  Black-eared ShrikeBabbler Pteruthius melanotis  White-bellied Erpornis Erpornis zantholeuca Family: Oriolidae  Slender-billed Oriole Oriolus tenuirostris  Black-hooded Oriole Oriolus xanthornus  Maroon Oriole Oriolus traillii Family: Dicruridae  Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus  Ashy Drongo Dicrurus leucophaeus  Crow-billed Drongo Dicrurus annectens  Bronzed Drongo Dicrurus aeneus  Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus remifer  Hair-crested Drongo Dicrurus hottentottus  Greater Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus paradiseus Family: Rhipiduridae  White-throated Fantail Rhipidura albicollis Family: Monarchidae  Black-naped Monarch Hypothymis azurea Family: Corvidae  Common Green-Magpie Cissa chinensis  Rufous Treepie Dendrocitta vagabunda  Grey Treepie Dendrocitta formosae

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

 House Crow Corvus splendens  Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos Family: Alaudidae  Bengal Bushlark Mirafra assamica  Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris  Hume’s Lark Calandrella acutirostris  Sand Lark Alaudala raytal  Oriental Skylark Alauda gulgula Family: Hirundinidae  Grey-throated Martin Riparia chinensis  Bank Swallow Riparia riparia  Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica  Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica  Asian House-Martin Delichon dasypus Family: Stenostiridae  Yellow-bellied Fairy-fantail Chelidorhynx hypoxanthus  Grey-headed Canaryflycatcher Culicicapa ceylonensis Family: Paridae  Sultan Tit Melanochlorasultanea  Cinereous Tit Parus cinereus Family: Sittidae  Indian Nuthatch Sitta castanea  Velvet-fronted Nuthatch Sitta frontalis Family: Tichodromidae  Wallcreeper Tichodroma muraria Family: Cinclidae  Brown Dipper Cinclus pallasii Family: Pycnonotidae  Black-crested Bulbul Rubigula flaviventris  Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer  Red-whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus  White-throated Bulbul Alophoixus flaveolus  Black Bulbul Hypsipetes leucocephalus  Ashy Bulbul Hemixos flavala  Mountain Bulbul Ixos mcclellandii PASSERIFORMES: Pnoepygidae  Pygmy Cupwing Pnoepyga pusilla Family: Scotocercidae  Grey-bellied Tesia Tesia cyaniventer  Slaty-bellied Tesia Tesia olivea  Chestnut-headed Tesia Cettia castaneocoronata  Mountain Tailorbird Phyllergates cucullatus  Brownish-flanked Bush Warbler Horornis fortipes Family: Phylloscopidae  Ashy-throated Warble Phylloscopus maculipennis  Buff-barred Warbler Phylloscopus pulcher

 Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus  Hume’s Warbler Phylloscopus humei  Pale-rumped Warbler Phylloscopus chloronotus  Tickell’s Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus affinis  Dusky Warbler Phylloscopus fuscatus  Smoky Warbler Phylloscopus fuligiventer  White-spectacled Warbler Phylloscopus intermedius  Grey-cheeked Warbler Phylloscopus poliogenys  Golden-spectacled Warbler Phylloscopus burkii  Greenish Warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides  Large-billed Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus magnirostris  Chestnut-crowned Warbler Phylloscopus castaniceps  Yellow-vented Warbler Phylloscopus cantator  Blyth’s Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus reguloides  Grey-hooded Warbler Phylloscopus xanthoschistos Family: Acrocephalidae  Thick-billed Warbler Arundinax aedon  Paddyfield Warbler Acrocephalus agricola  Blunt-winged Warbler Acrocephalus concinens  Blyth’s Reed Warbler Acrocephalus dumetorum  Clamorous Reed Warbler Acrocephalus stentoreus Family: Locustellidae  Striated Grassbird Megalurus palustris  Spotted Bush Warbler Locustella thoracica  Russet Bush Warbler Locustella mandelli Family: Cisticolidae  Common Tailorbird Orthotomus sutorius

