Panna Tiger Reserve
Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR) is located in the Vindhyan ranges that extend from south west to north east in the civil districts of Panna, Chattarpur and Damoh. Landscape of the PTR is characterized with a ‘Table Top’ topography. Two plateaus run parallel to each other from south-west to northeasterly direction. The Ken river enters the reserve from the southern end and passes through it for almost 55km. Nestled in northern most areas of Vindhyan range of Central India this is the only Tiger Reserve in the entire Bundhelkhand region. The Reserve is under the administrative control of Field Director with his headquarters located at Panna. The Tiger Reserve consists of the three conservation entities, namely, Panna National Park, Gangau WLS and Buffer.
Area of the Tiger Reserve
Core/Crticial Tiger Habitat : 576.13 sq km
Buffer : 1002.42 sq km
Total : 1578.55 sq km
Latitudes : 24.17 to 24.55 N
Longitudes : 79.30 to 80.17 E
The park with its north-central location in Madhya Pradesh forms part of the Indo-Malayan Realm floristically. Zoo-geographically, it belongs to the Oriental region and lies in Zone 6 E-‘Deccan Peninsula – Central Highlands’. Plateau topography with underlying slopes, cliffs with talus and sehas offer juxtaposition of outstanding habitats for the fauna. The Dhundua Seha offers once such glimpse and is known as ‘Tiger and Vulture Heaven’ by wildlife lovers. Ken river, Savannah forests, and mixed dense forests on the slopes offer variety of habitat.
The Forest Types:
The following forest types are met with in the National Park :
i. Southern Tropical Dry Deciduous Dry Teak Forest – 5 A/C1b
ii. Northern Tropical Dry Deciduous Mixed Forest – 5 B/C2
iii. Dry Deciduous Scrub Forest – 5/S1
iv. Boswellia Forest – 5/E2
v. Dry Bamboo Brakes – 5/E9
vi. Anogeissus pendula Forest – 5/E1
The plateau areas are characterized by savannah forests with very thin vegetation and continuous grass cover, where dry deciduous scrub forests are seen. The slopes are filled with dense forests of various types as described above. Bamboo associations are seen only on the slopes. The Anogeissus pendula forest is an edaphic sub-type (on specific rock type i.e., conglomerate) which occurs mainly in a long strip of small width( 0.5-1.0 km) on the foothills from Pipartola to Gangau dam on the banks of Ken River. Sterculia urens (Kullu) is in abundance with good regeneration.
PTR is among the important Protected Area in the Central Indian Highlands complex, for its structural diversity and wide array of fauna, including the key species-Tiger. PTR supports a sizable population of Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus), Leopard (Panthera pardus) and Striped Hyena (Hyaena hyaena). Other prominent carnivores are Jackal (Canis aureus), Wolf, Wild Dog (Cuon alpinus), Jungle Cat (Felis chaus) and Rusty Spotted Cat. The major ungulates that form prey for these carnivores are Sambar (Cervus unicolor), Chital (Axis axis), Nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus), Chinkara (Gazella bennetti), Four-Horned Antelope (Tetraceros quadricornis) and Wild Pig (Sus scrofa). The Common Langur (Presbytis entellus) is widespread, while Rhesus Macaque (Macaca mullata) is found only along the forest peripheries closer to human habitations. There are over 150 species of birds, and the important breeding birds include Marshall’s Iora (Aegithina nigrolutea), White-bellied Minivet (Pericrocotus erythropygius) and Striated Grassbird (Megalurus palustris), besides a variety of Galliformes including Peafowl (Pavo cristatus), Painted Spurfowl (Galloperdix lunulata) and Painted Francolin (Francolinus pictus). The area is known for its good vulture population. The rock cliffs with ledges provide a good habitat for the rock nesting vultures. Egyptian vulture, Long billed vulture, White backed vulture and Red headed vulture are resident species. Eurasian, Himalayan griffon vultures and Cinereous vultures are migratory. The
area also supports over 10 species of Reptiles, and over 50 species of fishes including two globally threatened Masheer species (Tortor, Tor putitora), popularly known as ‘King of Freshwater Fishes of
The management has successfully reintroduced tigers including rewilded ones. Panna Tiger Reintroduction Program has facilitated recovery of tiger and the glory of the reserve. At present there are 23 thers in Panna (5 founder tigers and 18 adult/sub-adult/cubs). The Panna Tiger Reintroduction project has been acclaimed as one of the best ‘Adaptive Active Management Practice Model’ and received the ‘Award of Excellence’ in the Active Management Category for the year 2012 from NTCA.
The Critical Tiger Habitat of the Panna Tiger Reserve encompasses the entire area of Panna National Park and part of Gangau WLS. This forms the larger Vindhyan landscape having more than 5000 sq km of forests falling in the districts Satna, Panna, Chattarpur, Damoh and Sagar. In all 13 out of 16 villages have been voluntarily relocated from the core area thereby, offering more inviolate space to tigers.
An adjoining area of 1002 sq km surrounding the core in three districts (Panna, Chattarpur and Damoh) and falling in four Forest Divisions (North and South Panna, Chattarpur and Damoh) was declared as a Buffer in 2012, and the said area has been transferred to the Tiger Reserve. There are 49 villages in the buffer which require special package for Eco-development.
The location of Panna TR in the Vindhyan landscape is crucial, as it is the only tiger source area which, connects the tiger populations of Aravalli and Vindhyan Ranges. A known tiger of Ranthambore was camera trapped in the Datia forests in April 2012. Within Madhya Pradesh, Panna has corridor connections with Bhandhavgarh TR, Nauradehi WLS, Chitrakoot forests of Satna district on the north-eastern end and Sagar district.
A gap of around 30 km between Panna and Bandhavgarh along the banks of the water courses (River Ken and Midhassan) requires restoration, considering its corridor value
1. Successful Tiger Reintroduction/Re-wilding model in the shortest possible time.
2. Standardization of Tiger Re-introduction/Re-wilding practices/protocols, including
Tranquilization, Transportation, Release, 24×7 radio telemetry monitoring
3. Stepped up protection and continuous monitoring