About Sariska Tiger Reserve:
Sariska represents a tiger habitat spread over the world's oldest mountain ranges the Aravalli’s. It had a vibrant tiger population and excellent forests. The forests of Sariska were managed as a hunting reserve during the reign of the Maharaja of Alwar. Shooting blocks were maintained for big game hunting. There was a separate ‘Shikarkhana’ and Shikar paltan to control and protect the area from poaching. Shooting was permitted till 1955. After independence, Sariska was declared a Reserved Area on 7th November 1955, under the Rajasthan Wild Animals and Birds Protection Act, 1951.Sariska was declared as the 11th tiger reserves by Government of India in 1978.
Sariska Tiger Reserve, situated between 2742’33.31’’N/7628’35.92’’E and 273’44.89’’N/7616’27.75’’E in the Alwar district of Rajasthan. The reserve is spread over an area of 1213.34 sq. kms. (881.11 sq.km core/322.22 sq.kms. buffer) of Aravalli hills.
The Reserve has a beautiful blending of tropical dry deciduous and tropical thorn forest and is dotted with numerous narrow valleys. Dhok (Anogeissus pendula) is the dominant tree species covering over 75% area of the forest. Boswellia serreta and Lannea cormandelica grow in rocky patches. Kathaa (Acacia catechu) and Bamboo are common in the valleys. Some valleys support Palas (Butea monosperma), Ber (Zizyphus species), Kadaya (Sterculia urens), Amla (Emblica officinalis), Bahera (Terminalia bellerica).
Major carnivores species in Sariska
Apart from Tiger, Sariska has a large number of Leopards population. Sariska is home to numerous carnivores including Tiger, Leopards, Striped Hyena, Jackal, Jungle cat, Desert Cat, Rusty-spotted cat, Fox, Ratel, Palm Civet, Common Indian Civet, Ruddy tailed mongoose, Grey mongoose, Common mongoose.
Sariska is home to numbers herbivores including large number Sambar, Chital, Nilgai, Wild boar, Porcupines and Langurs. Sariska is also well known for its large population of Rhesus Monkeys. In fact, during summer when most of the grasses are dry and are non-palatable, the highly nutritious dry Dhok Leaves fall on the forest provide fodder for Sambar, Chital and other herbivores.
The avian world is also well represented with a rich and varied Birdlife. These include Peafowl (the largest population density in India), Grey partridge, Painted spurfowl, Bush Quail, Sand Grouse. Rufous Treepie, Golden –backed Woodpecker, Crested Serpent Eagle, White eyed buzzard, Oriental honey buzzard, Shikra, Short toed snake eagle, Indian eagle-owl, Dusky eagle owl, Brown fish owl and Paradise flycatcher, Golden oriole. Indian pitta migrates large numbers in summers. Sariska also hold a good number of Vulture populations like Indian Vulture( Gyps indicus), Egyptian vulture( Neophron percnopterus), Red-headed vulture (Sarcogyps calvus),Cinereous Vulture (Aegypius monachus).
Sariska hosts more than 345 species of birds. For aquatic species, it is an ideal habitat as water is retained round the year. Resident species breed here while migratory ones stay during winter.
Sariska, a tiger reserve with extremely rich biodiversity is not only a home to many mammals and birds but birds but it also inhabits various reptile species as well. While Cobras and Kraits are the common venomous snake species that can be seen in the fields and grasslands, the rocky terrain provide an ideal habitat for Vipers like the Saw Scaled and Russel’s. Other non-venomous species like the Trinket, Wolf snake, Royal snake, Common Kukri, Checkred Keelback etc can be easily seen including the Rock Python and Boa. The Bengal Monitor is fairly common around whole Sariska while Spiny Tailed Lizard is visible at the desert patches around it. The Mugger Crocodile can be seen seeking for its prey at Karna Ka Bas water body & Siliserh lake within STR accompanied by the Flapshell Turtles. The Indian Star Tortoise and Leopard Gecko can be spotted in the dry regions of Sariska.