Kaziranga National Park is a national park in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of the state of Assam, India. Located on the edge of the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot, the park combines high species diversity and visibility.
The sanctuary, which hosts two-thirds of the world’s great one-horned rhinoceroses is a World Heritage Site. On 1 June 1905, the Kaziranga Proposed Reserve Forest was created with an area of 232 km2.
Over the next three years, the park area was extended by 152 km2 (59 sq mi), to the banks of the Brahmaputra River. In 1908, Kaziranga was designated a “Reserve Forest”. In 1916, it was redesignated the “Kaziranga Game Sanctuary” and remained so till 1938, when hunting was prohibited and visitors were permitted to enter the park
The park is home to large breeding populations of one-horned rhinoceroses, Asian elephants, wild Asiatic water buffalo, gaur, sambar and swamp deer, Indian muntjac, wild boar, and hog deer.
Small mammals include the rare hispid hare, Indian gray mongoose, small Indian mongooses, large Indian civet, small Indian civets, Bengal fox, golden jackal, sloth bear, Chinese pangolin, Indian pangolins, hog badger, Chinese ferret badgers, and flying squirrel. Nine of the 14 primate species found in India occur in the park. Prominent among them are the Assamesemacaque, capped and golden langur, as well as the only ape found in India, the hoolock gibbon. Kaziranga’s rivers are also home to the endangered Ganges dolphin.
Kaziranga has been identified by Birdlife International as an Important Bird Area. It is home to a variety of migratory birds, water birds, predators, scavengers, and game birds. Birds such as the lesser white-fronted goose, ferruginous duck, Baer’s pochard duck and lesser adjutant, greater adjutant, black-necked stork, and Asian openbill stork migrate from Central Asia to the park during winter. Riverine birds include the Blyth’s kingfisher, white-bellied heron, Dalmatian pelican, spot-billed pelican, Nordmann’s greenshank, and black-bellied tern. Birds of prey include the rare eastern imperial, greater spotted, white-tailed, Pallas’s fish eagle, grey-headed fish eagle, and the lesser kestre
Four main types of vegetation exist in this park. These are alluvial inundated grasslands, alluvial savanna woodlands, tropical moist mixed deciduous forests, and tropical semi-evergreen forests, crisscrossed by four major rivers, including the Brahmaputra
The park experiences three seasons: summer, monsoon, and winter.
The winter season, between November and February, is mild and dry, with a mean high of 25° C (77° F) and low of 5° C (41° F)
The summer season between March and May is hot, with temperatures reaching a high of 37° C (99° F). During this season, animals usually are found near water bodies.
The rainy monsoon season lasts from June to September, and is responsible for most of Kaziranga’s annual rainfall of 2,220 mm. During the peak months of July and August, 75% of the western region of the park is submerged, due to the rising water level of the Brahmaputra. It was found that 70% of the National Park was flooded as on 3 August 2016. The flooding causes most animals to migrate to elevated and forested regions outside the southern border of the park, such as the Mikir hills.
According to the census held in March 2015, the rhino population in Kaziranga National Park was 2,401. Kaziranga is home to the highest density of tigers among protected areas in the world, and was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006. Also, Kaziranga has the largest population of the Wild water buffalo anywhere accounting for about 57% of the world population.