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

 Dark-necked Tailorbird Orthotomus atrogularis  Yellow-bellied Prinia Prinia flaviventris  Plain Prinia Prinia inornata  Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis Family: Paradoxornithidae  Jerdon’s Babbler Chrysomma altirostre Family: Zosteropidae  Oriental White-eye Zosterops palpebrosus Family: Timaliidae  Pin-striped Tit-Babbler Mixornis gularis  Rufous-capped Babbler Cyanoderma ruficeps  Buff-chested Babbler Cyanoderma ambiguum  White-browed Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus schisticeps  Grey-throated Babbler Stachyris nigriceps Family: Pellorneidae  Swamp Prinia Laticilla cinerascens  Puff-throated Babbler Pellorneum ruficeps  Spot-throated Babbler Pellorneum albiventre  Abbott’s Babbler Turdinus abbotti Family: Leiothrichidae  Brown-cheeked Fulvetta Alcippe poioicephala  Nepal Fulvetta Alcippe nipalensis  Striated Babbler Turdoides earlei  Jungle Babbler Turdoides striata  White-crested Laughingthrush Garrulax leucolophus  Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush Garrulax monileger  Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush Ianthocincla pectoralis

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 White-throated Laughingthrush Ianthocincla albogularis  Rufous-necked Laughingthrush Ianthocincla ruficollis  Long-tailed Sibia Heterophasia picaoides  Silver-eared Mesia Leiothrix argentauris  Rufous-backed Sibia Minla annectens  Red-faced Liocichla Liocichla phoenicea  Blue-winged Minla Actinodura cyanouroptera Family: Irenidae  Asian Fairy-bluebird Irena puella Family: Muscicapidae  Ferruginous Flycatcher Muscicapa ferruginea  Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa dauurica  Oriental Magpie-robin Copsychus saularis  White-rumped Shama Copsychus malabaricus  Pale-chinned Blue Flycatcher Cyornis poliogenys  Pale Blue Flycatcher Cyornis unicolor  Large Blue Flycatcher Cyornis magnirostris  Large Niltava Niltava grandis  Small Niltava Niltava macgrigoriae  Rufous-bellied Niltava Niltava sundara  Verditer Flycatcher Eumyias thalassinus  Lesser Shortwing Brachypteryx leucophris  White-browed Shortwing Brachypteryx montana  Blue Whistling-thrush Myophonus caeruleus  Little Forktail Enicurus scouleri  White-crowned Forktail Enicurus leschenaulti

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 Spotted Forktail Enicurus maculatus  Black-backed Forktail Enicurus immaculatus  Siberian Rubythroat Calliope calliope  White-tailed Robin Myiomela leucura  Rufous-breasted Bushrobin Tarsiger hyperythrus  Slaty-backed Flycatcher Ficedula sordida  Slaty-blue Flycatcher Ficedula tricolor  Snowy-browed Flycatcher Ficedula hyperythra  Pygmy Flycatcher Ficedula hodgsoni  Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher Ficedula strophiata  Little Pied Flycatcher Ficedula westermanni  Taiga Flycatcher Ficedula albicilla  Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva  Blue-fronted Redstart Phoenicurus frontalis  Plumbeous Redstart Phoenicurus fuliginosus  White-capped Redstart Phoenicurus leucocephalus  Hodgson’s Redstart Phoenicurus hodgsoni  Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros  Daurian Redstart Phoenicurus auroreus  Chestnut-bellied Rockthrush Monticola rufiventris  Blue Rock-thrush Monticola solitarius  Siberian Stonechat Saxicola maurus  Grey Bushchat Saxicola ferreus Family:Turdidae  Long-tailed Thrush Zoothera dixoni  Dark-sided Thrush Zoothera marginata  Scaly Thrush Zoothera dauma

