WWF-India’s North Bank and Kaziranga Karbi Anglong landscapes merged | WWF India

WWF-India’s North Bank and Kaziranga Karbi Anglong landscapes merged

Posted on
06 July 2018
The northeastern state of Assam presents a landscape of lush forests and grasslands that are home to flagship species like the Asian elephants, Indian rhinoceros and the Bengal tigers. WWF-India works in the area betweenthe foothills of the eastern Himalayas in the northand the northern bank of the river Brahmaputra in the south. This area has been known as the North Bank Landscape.Covering the south of the Brahmaputra river in Assam, is an area that has been known as the Kaziranga Karbi Anglong landscape, which is home toabout half of Assam’s elephant population, more than 70 per cent of Assam’s tigers and close to 90 per cent of the rhino population of India. However, the importance of this region goes far beyond the areas demarcated as the two landscapes.


Data of monitoring wildlife movement, specifically recent camera trap images, show the use of Brahmaputra River Islands for regular wildlife movement occurring from north to south and vice versa. The Brahmaputra acts as a vital link for wildlife populations by facilitating the movement of various large mammals between numerous Protected Areas in central Assam. Key tiger habitats in the flood plains of the Brahmaputra include Orang NP, Laokhowa and Burachapori Wildlife Sanctuaries and Kaziranga NP. Nameri National Park and Pakke Tiger Reserve are located at the Northern end of the Brahmaputra basin, along the border of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.There is sufficient evidence that demonstrates movement of tigers, rhinos, elephants and many other species between the two landscapes, across the Brahmaputra River.
 
Photographic evidences from camera traps have revealed that wildlife traverse long distances in the Brahmaputra Basin, using river networks. The tributaries of the Brahmaputra in the north bank serve as riverine movement corridors for elephants, rhinos, tigers and other wildlife, and there is reason to believe that this is also true for tributaries in the south bank. For example, a tiger was camera trapped in the eastern range of Kaziranga National Park and was photographed again in Nameri National Park in the north the following year.
 
Recognizing the importance of Brahmaputra river islands and its tributaries, WWF-India has therefore merged North Bank and Kaziranga Karbi Anglong landscapes to form one landscape. Based on the following rationale, the landscape will now be known as the Brahmaputra landscape:
  • The Brahmaputra River islands and tributaries both on the north and south banks connect both landscapes with wildlife movement occurring between the two. Therefore, the river is actually a connector, and not a barrier as previously thought.
  • Any conservation action taken on either bank of Brahmaputra River has implications for the other, so it has to be seen as one landscape for maximum impact.
  • Brahmaputra River and its flow dynamics have maximum influence on the floodplain ecology, which hold most of the wildlife habitats in our landscapes in Assam. These floodplains are also directly supporting a million people in the landscapes.
  • Increasingly, there is need to know more about and work on the Brahmaputra river and have begun working on issues related to the river (infrastructure, flood impacts, etc.) with the WWF-India Rivers team. This work makes it even more difficult to separate the two landscapes since it is very relevant to both.

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