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Exploring Dudhwa's Landscape: The Ken River, Grasslands And Wetlands

by Nimisha Tewari 08 Nov 2023

Dudhwa National Park, located in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, is renowned for its unique and diverse landscape. This park covers an area of approximately 811 square kilometers and includes extensive grasslands, dense forests, wetlands and riverine habitats. The park's landscape can be characterized by the following key elements:

  1. Grasslands: Dudhwa is known for its extensive grasslands, which are crucial for the herbivores that inhabit the park. These grasslands provide a source of sustenance for animals like the Indian rhinoceros, swamp deer, hog deer and various grassland birds. 

  2. Sal Forests: The park features sal forests, which are common in the terai region. Sal trees provide vital habitat and cover for numerous wildlife species, including tigers, leopards and sloth bears.

  3. Wetlands: Dudhwa has a series of marshes, lakes and water bodies that are essential for both wildlife and migratory birds. These wetlands support aquatic species like gharials and provide an ideal habitat for bird species like ducks, geese and storks.

  4. Riverine Ecosystems: The park is crisscrossed by the Sharda and Suheli rivers, which contribute to the formation of riverine ecosystems. These habitats are essential for various aquatic species and often attract animals like tigers and leopards. 

  5. Terai Region: Dudhwa National Park is situated in the terai region at the foothills of the Himalayas. The terai is characterized by a unique blend of grasslands, forests and wetlands and serves as a transition zone between the Himalayan foothills and the Indo-Gangetic plains. 

  6. Swamps and Floodplains: The park features swamps and floodplains that offer ideal conditions for species like swamp deer and waterfowl. These areas can be submerged during the monsoon season but turn into prime grazing grounds during the dry season.

  7. Riparian Forests: The forests along the riverbanks, known as riparian forests, are ecologically significant, providing essential habitat for various species. They are also where you can find the rare Indian rhinoceros, a Dudhwa highlight.  

The diverse landscape of Dudhwa National Park is what makes it a remarkable sanctuary for a wide array of wildlife, including tigers, leopards, rhinoceroses, elephants and numerous bird species. The park's blend of grasslands, forests, wetlands and rivers creates an ecosystem that supports a rich biodiversity, making it an essential part of India's natural heritage.

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