 Orange-headed Thrush Geokichla citrina  Grey-winged Blackbird Turdus boulboul  Indian Blackbird Turdus simillimus  Black-breasted Thrush Turdus dissimilis  Eyebrowed Thrush Turdus obscurus  Red-throated Thrush Turdus ruficollis Family: Sturnidae  Common Hill Myna Gracula religiosa  Chestnut-cheeked Starling Agropsar philippensis  Asian Pied Starling Gracupica contra  Chestnut-tailed Starling Sturnia malabarica  Common Myna Acridotheres tristis  Bank Myna Acridotheres ginginianus  Jungle Myna Acridotheres fuscus  Pale-bellied Myna Acridotheres cinereus  Great Myna Acridotheres grandis  Spot-winged Starling Saroglossa spilopterus Family: Chloropseidae  Blue-winged Leafbird Chloropsis cochinchinensis  Golden-fronted Leafbird Chloropsis aurifrons  Orange-bellied Leafbird Chloropsis hardwickii Family: Dicaeidae  Thick-billed Flowerpecker Dicaeum agile  Yellow-vented Flowerpecker Dicaeum chrysorrheum  Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker Dicaeum melanoxanthum  Nilgiri Flowerpecker Dicaeum concolor  Plain Flowerpecker Dicaeum minullum  Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker Dicaeum cruentatum Family: Nectariniidae  Ruby-cheeked Sunbird Chalcoparia singalensis  Purple Sunbird Cinnyris asiaticus  Black-throated Sunbird Aethopyga saturata  Crimson Sunbird Aethopyga siparaja  Little Spiderhunter Arachnothera longirostra  Streaked Spiderhunter Arachnothera magna Family: Motacillidae  Forest Wagtail Dendronanthus indicus  Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea  Western Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava  Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola  White-browed Wagtail Motacilla maderaspatensis  White Wagtail Motacilla alba

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

 Richard’s Pipit Anthus richardi  Paddyfield Pipit Anthus rufulus  Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris  Rosy Pipit Anthus roseatus  Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni  Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus Family: Fringillidae  Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus Family: Emberizidae  Black-faced Bunting Emberiza spodocephala

Family: Passeridae  House Sparrow Passer domesticus  Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus Family: Ploceidae  Streaked Weaver Ploceus manyar  Baya Weaver Ploceus philippinus Family: Estrildidae  White-rumped Munia Lonchura striata  Scaly-breasted Munia Lonchura punctulata  Tricolored Munia Lonchura malacca

References: 1. The pioneering work on the checklist was originally published by Maan Barua and Pankaj Sharma; 2. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/ http:// www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/ [Taxonomy]; 3. Birds of India. 2014. http://www.kolkatabirds.com/ [Distribution]; 4. http://delhibird.net [Distribution]

A Checklist of NAMERI Mammals

Order: Primate Family: loridae  Slow loris Nyctice busbengalensis Family: Cercopithecidae  Rhesus macaque Macaca mulatta  Assam macaque Macaca assamensis assamensis  Capped langur Trachypithecus pileatus tenebricus Order: Carnivora Family: Felidae  Royal Bengal tiger Panthera tigris tigris  Indian leopard Panthera pardus fusca  Clouded leopard Neofelis nebulosa  Jungle cat Felis chaus fulvidina  Leopard cat Felis bengalensis horsfieldii  Golden cat Felis temminckii

Family: Canidae  Golden jackal Canis aureus  Bengal fox Vulpes bengalensis  Wild dog Cuon alpinus Family: Viveridae  Large Indian civet Viverra zibetha zibetha  Small Indian civet Viverricula indica  Binturang Arctictis binturang  Common palm civet Paradoxurus hermophroditus  Masked palm civet Paguma larvata  Spotted linsang Prionodon pardicolor Family: Herpestidae  Indian Grey mongoose Herpestes edwardsi  Crab-eating mongoose Herpestes urva  Small Asian mongoose Herpestes javanicus

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

Family: Mustelidae  Common otter Lutra lutra  Smooth-coated otter Lutrogale perspicillata  Himalayan Yellowthroated martin Martes flavigula Family: Ursidae  Himalayan Black bear Selenarctos thibetanus  Sloth bear Ursus ursinus Order: Proboscidea Family: Elephantidae  Asiatic elephant Elephas maximus Order: Artiodactyla Family: Suidae  Wild pig Sus scrofa  Pygmy hog Sus salvanius Family: Cervidae  Sambar Cervus unicolor  Indian Muntjak Muntiacus muntjak  Hog deer Axis porcinus Family: Bovidae  Indian gaur Bos gaurus Order: Rodentia Family: Hystricidae  Himalayan porcupine Hystrix brachyura subcristata Family: Pteromyidae  Common giant flying squirrel Petaurista petaurista  Particoloured flying squirrel Hylopetes alboniger Family: Sciuridae  Malayan giant squirrel Ratufa bicolor  Himalayan hoary-bellied squirrel Callosciurus pygerythrus  Pallas’s squirrel Callosciurus erythraeus  Orange-bellied Himalayan striped squirrel Dremomys lokriah  Himalayan striped squirrel Tamiops mecclellandi

