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WILD MAHARASHTRA

Melghat Tiger Reserve

Location : Gavilgarh hill

Area : 597.23 Sq Kms

Uniqueness : It is a prime habitat of the tiger. The forest is tropical dry deciduous in nature, dominated by teak Tectona grandis. The Reserve is a catchment area for five major rivers viz. Khandu, Khapra, Sipna, Gadga and Dolar, all of which are tributaries of the river Tapti. The northeastern boundary of the Reserve is marked by the Tapti river. Melghat is the prime biodiversity repository of the state.

Flora : Teak is the predominant tree species. The common associated are Lagerstroemia parviflora, Lannea coromandelica, Emblica officinalis, Terminalia tomentosa, Anogeissus latifolia and Oujenia oojeinesis. Bamboo (Dendrocalamus strictus ) is wide spread.

Fauna : Tiger, Leopard, Sloth bear, Wild dog, Jackal, Sambar, Gaur, Barking deer, Nilgai, Cheetal, Chousinga, Ratel, Flying Squirrel, Wild boar, Langur, Rhesus monkey, Porcupine, Pangolin, Mouse deer, Python, Otter, Caracal, Black napped hare.

Accessibility : Nearest airport is Akola (150 km), while nearest railway station is Badnera (110 km). Nearest bus depot is in Amravathi (100 km). Accommodation is available at Chikhaldara.

Season : December to June

Tadoba - Aandhari Tiger Reserve

Location : Chandrapur district

Area : 625.40 sq. km

Uniqueness : The Reserve contains some of the best of forest tracks and endowed with rich biodiversity. It is famous for its natural heritage. Tadoba - Andhari Tiger Reserve is the second Tiger Reserve in the State.

Flora : Teak, Ain, Bija, Dhauda, Haldu, Salai, Semal, Tendu and bamboo

Fauna : Tiger, Leopard, Sloth Bear, Gaur or Indian Bison, Rusty Spotted Cat, Ratel, Indian mouse deer, Spotted deer, Sambar, Wild Boar, Four horned antelope, Wild dog, Flying Squirrel etc.

Accessibility : Air: Nearest airport: Nagpur (142 km/3 hours). Rail: Nearest railhead: Chandrapur (45 km/1hour). Road: Take the Nagpur-Hyderabad NH7 till jamb and then SH264 to Warora and Chandrapur; you can also take the district road from Warora to Tadoba via Shegaon and Mudholi

Season : November to March

Yawal Wildlife Sanctuary

Location : Yawal Tehsil of Jalgaon district

Uniqueness : It is an excellent wild life habitat in western Satpura hill ranges similar to Melghat tiger reserve. The forest type is southern tropical dry deciduous forests. In the northern Maharashtra the protected area has viable tiger population and has an extensive forest area on the outskirts.
Flora : Teak, Salai and anjan trees dominate in the forest, other main species are Ain, Shisam, Haldu, Tiwas, Khair, Charoli, Ja,mun, Tendu, Awala etc. There is a dense growth of bamboo and grasses.

Fauna : Tiger, Leopard, Hyena, Jackal, Fox, Wolf, Sambar, Chinkara, Nilgai, Wild boar, Barking deer, Jungle cat, Palm civet, Wild dog Sloth beer, Flying Squirrel etc. common grass land birds and hill birds dominate the avifauna in addition there are few wet land birds do exist. Sukilake do attract migratory birds.

Accessibility : Nearest Airport: Aurangabad (255 Kms). By Rail: Raver railway station on Bombay-Bhusawal Khandwa line is 25 kms. from sanctaury. By Road: Raver 25 Kms. Yawal 67 Km. easily approachable by road.

Season : February to May

Pench Tiger Reserve

Location : Nagpur

Area : 758 Sq. kms

Uniqueness : Famous as the setting for Rudyard Kiplings Jungle Book, Pench Tiger Reserve has a great ecological significance as it represents the floral and faunal wealth of Satpura - Maikal hill range. The Reserve is rich in natural features like Nagdeo Pahadi, Ambakhori Waterfall (Seasonal), Totaladoh Dam, Maghdoot Jalashaya (Pond), Out Fall (Gawali Ghat) etc.
Flora : It is blessed with forests spread in all the direction. As per the physiognomy, the forest type is southern tropical dry deciduous teak and southern tropical mixed deciduous forest with other species of shrubs, trees and climbers. Teak and its associate’s moyan, mahua, mokha, skiras, tendu, bija, achar, garari, aonla, ghont, baranga, amaltas, kihamali, khair, palas. Bamboo occurs sparsely, restricted to some valley.

Fauna : The Pench National Park is very rich in fauna and a number of endangered species have made it their habitat. There are 25 tigers under this umbrella of the Park. 39 species of mammals, 13 species of reptiles, 3 species of amphibians and over 170 varieties of birds have already been listed. Apart from mammals and other land-based wildlife, the park is also rich in bird life. According to an estimation of the wildlife authorities, the bird population in the park counts to be over 210 species like barbets, bulbul, minivets orioles, wagtails, munias, mynas, waterfowls and blue kingfishers.

Accessibility : Nearest Airport:- Nagpur Airport , Nearest Railway Station:- Nagpur Railway Station

Season : October to June

Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary

Location : Thane district

Area : 320 sq.kms

Uniqueness : The wildlife sanctuary at Tansa in Thana district comprises the catchment area of Tansa Lake and the surrounding forests of Shahapur, Khardi, Vaitarna and East Wada Ranges in Shahapur tahsil of Thana district. The glittering expanse of Tansa Lake is an eye-catching spectacle and a perennial source of water to wild life in the sanctuary. Being not far from the metropolis of Bombay, the sanctuary bids fair to be of great attraction to its citizens.
Flora : The vegetation corresponds to the "southern tropical moist deciduous forests". The density of forest ranges between 0.5 to 0.8. Major tree species exist in the area are Tectona grandis (Teak), Acacia catechu (Khair), Terminalia tomentosa (Ain), Adina cordifolia (Hed), Mitragyna parviflora (Kalamb), Pterocarpes marsupium (Bibla), etc. Bamboo is also found in patches

Fauna : The forest in the sanctuary provide ideal conditions of harbourage to a variety of birds and animals. There are atleast 54 species of animals and 200 species of birds do exist in the sanctuary. Major wild animals are Panther, Barking deer, Mouse deer, Hyena, Wild boar etc.

Accessibility : Nearest Airport: Mumbai (90 Kms.), By Rail: The nearest railhead is Atgaon on the Central Railway barely 13 Kms from the sanctuary. Khardi is 118 Kms from Mumbai C.S.T., By Road: From the city of Mumbai the sanctuary is about 95 Kms. and can be accessed by road from Shahapur Town located on Mumbai-Agra National Highway No.3.

Season : November to May