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Corbett National Park: The Significance Of Buffer Zones

by Nimisha Tewari 26 Oct 2023


Corbett National Park, located in the state of Uttarakhand, India, is one of the country's oldest and most famous national parks. It was established in 1936 and is renowned for its diverse wildlife, including the Bengal tiger. However, alongside the core protected area, Corbett also comprises several buffer zones. These buffer zones serve a critical role in the preservation and conservation of the park's ecosystem. Here's an explanation of Corbett National Park and its buffer zones:

Corbett National Park:

  • Core Area: The core area of Corbett National Park is the central and most strictly protected region. This is where the majority of the park's wildlife, including tigers, leopards, elephants and various bird species, reside. 
  • Conservation: Corbett was established to safeguard the Bengal tiger and it continues to play a vital role in tiger conservation. The park is home to a variety of plant and animal species, making it an ecological hotspot.

Buffer Zones:

  • What Are Buffer Zones?: Buffer zones are areas surrounding the core of the national park. They act as transition zones between the protected core area and human-inhabited regions.
  • Conservation Role: Buffer zones help reduce human-wildlife conflict, protect wildlife corridors and promote sustainable land use practices. This assists in maintaining the ecological balance of the entire region.
  • Biodiversity: These zones also house a wide range of flora and fauna. The buffer zones of Corbett National Park host a variety of wildlife, including herbivores, smaller mammals and bird species. 

The Buffer Zones of Corbett:

  • Dhikala Buffer Zone: Dhikala is one of the most well-known buffer zones, known for its grasslands, which attract large herds of herbivores. It offers excellent opportunities for wildlife sightings. 
  • Jhirna Buffer Zone: This zone is famous for its population of leopards and deer species. It provides a chance to spot these elusive big cats.
  • Sitabani Buffer Zone: Sitabani is known for its historical and religious significance, with temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. It's a serene area with diverse birdlife. 

Activities in Buffer Zones:

  • Tourists can engage in activities like jeep safaris, nature walks, birdwatching and even visit local communities to experience the region's culture. 

Conservation and Community Involvement:

  • Corbett National Park's buffer zones are integral to its conservation initiatives. They involve local communities in conservation efforts, helping to reduce human-wildlife conflict and generate livelihoods for nearby residents.

Visiting these buffer zones provides a more holistic experience of Corbett National Park. It offers a chance to explore a broader range of habitats and wildlife while also contributing to the park's conservation and the welfare of the local communities.

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