Kanha National Parks
Kanha Tiger Reserve is spread over an area of 1,949 sq km (940 sq km of core area and 1,009 sq km of buffer zone), making it one of the best habitats for tigers in India (the current dominant male, Munna, is easily recognized by a symbol on his forehead that reads – "CAT"). The park is situated in the Central Indian Highlands, which are part of the extensive tableland that forms India’s main peninsula. The highlands once were continuous forests and accounted for a significant part of the country’s wilderness areas and wildlife habitats. Today, these forests have become fragmented and survive in parks such as Panna, Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Pench and Sanjay.
Kanha’s undulating landscape is dotted with dense groves of vegetation, hillocks and meadows. Of all these habitats, it is Kanha’s meadows that are its lifeline, as they sustain large numbers of Chital, Sambar, Barasingha and Gaur, which in turn support populations of predators and co-predators (Tigers, Leopards, Wild Dogs, Jungle Cats and Foxes). The park is primarily a moist Sal and moist mixed deciduous forest featuring Sal, Bamboo, Tendu, Jamun, Arjun and Lendia. It is home to over 1,000 species of flowering plants and about 300 species of birds.
Kanha’s lush sal and bamboo forests provided inspiration to Rudyard Kipling for his famous narrative, “The Jungle Books”. Its greatest achievement, however, has been the preservation of Hard Ground Swamp Deer or Barasingha from near extinction (they numbered just 66 in 1970). Today, they number more than 400 and are the only surviving population of Barasingha in the wild.