Kaziranga Wildlife Special
The open county makes wildlife viewing at Kaziranga fairly easy. A day`s outing is often sufficient for visitors to see most of the major species here. Elephants take them into the park at the early morning hours. The three most famous and the endangered species at the park are the Great Indian One – Horned Rhinoceros, Hoolock Gibbons and the Wild Buffaloes.
Great Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros:
The rhino’s are usually found in Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan and in Assam, India. They are confined to the tall grasslands and forests in the foothills of the Himalayas. The Indian Rhinoceros can run at speeds of up to 25 mph (40 km/h) for short periods of time and are also excellent swimmers. They have an excellent sense of hearing and smell, but relatively poor eyesight.
However, no more than 2,000 remain in the wild with Kaziranga National Park in Assam, India (1,200) and Chitwan National Park (CNP), Nepal (600). Despite joint efforts made by Bhutan and India, the survival of a small population of rhinos living along the Indo-Bhutan border in Manas still remains doubtful.
The Indian Rhinos are brownish-gray in color and are hairless. They have knobby skin that appears to be armor-plated. Indian rhinos are the largest amongst the Asian rhinos. The male Indian rhinos weigh approximately 2,200 kg (nearly 1,000 pounds) and have a height ranging between 170 to 186 cm (67 to 73 inches) and are 368 to 380 cm (145 to 150 inches) long. Females are smaller in size and weigh only 1,600 kg (726 pounds) and standing 148 to 173 cm (58 to 68 inches) tall. Female Indian rhinos are 310 to 340 cm (122 to 134 inches) long.
The Indian and Nepalese governments have taken several steps towards Indian Rhinoceros conservation with the help of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
The hoolock gibbons are also known as the hoolocks, one of the most important attractions of north east India’s wildlife. The hoolock gibbons are two primate species belonging to the family of the gibbons. Hoolocks are the second largest in size of the gibbons, after the Siamang. Normally there size ranges between 60 to 90 cm and weighs about 6 to 9 kg. Both male and female gibbons are almost the same size, but they differ considerably in colors. Males are black colored with notable white brows, while females have a grey-brown fur, which is darker at the chest and neck. They have white rings around the eyes and around the mouth which give there face a mask-like appearance.
The range of the hoolocks is the most northwestern of all the gibbons, extending from Assam in North-East India, to Myanmar. Small populations (in each case few hundred animals) live also in the eastern Bangladesh and in southwest China. The Hoolocks live together in monogamous pairs, which stake out a territory. Their diet mainly consists of fruits, insects and leaves.
Young hoolocks are born after a seven month gestation, with a milky white fur. Their life expectancy in the wild is about 25 years.
Wild Buffalo are one of the endangered species and a favorite kill for tigers is thought to survive in India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bhutan and Thailand. In India, the wild buffaloes are found in Assam and Chhattisgarh. Occasional sightings of the animal - called the Asiatic Water Buffaloes - have also been reported. In India it is mostly found in Kaziranga National Park. As per the last count in 430 sq km area of Kaziranga, the number of wild buffaloes was around 1400. Wild buffaloes are also important to the grassland ecosystem as they help in plant rejuvenation. The crossbreeding with domestic buffalo as well as shrinkage and destruction of the habitat were considered major threats to the wild buffalo’s survival in the range. The animal is protected by the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified the animal as endangered in its red list of threatened species.
Updated on November 2008