JIM CORBETT NATIONAL PARK (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     15th April 2024        
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Context: Recently, the Supreme Court ruling exposed the unholy nexus involving politicians, forest officials, and local contractors responsible for the felling of 6,000 trees in the Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand.

Jim Corbett National Park

  • Location: Situated in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand state, India.
  • Establishment: 1936 during the British Raj.

oOriginally named Hailey National Park after William Malcolm Hailey, a governor of the United Provinces.

  • Renamed: Corbett National Park in 1956, after the hunter and naturalist Jim Corbett.
  • Tiger Reserve: Highest Number of tigers in India.  
  • Geography: Spans an area of 520.8 km2, including hills, riverine belts, marshy depressions, and grasslands.

oElevation ranges from 1,300 to 4,000 ft (400 to 1,220 m).

  • Vegetation: Encompasses dense moist deciduous forests dominated by species like Sal (Shorea robusta). 
  • Fauna: Home to a diverse range of wildlife, including Bengal tigers, Asiatic elephants, leopards, deer species, sloth bears, Indian pythons, and various bird species.

oMore than 550 species of resident and migratory birds documented.

  • River: Ramganga (A tributary of Ganga River).

Supreme Court Judgement

  • Court Bans Tiger Safaris in Core Areas: The court directed the banning of tiger safaris in core areas across India, not just limited to Jim Corbett.
  • Formation of Committee: A committee was constituted to explore the feasibility of permitting tiger safaris in peripheral areas.
  • Disagreement with NTCA Guidelines: The court disagreed with the 2019 guidelines of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) regarding tiger safaris resembling zoos in national parks.
  • Emphasis on Local Sourcing: Stressing on conservation, the court mandated that tigers for safaris should be sourced from the same landscape as the safari location, prohibiting sourcing from outside tiger reserves.
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