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Family: Thyzomydae  Lesser bamboo rat Cannomys badius Family: Muridae  Indian mole rat Bandicota bengalensis  Large bandicoot rat Bandicota indica Order: Pholiodota Family: Manidae  Chinese pangolin Manis penta dactyla

Order: Lagomorpha Family: Leporodae  Hispid hare Caprolagus hispidus  Indian hare Lepus nigricollis Order: Insectivora Family: Talpidae  Himalayan mole Talpa micrura micrura Family: Soricidae  House shrew Suncus murinus murinus

 Chinese mole shrew Anourosorex squamipes Family: Tupaiidae  Northern tree shrew Tupaia belangeri assamensis Order: Chiroptera Family: Pteropodidae  Indian flying fox Pteropus giganteus Family: Vespertilionidae  Least pipistrelle Pipistrellus tenuis

Reference: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/311909494_Wildlife_habitat_evaluation_ and_mammalian_checklist_of_Nameri_National_Park_Assam_India [Taxonomy and Distribution]

A Checklist of NAMERI Butterflies Family: Papilionidae  Five-bar swordtail Graphium antiphates  Common jay Graphium doson  Tailed jay Graphium agamemnon  Common bluebottle Graphium sarpedon  Glassy bluebottle Graphium cloanthus  Common rose Pachliopta aristolochiae  Common birdwing Troides helena cerberus  Golden birdwing Troides aeacus  Great windmill Byasa dasarada  Common batwing Atrophaneura varuna  Lesser batwing Atrophaneura aidoneus  Common mime Papilio clytia  Common mormon Papilio polytes  Great mormon Papilio memnon  Common castor Ariadne merione  Yellow helen Papilio nephelus  Red helen Papilio helenus  Great zebra Graphium xenocles  Paris peacock Papilio paris  Blue peacock Papilio arcturus  Lime butterfly Papilio demoleus  Spangle Papilio protenor Family: Nymphalidae  Common palmfly Elymnias hypermnestra  Blue-striped palmfly Elymnias patna  Peal’s palmfly (Brahmaputra palmfly) Elymnias peali  Tiger palmfly Elymnias nesaea  Bamboo treebrown Lethe europa  Banded treebrown Lethe confusa  Medus brown (Nigger) Orsotriaena medus  Common bushbrown Mycalesis perseus  Dark-branded bushbrown Mycalesis mineus

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 Long-branded bushbrown Mycalesis visala  Vanilla bushbrown Mycalesis suaveolens  Yellow rajah Charaxes marmax  Plain tawny rajah Charaxes psaphon  Tawny rajah Charaxes bernardus  Scarce tawny rajah Charaxes aristogiton  Indian nawab Charaxes bharata  Pallid nawab Charaxes arja  Great nawab Charaxes eudamippus  Eastern courtier Sephisa chandra  Pasha Herona marathus  Circe Hestinalis nama  Angled castor Ariadne ariadne  Common castor Ariadne merione  Blue pansy Junonia orithya  Lemon pansy Junonia lemonias  Peacock pansy Junonia almana  Grey pansy Junonia atlites  Yellow pansy Junonia hierta  Chocolate pansy Junonia iphita  Northern/Khasi common jester Symbrenthia lilaea  Orange oakleaf Kallima inachus  Autumn leaf Doleschallia bisaltide  Danaid eggfly Hypolimnas misippus  Great eggfly Hypolimnas bolina  Indian red Admiral Vanessa indica  Wizard Rhinopalpa polynice  Painted lady Vanessa cardui  Common sailer Neptis hylas  Creamy sailer Neptis soma  Chestnut-streaked sailer Neptis jumbah  False dingy sailer Neptis pseudovikasi

