The Pench Tiger Reserve supports a wide variety of flora.
The floristic composition of vegetation of Pench Tiger Reserve comprises of
different species of trees, shrubs, herbs and grasses constituting different
layers of habitat suitable for different faunal species. The prominent trees
species are Teak, and its associates, namely Ain, Dhaoda, Haldu, Kalam, Lendia,
Garari, Salai, Mowai, Kulu, Tendu, Moha, Hirda, Behada, Achar, Amaltas, Anjan,
Apta, Aola, Arjun, Bad, Bel, Bamboo, etc. and host of other species of medicinal significance.
The ground cover comprises of varieties of shrubs, herbs and grasses, thereby,
constituting an ideal habitat for variety of insects, birds and herbivore species.
The species composition of different layers of habitat is given as follows:
Overwood : The top layer comprises of Teak and its
associates such as Anogeissus latifolia, Lagerstroemia parviflora, Terminalia,
tomentosa, Boswellia serreta, Lannea coromandelica, Madhuca longifolia,
Dalbergia paniculata, Albizia lebbeck, Diopspyrous melanoxylon, Pterocarpus
marsupium, Chloroxylon swietenia and sparsely scattered trees of Dalbergia
latifolia, Bombax ceiba and Adina cordifolia are also seen.
Syzigium cumini and Terminalia arjuna are found along large water courses, river
banks and river beds.
Underwood : : Comprises of Emblica officinalis, Grewia
tiliafolia, Careya arborea, Gardenia turgida, Cassia fistula, Gardenia
resinifera, Acacia catechu, Butea monosperma, Ziziphus glaberrima, etc. Bamboos
occur sparsely in the valleys.
Shrubs:Helicteres isora, Flemingia bracteata,
Calycoperis floribunda, Ziziphus oenoplia, Flacourtia indica. Carrisa carandus,
Woodfordia fruiticosa, etc are commonly found.
Grasses:Apluda mutica, Degitaria spp. Heteropogon
contortus, Themeda quadrivalvis, Cynodon dactylon, etc. usually occur on the
ground flora along with many other less prominent grass species.
Climbers: Mimosa hemata, Bauhinia vahlii, Butea
superba, Abrus precatorius, Asparagus racemosus, Vitex Negundo, Cuscuta, reflexa
(Amarwel), etc are common along the river and water sources.
Weeds: Lantana camera is present in low density
teak forests near habitations. Parthenium hysterophorus (Congress grass)
Tribulus terrestris, Cassia tora, Urena lobota, etc are present along the
road sides, nalla beds and water bodies.
Herbs: These are sparse and consist of a few
seasonals. Some commonly occurring herbs are Ocimum americanum, Cassia tora,
Epiphytes: Vanda (Vanda sellata), Bandgul (Dendrophoe
falcata,)Vanda(Viscum nepalensis ) are main epyphytes found in moist stretches
of Reserve areas.
Wild Inhabitants of Pench Tiger Reserve:
The high habitat diversity of Pench Tiger Reserve favors rich and abundant
population of wild animals.
Pench Tiger Reserve serves as the prime habitat of Indian Tiger and Panther, the
key species in these areas along with other species of cat family.
The mammalian population comprises of mainly species like Sambhar, Chital, Barking Deer, Nilgai, Gaur, Wildboar, Chausingha,
Sloth bear, Wilddog, Langur, Rhesus monkey, Mouse deer, Black naped hare,
Jackal, Fox, Hyena, Porcupine, Flying squirrel, etc as well as wide variety
of aquatic life, amphibians, reptiles and avi-fauna.
Pench also has very good Tiger density. As per
May 2007 wildlife census, there are about 13-15 Tigers, 12 Panthers, and 7620 other
individuals, including 310 Gaurs, 966 Sambhars, 2032 Chitals, etc in Pench Tiger
Reserve areas. As per the 2010 All India Tiger Monitoring (Monitoring of Tigers,leopard,Co-Predator,Pray and their habitat), Pench landscape was
found to have 13 Tigers. However during the Phase IV Monitoring of Tiger carried out, during 2012, initial reports indicate the presence of 14-16 Tigers
in Pench Tiger Reserve. Final analysis is being carried out.
33 Species of mammals
164 Species of Birds
50 Species of fishes
10 Species of Amphibians
30 Species of Reptiles
6 Species of endangered status
54 moths and other Insects
The fauna of Pench Tiger Reserve includes 33 species of mammals, 164 species
of birds, 50 species of fishes, 10 species of amphibians, 30 species of reptiles
of which 6 species are of endangered status, 15 butterflies, 54 moths and
numerous other insects.
The birds species includes both the resident and migratory birds namely
the Malabar pied and Grey hornbill, Indian pitta, Osprey, Grey headed fishing
eagle, White eyed buzzard, White necked stork, Open bill stork, etc.
In winter migratory waterfowl including the Brahminy duck, Poachards, Barheaded
geese, Coots etc. visit the Pench Reservoirs and other water bodies in the area.
Four critically endangered vulture species namely, the White-rumped, Long-billied,
White scavenger and King vultures are seen in good number in the Reserve areas.
The humid tropical forests of Indian subcontinent is known to be the home to Asia's
largest predator, the Tiger which is one of many endangered species in today's
In the last century, the tiger population in India has experienced a sharp
decline. The loss of tiger habitat along with persistent poaching of tigers and
their prey are believed to be the primary cause.
With a view to conserving the remaining tiger population and the tiger habitats,
Project Tiger was launched in 1973.
Pench Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra was declared India's 25th Tiger Reserve in
1999. Currently, Pench Tiger Reserve has good tiger density, but it is also
considered as one of those reserves in the Indian subcontinent, that can
potentially host a large tiger population.
The capacity of Reserve for sustaining tiger population depends on the
ecological health of the protected area itself, the surrounding area of the
forested corridors to other protected areas.
Hence, forest covers must be conserved, both within and the outside the reserve,
to maintain the habitat connectivity as isolated forest patches are not suitable
for viable tiger or its prey population.
Increasing forest cover within the
Reserve boundary is definitely a silver lining, especially in the context of
decreasing tiger population worldwide as a result of poaching and habitat
destruction; however, the task is not finished yet.
Tiger often roam beyond the administrative boundaries of Reserves, and thus need
favorable habitats beyond the Protected Areas.
Lack of proper awareness, human-dominated and modified land uses in areas
around reserve may become detrimental to the tiger population
While more care is needed to minimize the human tiger conflicts, local
inhabitants should be actively engaged in the conservation. Involvement of local
inhabitants can play important role in the conservation effort.
flagship species for conservation and are equally important to India and rest of
We must act now to save the charismatic species from extinction.
Study also says that tiger needs inviolate space for breeding and sustaining the
Effort of Pench management to bring down the tourist pressure within carrying
capacity i.e. Around 31,000 Tourist/annum has contributed significantly in
creating an inviolate space for tiger. The entire area of tiger Reserve was declared as Critical Tiger Habitat in 2006.
The data of tiger and prey population form the Pench Tiger Reserve Management
also suggest that increase in forest cover also helped in increasing the
population of tiger and its prey base.
Figure showing classified satellite images of Pench Tiger Reserve in 1977, 1989,
2000, 2007 Green color represents forest, white represents cleared forest and
agricultural land, blue represents water bodies.