Bunch of spotted deers at Corbett Nation Park, Nainital
The chital or cheetal also known as chital deer, spotted deer or axis deer is a deer which commonly inhabits wooded regions of India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and in small numbers in Pakistan. The chital goes by various names in India, among which include: Chital horin in Bengali, Thith Muwa in Sinhalese, Jinke in Kannada, Pulli Maan in Tamil and Malayalam, Duppi in Telugu, Phutuki Horin in Assamese, Haran/Harin in Marathi, and Hiran in Hindi/Urdu (the latter two derived from Harini, the Sanskrit cognate for ‘deer’). It is the most common deer species in Indian forests. The name Chital comes from the Bengali word Chitral (চিত্রল)/Chitra (চিত্রা), which means “spotted”. The chital is monotypic within the genus Axis, but this genus has also included three species that now are placed in Hyelaphus based on genetic evidence.
Jim Corbett National Park is the oldest national park in India, named after the hunter-turned-conservationist Jim Corbett who played a key role in its establishment—was established in 1936 as Hailey National Park. Situated in Nainital district of Uttarakhand the park acts as a protected area for the endangered Bengal tiger of India, the secure survival of which is the main objective of Project Tiger, an Indian wildlife protection initiative.
The park has sub-Himalayan belt geographical and ecological characteristics. An ecotourism destination, it contains 488 different species of plants and a diverse variety of fauna. The increase in tourist activities, among other problems, continues to present a serious challenge to the park’s ecological balance.
Corbett has been a haunt for tourists and wildlife lovers for a long time. Tourism activity is only allowed in selected areas of Corbett Tiger Reserve so that people get an opportunity to see its splendid landscape and the diverse wildlife. In recent years the number of people coming here has increased dramatically. Presently, every season more than 70,000 visitors come to the park from India and other countries.
The Jim Corbett National Park is a heaven for the adventure seekers and wildlife adventure lovers alike. Corbett National Park is India’s first national park which comprises 520.8 km2. area of hills, riverine belts, marshy depressions, grass lands and large lake. The elevation ranges from 1,300 feet (400 m) to 4,000 feet (1,200 m). Winter nights in Corbett national park are cold but the days are bright and sunny. It rains from July to September.
Dense moist deciduous forest mainly consists of sal, haldu, pipal, rohini and mango trees, and these trees cover almost 73 per cent of the park. The 10 per cent of the area consists of grasslands.It houses around 110 tree species, 50 species of mammals, 580 bird species and 25 reptile species. The endangered Bengal tiger of India resides here. The sanctuary was the first to come under Project Tiger initiative.
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