An elephant wades in the waters of the Ramganga River, which flows through Jim Corbett National Park. Photo: Gnishith 95 / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0
New Delhi: Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand can be renamed Ramganga National Park after the river that flows through the protected forest area.
According to the ANI news agency, the director of the national park said that the Union’s Forest and Environment Minister Ashwani Kumar Choubey, who visited the national park on October 3, said the name would be changed to Ramganga National Park.
Uttarakhand | Union Forest and Environment Minister Ashwani Kumar Choubey, who visited Jim Corbett National Park on October 3, said that the name of this national park will be changed to Ramganga National Park: Director of Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
– ANI (@ANI) October 6, 2021
The sanctuary, which extends over 520 square kilometers of hills, river belts, swampy depressions and grasslands, is India’s first national park. It was founded in 1935 and was initially called Hailey National Park after the governor of the United Provinces under the British Raj. According to National park website, it was known briefly as Ramganga National Park after independence between 1952 and 1957.
It was renamed in honor of Edward James Corbett in 1956, a year after the hunter, tracker and naturalist died.
In 1973, Corbett was selected as the launch pad for India’s “Project Tiger” tiger protection program and became the country’s first tiger reserve. According to last year’s census, the reserve is estimated at 252 tigers.
That is an increase of 21 from 231 in a year, according to the annual tiger population estimate conducted jointly by the State Department of Forestry and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
The national park is home to species such as wild elephants, tigers, leopards, barking deer, Nilgai, sloths, leopard cats, sambur and many others. It is believed that more than 580 species of native and migratory birds exist in the park.
The government of Uttarakhand recently announced its decision to keep Jim Corbett National Park and the Rajaji Tiger Reserve open all year round. Previously, the parks were closed for five months (June to November) during the monsoons.
While the government said the decision had been made to boost the state’s tourism sector, experts have raised concerns. According to news 18, not only do the rivers in the reserves swell during the monsoons, flooding the jungle safari road, but this time is also the breeding season for many animals. Any disruption could lead to conflict between wildlife and humans, experts said.