fauna

Habitat

Melghat Tiger Reserve is a tylnical representative of Central Indian Highland forming a part of the Biogeographic Zone ‘6 E Deccan peninsula’ Central Highlands This are constitutes forest which are part of world’s fifth biologically richest heritage country. The reserve forms an important corridor between forest areas of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra ensuring contiguity of forests in Satpudas. It harbours a viable population of Tiger and of the endangered Gaur. It also harbor a number of other faunal species some of which figure in the IUCN Red Data list, these are Wild dog, Jackal,Sloth bear, Leopard, Caracal, and Ratel..

Forests Types

The forests of Melghat Tiger Project are of deciduous nature and have been classified as “Dry decidous forests” in the Champion and Seth’s classification and fall under the sub-group 5-A southern tropical dry deciduous forests. The tract being sparsely populated, the biotic factors are less influential except fires which along with general distribution of rainfall, aspect and change in depth and nature of soil are responsible in determining the local variations within the above broad type. The geological formation and the soil largely determine the type of vegetation it is going to support. The most of the area has the soil of trap origin. These soils are rich in mineral and have a high water holding capacity. They have a high rate of exchangeable calcium and ph varing from 6.5 to 7.5 thus supporting the best form of teak. Alluvial deposits along Tapti in Rangubeli and in Dhakna supports good teak forests along with bamboos. Teak needs a good quantum of moisture to support itslong growing season. The places at ballas or on slopes, where the moisture condition deteriorates, the teak is soon replaced by Salai (Boswellia serrata) and Tiwas (Ougedinia oogeinensis ). The area is also determined as a unique blending of multiple high hills and deep valleys with terrains and vegetations changing at close internvals.

Geology

The only geological formation represented in the Melghat Tiger Reserve area is the Deacon trap and underlying rock is basalt in one form or another. The most common form is a hard dark coloured rock, compact or fine grained, but occassionally with numerous pheoncrysts. This rock is usually occures in thick layers and out crops of it give rise to the conspicuous scarps on the hill side. Prismatic joining is well developed at many places fine examples of columnar structure can be seen, particularly in the beds of rivers and streams. When the hard scarp undergoes weathering, it is converted in to soft earthy brown rocks with rows, representing the original columns of roughly sperical bodies exfoliating in successive concentric shells. A second form occurring in the lower hills is grey vehicular basalt, the cavities being lines with crystals of quartz and other minerals. Then there are the thick layers of basalt tuft, as off grey, dull fine grained rock that occurs occasionally representing the intervals of time that elapsed between the successive lava flows

Soil

The following three types of soil are found in the area.

Bouldery soil:- This type of soil cover,s the greater part of the reserve. This is mostly confined to slopes.

Lateritic loan :- Lateritic loam generally occurs on hill tops and plateau and are noticed around Chikhaldara, Vairat and other parts of the reserve.

Clay soils:- This type of soil occurs in depression and on level areas. These soils are very ferbile but have poor drainage status.

Catchments to TAPI and PURNA Rivers

The Reserve forms a very important catchment to Tapi and Purna river systems with important tributaries like Dolar, Khandu, Sipna, Gadga, Khapra and Wan rivers. The Chandrabhaga river which originates from Chikhaldara has its watershed in the reserve. The basic life support systems that the area beholds in terms of conserving soil, water and clean air, it serves as life-line for the people of Amravati, and Akola districts. Water is most prevalent limiting factor in MTR and at present there are J32 water holes both natural and artificial.

Climate :-Climate of MTR is varying due to variation in altitude, aspect and distinct seasons viz Monsoon or rainy, Winter,Summer seasons. The area experiences a good rainfall during monsoon which varies from 950 mm to 1400 mm with average number of rainy days about 65 to 60. Temperature varies considerably with altitude. The high hills, plateau and valleys to the North of Gavilgarh ridge are cooler in summer than the southern foothills. The plateau and high hills enjoy almost equitable pleasant climate throughout the year. The average mean maximum annual temperature is 460 C. and the average mean minimum temperature is 40 C.

In a Nutshell:- The floristic mix of shrubs, herbs and grass communities is a high impact attribute which governs the relative abundance of wildlife. Melghat harbours a wide variety of wildlife and is rich in avifauna, Tiger, Panther, and Wild dogs are the major carnivores. Jackal and Hyena are the scavengers and survive on the carcass left over by top predars. The prey animals are Gaur, Sambar, Barking deer, Spotted deer, Nilgai and Wild pigs, Chausinga etc. There animals are fairly common. The ocular data about habitat availability and their evaluation indicates that the major tract of the plain area is still a good habitat for major Mammalian and Avian population. The presence of 58 villages has put lots of biotic pressure. The trend indicates deterioration of habitat near villages and calls for immediate restorative steps in the areas in the vicinity of villages. MTR having inviolate area as 1673.93 Sqm which is more than the required area to inhabitate 20 breeding hgresses so that reserve will sustain a population of 75 to 100 tigress and has very low probability of extinction (< 5% in 100 years). And thus MTR fulfills the suggestion shown in demographic parameters and life history traits of tiger population, Simulation model. All these feature and values of MTR and its large area make MTR as an ideal habitat for flagship species Tiger and its prey species.

Buffer Plan Of Melghat Tiger Resurve ,Jan 2015

TCP Core Plan Of Melghat Tiger Resurve

Official Website of Melghat Tiger Project, Amravati