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Namdapha National Park – Tiger Reserve, History, Maps

Namdapha National Park is a biodiversity hotspot established in 1983, it covers 1,985 sq km and boasts over 1,000 plant and 1,400 animal species. Namdapha National Park and Tiger Reserve are located in Changlang District, Arunachal Pradesh. Situated on the India-Myanmar border, it was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1972, a national park, and the 15th Tiger Reserve in 1983.

It is also a proposed UNESCO World Heritage Site. This article covers its history, features, biodiversity, Maps, flora, and fauna. This has a significant role as Namdapha National Park UPSC topic for Examination under GS Paper 1 (Mains and Prelims), especially in the Geography section.

Namdapha National Park

Namdapha National Park, covering 1,985 km² (766 sq mi) in Arunachal Pradesh, Northeast India, is one of the country’s largest national parks. Established in 1983, it boasts over 1,000 floral species and about 1,400 faunal species.

Namdapha National Park- History

Namdapha National Park, a treasure trove of biodiversity in Arunachal Pradesh, boasts not just a rich ecological heritage but also a fascinating history. Check the following:

  • Designated as a Wildlife Sanctuary on October 2, 1972, under the Assam Forest Regulation of 1891.
  • Indo-Myanmar-China Trijunction is the nearest location that was originally a reserve forest.
  • Namdapha was announced as a National Park on 12 May 1982, under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.
  • Declared the 15th tiger reserve on March 15, 1983, under the Project Tiger Scheme, with a core area of 985.245 km² and a buffer area of 245 km².
  • In October 2022, the Changlang district administration banned large cardamom cultivation in the protected areas of the park.

Tiger Reserve in Namdapha National Park

Nestled within Namdapha Park, the tiger reserve is a crown jewel of tiger conservation in India. Namdapha National Park Established in 1983 as part of Project Tiger, this reserve plays a critical role in protecting not just tigers but the entire ecological web of Namdapha.

  • A Unique Habitat: Unlike many tiger reserves in India dominated by dry forests, Namdapha’s tiger reserve boasts a unique landscape. With elevations ranging from 200 to 4,571 meters, it encompasses everything from lush evergreen rainforests to snow-capped peaks. This diverse habitat provides a haven for tigers and a plethora of other prey species.
  • Home to All Four Big Cats: One of the most remarkable aspects of Namdapha’s tiger reserve is the presence of all four big cats of India: the majestic Bengal tiger, the elusive leopard, the enigmatic clouded leopard, and the rare snow leopard. This unique coexistence makes Namdapha a truly special place for wildlife enthusiasts.
    I) Conservation Efforts: The tiger reserve in Namdapha implements various strategies to protect these magnificent creatures. Here are some key initiatives:
    II) Anti-Poaching Patrols: Regular patrolling by well-trained forest guards deters poachers and helps safeguard the tiger population.
    III) Prey Base Management: The reserve focuses on maintaining a healthy prey base for tigers. This involves habitat improvement and monitoring herbivore populations.
    IV) Community Engagement: Local communities play a vital role in conservation efforts. The reserve works with them to raise awareness about the importance of tigers and address human-wildlife conflict.
  • Challenges and the Future: Despite these efforts, challenges remain. Habitat loss due to encroachment and poaching are constant threats. The remoteness of the area also presents logistical difficulties for conservation work.

However, the future holds promise. Continued government support, innovative conservation strategies, and community involvement offer hope for the tigers of Namdapha. The tiger reserve remains a vital sanctuary for these apex predators and a crucial component of Namdapha’s ecological balance.

Features of Namdapha National Park

Namdapha National Park, positioned between 27°23´N to 27°39´N latitude, features a subtropical climate influenced by altitude variations from 200 m to 4571 m, resulting in diverse microclimates and heavy rainfall. Nestled amidst the Patkai Ranges and the Dapha Bum ridge of the Mishmi Hills in the North Eastern Himalayas, the park derives its name from the Namdapha river, flowing from Dapha Bum to the Noa-Dehing river, a Brahmaputra tributary crossing the park.

