Gorumara National Park

Jalpaiguri, West Bengal

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Gorumara National Park is a National Park in northern West Bengal, India. Located in the Dooars region of the Himalayan foothills, it is a medium-sized park with grasslands and forests. It is primarily known for its population of Indian rhinoceros. The park has been declared as the best among the protected areas in India by the Ministry of Environment and Forests for the year 2009.

Gorumara was a reserve forest since 1895. The park was declared a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1949, on account of its breeding population of Indian rhinoceros. It was declared an Indian National Park on 31 January 1994. Originally as small as 7 km2, Gorumara has grown by incorporating neighbouring lands to about 80 km2.

 

Biomes

The park falls in the Indomalaya ecozone. Inside the park, the primary biomes corresponding to the ecozone are:

  • Terai-Duar savanna and grasslands of the tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome
  • Lower Gangetic plains moist deciduous forests of the tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests biome

Both of these are typical of the Bhutan - Nepal - India Terai submontane region.

 

Flora

Typical flora include:

  • Sal forests with common teak, rain tree (Shirish or Albizia saman lebbeck), and Bombax (also known as silk cotton tree or Shimul)
  • Bamboo groves, terai grassland vegetation and tropical riverine reeds

Gorumara is home to numerous tropical orchids.

 

Fauna

The park has recorded fifty species of mammals, 194 species of birds, 22 species of reptiles, 7 species of turtles, 27 species of fish, and other macro and micro fauna.

Mammals: The park is rich in large herbivores including Indian rhinoceros, gaur, Asian elephant, sloth bear, chital, and sambar deer. Small herbivores include barking deer, hog deerand wild boar. There is a comparative lack of large carnivores, with the only big cat being the leopard. The park is not home to any resident population of Bengal tigers, Indian wild dogs, or Indian wolves. Tigers are, however, occasionally spotted here. It does have numerous small carnivores including various civets, mongooses and small cats. The park has a large resident population of wild boar, but the critically endangered pygmy hog has been reported from the park. It also has numerous rodents, including giant squirrels. The rare hispid hare has also been reported from the park.

Birds: Birds at the Gorumara National Park include submontane forest birds like the scarlet minivet, sunbird, Asian paradise flycatchers, spangled drongo, and Indian hornbill. Numerous woodpeckers and pheasants inhabit the park. Peafowls are very common. The park is on the flyway of migratory birds including the rare brahminy duck.

Reptiles and amphibians: The park is home to a large number of snakes, venomous and non-venomous, including the Indian python, one of the largest snakes in the world, and the king cobra - the world's largest venomous snake.

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