 Yellowjack sailer Lasippa viraja  Sullied sailer Neptis clinia  Small staff Sergeant Athyma zeroca  Staff sergeant Athyma selenophora  Blackvein sergeant Athyma ranga  Colour sergeant Athyma inara  Common sergeant Athyma perius  Studded sergeant Athyma asura  Common lascar Pantoporia hordonia  Commander Moduza procris  Grey count Tanaecia lepidea  White-edged blue baron Euthalia phemius  Blue baron Euthalia telchinia  Baron Euthalia aconthea  Commodore Auzakia danava  Grey commodore Bhagadatta austenia  Green commodore Sumalia daraxa  Knight Lebadea martha  Popinjay Stibochiona nicea  Map Cyrestis thyodamas  Common maplet Chersonesia risa  Constable Dichorragia nesimachus  Leopard lacewing Cethosia cyane  Red lacewing Cethosia biblis  Common leopard Phalanta phalantha  Large yeoman Cirrochroa aoris

Nameri Tiger Reserve & National Park

 Common yeoman Cirrochroa tyche  Cruiser Vindula erota  Glassy tiger Parantica aglea  Striped tiger Danaus genutia  Chestnut tiger Parantica sita  Plain tiger Danaus chrysippus  Striped blue crow Euploea mulciber  Blue-spotted crow Euploea midamus  King crow Euploea klugii  Common crow Euploea core  Double-branded crow Euploea sylvester  Long-branded blue crow Euploea algea Family: Pieridae  Psyche Leptosia nina  Asian cabbage white Pieris canidia  Chocolate albatross Appias lyncida  Common albatross Appias albina  Common gull Cepora nerissa  Yellow orange-tip Ixias pyrene  Great orange-tip Hebomoia glaucippe  Indian jezebel Delias eucharis  Red-spot jezebel Delias descombesi  Red-base jezebel Delias pasithoe  Painted jezebel Delias hyparete  Lemon emigrant (common emigrant) Catopsilia pomona  Mottled emigrant Catopsilia pyranthe  Tree yellow Gandaca harina  Common grass yellow Eurema hecabe  One-spot grass yellow Eurema andersoni  Three-spot grass yellow Eurema blanda  Small grass yellow Eurema brigitta Family: Riodinidae  Plum judy Abisara echerius  Punchinello Zemeros flegyas Family: Hesperiidae  Water snow flat Tagiades litigiosa  Common snow flat Tagiades japetus

 Spotted angle Caprona agama  Chestnut angle Odontoptilum angulata  Orange awlet Burara jaina  Pale green awlet Burara gomata  White-banded awl Hasora taminatus  Indian grizzled skipper Spialia galba  Bush hopper Ampittia dioscorides  Chestnut bob Iambrix salsala  Chocolate demon Ancistroides nigrita  Spotted demon Notocrypta feisthamelii  Grass demon Udaspes folus  Common banded demon Notocrypta paralysos  Tree flitter Hyarotis adrastus  Purple and gold flitter Zographetus satwa  Giant redeye Gangara thyrsis  Common branded redeye Matapa aria  Wax dart Cupitha purreea  Blank swift Caltoris kumara  Chinese branded swift Pelopidas sinensis  Rice swift Borbo cinnara  Common dartlet Oriens gola  Dusky partwing (Coon) Psolos fuligo Family: Lycaenidae  Acute sunbeam Curetis acuta  Apefly Spalgis epius  Forget-me-not Catochrysops strabo  Silver forget-me-not Catochrysops panormus  Plains cupid Chilades pandava  Common pierrot Castalius rosimon  Dark pierrot Tarucus ananda  Gram blue Euchrysops cnejus  Common cerulean Jamides celeno