Location and Climate:

  • Situated at 27°N latitude, specifically between 27°23´N to 27°39´N.
  • Geographically subtropical with a subtropical climate.
  • The climate varies within the protected area due to altitude differences (200 m to 4571 m) and heavy rainfall.

Geographical Features:

  • Located between the Patkai Ranges and the Dapha Bum ridge of the Mishmi Hills in the North Eastern Himalayas.

Origin of the Name:

  • Named after the Namdapha River, which flows from Dapha Bum (where “Bum” means the peak of a hill) to the Noa-Dehing river.
  • The Noa-Dehing River, a tributary of the Brahmaputra, flows north-south through the National Park.


Facts about Namdapha National Park

Here are some intriguing facts about Namdapha National Park:
  • Ranked as the fourth-largest national park in India based on its protected area.
  • The top three national parks in terms of size are Hemis National Park (Ladakh), Desert National Park (Rajasthan), and Gangotri National Park (Uttarakhand).
  • Namdapha National Park, along with its surrounding areas, is included in the Tentative List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India.
  • The most recent tiger census conducted in 2018 reported 29 tigers in Arunachal Pradesh, including those in Dibang, Kamlang, and the Namdapha Block.
Fact Details
Fourth-largest national park in India by protected area.
Top Three
Hemis National Park (Ladakh), Desert National Park (Rajasthan), Gangotri National Park (Uttarakhand).
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Included in the Tentative List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India.
Tiger Census
The 2018 tiger census recorded 29 tigers in Arunachal Pradesh, including Dibang, Kamlang, and Namdapha Block.

Flora and Fauna at Namdapha National Park

Namdapha National Park’s geographical location, varied topography, and high annual precipitation contribute to its rich floral diversity.

  • The protected area of Namdapha exhibits incredibly abundant, dense, and diverse flora, characterized by a wide range of species composition.
  • The flora of Namdapha Protected Area shows strong phytogeographical affinities with the Indo-Malayan flora, supplemented by plants from other regions of India alongside native species.
  • A survey conducted within the Namdapha protected area identified various flora species, including 59 species of Bryophytes, 112 species of Heridophytes, 5 species of Gymnosperms, 73 species of lichens, and approximately 801 species of Angiosperms.
  • Namdapha National Park also hosts diverse faunal groups inhabiting various habitats such as soil, ground, litter, under stones, decaying wood, and grasslands, making it a significant topic for the UPSC Exam.
Fauna at Namdapha National Park
Faunal Group Numbers of Species
Birds 453
Insects 430
Butterflies & Moths 140
Mammals 96
Fishes 76
Reptiles 50
Amphibians 25
Earthworms 10
Leeches 5
Total 1285

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Why is Namdapha National Park famous for?

Namdapha National Park is famous because of its four feline species of big cat (It is the only park in the world), namely the Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard, and Clouded Leopard, as well as other notable species such as Hoolock Gibbons (India's only 'ape' species), Assamese macaques, pig-tailed macaques, stump-tailed

Which district is Namdapha National Park in?

Changlang District, Government of Arunachal Pradesh in India.

On which river is Namdapha National Park?

The entire area is mountainous and comprises the catchment of the Noa-Dihing River, a tributary of the great Brahmaputra river which flows westwards through the middle of Namdapha.

What is the rank of Namdapha National Park in India?

Sprawling across 1,985 sq km in Arunachal Pradesh, Namdapha National Park is highlighted as the 'fourth largest national park in India'

Which hills are in Namdapha National Park?

Namdapha National Park is the largest protected area in the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot and is located in Arunachal Pradesh in Northeast India. It is also the third largest national park in India in terms of area. It is located between the Dapha Bum range of the Mishmi Hills and the Patkai range.


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