 Dark cerulean Jamides bochus  Metallic cerulean Jamides alecto  Glistening cerulean Jamides elpis  Lime blue Chilades lajus  Tailless lineblue Prosotas dubiosa  Pale hedge blue Udara dilecta  Large four-lineblue Nacaduba pactolus  Pale four-lineblue Nacaduba hermus  Pale grass blue Pseudozizeeria maha  Opaque six-lineblue Nacaduba beroe  Common quaker Neopithecops zalmora  Common hedge blue Acytolepis puspa  Pea blue Lampides boeticus  Golden sapphire Heliophorus brahma  Purple sapphire Heliophorus epicles  White tufted royal Pratapa deva  Bi-spot royal Ancema ctesia  Common acacia blue Surendra quercetorum  Centaur oakblue Arhopala centaurus  Large oakblue Arhopala amantes  Indian oakblue Arhopala atrax  Long-banded silverline Spindasis lohita  Common red flash Rapala iarbus  Fluffy tit Zeltus amasa  Yamfly Loxura atymnus  Orchid tit Hypolycaena othona  Guava blue Virachola isocrates  Common tit Hypolycaena erylus  Common imperial Cheritra freja  Common onyx Horaga onyx

References: Saikia, Prasanta. (2018). Diversity of Butterflies in Nameri National Park, Sonitpur Assam. 308-317. [Distribution]; https://www.ifoundbutterflies.org/ [Taxonomy] Varun Satose, pursuing a PhD in Zoology from Mumbai University, has been a great help in compiling the butterfly checklist. He also helped in resourcing images from various photographers. Vikrant Chourasia, a MSc in Zoology from Mumbai University and a biology teacher at Tridha School, Mumbai, helped in putting together, edit and proofread the mammal, bird and butterfly checklists. Note: Like all checklists, there can be varying opinions on species occurrence and Sanctuary Asia is open to comments from readers.

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About Sanctuary NATURE FOUNDATION The Sanctuary Nature Foundation, a non-profit was founded in 2015 with the express vision to help shape a world with abundant biodiversity, a sustainable climate and an equitable future for one and all through Sanctuary Asia magazine and its associated conservation projects. Sanctuary has always been more than just a magazine and has been at the fulcrum of

several conservation initiatives over the years. Sanctuary’s team works quietly behind the scenes on campaigns, projects and partnerships that have a direct impact on conservation efforts in the field. In this endeavour, the Sanctuary Nature Foundation also collaborates with conservationfocused not-for-profits, as well as independently.

About Balipara FOUNDATION Balipara Foundation focuses on creating community-based conservation models in the Eastern Himalaya, using a proprietary approach, Naturenomics™, to enhance Rural Futures. Our goal is to make the communities in the region the stewards of the conservation agenda by creating economic and social mobility. We achieve this through a series of community-based conservation programmes anchored in our conservation centre at the Eastern Himalayan Botanic Ark, nestled in the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas, Balipara, Assam, India. These programmes are human centric andrealised through iterative prototypes to adapt to rapidly evolving human needs and landscapes. Our hidden treasures are the case studies we publish and the publications we support to inspire collaborative exploration, dialogue and innovation. Our objectives are realised through our interdisciplinary team

of 50+ people, ably supported by a network of community, knowledge, investment and technology partners who have passionately contributed to building this organisation since 2007. At Balipara Foundation we don’t aspire to “save forests”, instead we seek to learn from them. We envisage a future where conservation is a part of the human fabric and technological innovation reinforces the principles of Naturenomics™ in human development. The bioculturally rich Eastern Himalaya serve as our inspiration & provide a backdrop for inspiring innovation in conservation globally. We focus our efforts across the following verticals: Elephant Country, Eastern Himalayan Botanic Ark, Eastern Himalayan Naturenomics™ Forum and Knowledge and Communications. You can find out more about us at www.baliparafoundation.com you can also follow some of our thoughts and experiences through The Himalayan.

Your Feedback Your Visitor Experience We are very interested in hearing about your visit to Nameri. Feedback about your experiences, both good and bad, are invaluable to us and the park management in ensuring that Nameri remains one of India’s premier wilderness destinations. We welcome your feedback and opinions. Please fill in this form and send it to the address below. How did you arrange your travel to Nameri? (Please tick box) Through your own transport arrangements

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How would you rate your rafting experience along the Jia Bhorelli river? Excellent

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Published by

In association with Western Assam Wildlife Division (Department of Environment and Forests, Assam)

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Original, first hand sightings and observations sent to Sanctuary (editorial@sanctuaryasia.com) may find a place in Sanctuary Asia or on the website (www.sanctuaryasia.com), after editing.

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