Nameri National Park

close up photography of tiger
Photo by GEORGE DESIPRIS on Pexels.com

Among the five (5) National Parks in Assam, the one that allows wildlife trekking into the forest reserves which is also a tiger territory is the Nameri National Park located in the Sonitpur district of Assam. A bird watchers haven, Nameri National Park is a very popular birding destination in Assam and people from across the World come to visit the Nameri National Park in search of the best avifaunal diversity to be found in Assam and North East India. The Nameri National Park is a perfect place for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers for its breathtaking natural beauty and the diverse flora and fauna. Nameri National Park is located on the foothills of the majestic Eastern Himalayas and it straddles the border of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Nameri National Park covers an area of over 200 sq. km. with the River Jia Bhoreli flowing across the National Park along with its tributaries Diji, Doigurung and Dikorai.

The quiet flowing Jia Bhoreli river to the mosaics of different forest types support diverse life forms at the Nameri National Park from the Golden Mahseers to the Indian Tigers – the Apex predator of Nameri National Park. So far more than 30 mammalian species have been recorded at Nameri and some of the prominent species are Asian Elephants, Gaurs, Sambars, Barking Deer, Leopard, Clouded Leopards and Wild Dogs. The rich and diverse birdlife of Nameri National Park includes over 384 species including the endangered White Winged Wood Duck, Ibisbill, Great Wreathed and Rufous Necked Hornbills, White Cheeked Partridge, Oriental Lobby, Pallas, Grey Headed and Lesser Fish Eagles and many more.

Nameri National Park is also a Tiger Reserve and was declared as a Tiger Reserve in 2000 and is the Second Tiger Reserve in Assam after Manas National Park. The Nameri Tiger Reserve is situated on the Northern part of the Sonitpur district in Assam and along the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas of Arunachal Pradesh sharing a common interstate boundary with the Pakke Tiger Reserve of Arunachal Pradesh. Nameri Tiger Reserve has been carved out of the Naduar Reserve Forest, Balipara Reserve Forest and the Sonai Rupai Wildlife Sanctuary. The Nameri Tiger Reserve includes Nameri National Park core area of 200 sq km, Sonai Rupai Satellite Core Wildlife Sanctuary of 120 sq km along with the Eastern and Western Buffers of 144 sq km. Nameri Tiger Reserve is a part of the Sonitpur Elephant Reserve and harbors rare assemblage of sympathetic carnivores, avains, amphibians and reptilian life which is supported by vegetation composition ranging from riverine grasslands towards flood plains of Assam Valley to the evergreen forests at the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas.

History of Nameri National Park ~

  • Nameri was declared as a Reserve Forest in 1978
  • Nameri Forest Reserve was declared as the Nameri Wildlife Sanctuary in 1985
  • 1995- Nameri Wildlife Sanctuary started gaining importance with the sighting of White Winged Wood Duck species
  • Nameri Wildlife Sanctuary was declared as the Nameri National Park in 1998
  • 1998 – Declaration as a National Park paved way for many surveys at the Nameri National Park leading to the sighting of Tigers and Elephants
  • Nameri National Park was declared as a Tiger Reserve in 2000

Salient Features of Nameri National Park ~

  • A total of 36 species including 7 wild cats (Tiger, Leopard, Clouded Leopard, Jungle Cat, Golden Cat, Marbled Cat and Leopard Cat), 5 Ungulates (Sambar, Gaur, Barking Deer, Hog Deer and Wild Boar) and other species have been recorded at the Nameri National Park
  • Results of 3 year monitoring confirms that Nameri Tiger Reserve is a low density tiger reserve with tiger density varying from 1.3 to 1.5 tigers / 100 sq km (under ML approach)
  • A study documented probably the first photographic proof of tiger dispersal between Kaziranga Tiger Reserve and Nameri Tiger Reserve. During the 2nd study (2012-13), a male tiger was captured in Nameri Tiger Reserve and it was confirmed by the Kaziranga Tiger Reserve directorate that the same tiger was captured earlier in Kaziranga in 2011. Such dispersal events emphasize the need of active management of designated corridors
  • Given the prey biomass availability and prevalence of low density of tigers, there is a further scope of increasing the tiger density in this landscape and to achieve this, the protection status of both predators and prey base needs to be enhanced by consolidating the strong protection measures and management initiatives
  • In the last few years here has been significant improvement of the protection status and habitat quality of the tiger reserve as indicated by the breeding of tigers in Nameri tiger reserve. During a third study, a tigress with two cubs was captured in one of the camera traps and this is probably one of the first photographic evidence about breeding tigers in the Nameri Tiger Reserve
  • Among the carnivores, the trapping success was high for Large Indian Civet followed by Tiger. Lower trapping success was recorded in case of golden cat, wild dog, clouded leopard and small civet. Within cervids, barking deer registered higher trap success rate followed by sambar and hog deer
  • Tigers displayed mostly nocturnal activity pattern whereas leopard was having cathemeral activity pattern. The prey species at Nameri National Park changed their activity patterns in response to predation pressure exerted by the top carnivores. In the 2nd study (2012-13), barking deer, hog deer displayed mostly diurnal activity pattern while sambar and gaur activity was cathemeral in nature. In the 3rd study, species like gaur, sambar changed their activity from cathemeral to mostly nocturnal category while barking deer and wild boar changed their activity pattern from diurnal to cathemeral category
  • As per occupancy analysis, among major prey species, sambar had higher occupancy rates followed by barking deer and hog deer
  • Conservation of obligate grassland species like hog deer is very much dependant on riverine grasslands of Nameri Tiger Reserve. An analysis of satellite data for the period 1973-2011 indicates a decline of nearly 50% of grasslands  due to factors like wood land encroachment and riverbank erosion. High priority needs to be given for restoration of remaining grasslands of Nameri Tiger Reserve to prevent hog deer from becoming locally extinct

Flora of Nameri National Park ~

Nameri National Park is home to a wide variety of trees, shrubs and orchids. The dense forests of Nameri National Park harbors a wide floral diversity. Some of the species of flora found at Nameri National Park are Dysoxylum procerum, Endospermum chinense, Lagerstroemia flos-reginae, Litsea sebifera, Mesua ferrea, Morus roxburghii, Premna bengalensis, Pseudostachyum polymorphisms, Pterospermum acerifolium, Sapium baccatum, Shorea assamica, Sterculia hamiltonii, Syzygium cumini, Terminalia citrina, Terminalia myriocarpa, Trewia nudiflora, Vatica lanceifolia, etc.

Fauna and Avifauna at Nameri National Park ~

Nameri National Park fauna includes numeros species of mammals namely the Indian Elephant, Tiger, Leopard, Clouded Leopard, Fishing Cat, Marbled Cat, Golden Cat, Jungle Cat, Sloth Bear, Himalayan Black Bear, Indian Bison, Wild Dogs (Dhole), Sambar, Barking Deer, Hog Deer, Hispid Hare, Indian Hare, Capped Langur, Assamese Macaque, Rhesus Macaque, Hog Badger, Himalayan Crestless Porcupine, Chinese Pangolin, Otters, Himalayan Yellow Throated Marten, Malayan Giant Squirrel, Flying Squirrel and Wild Boar among others.

Reptiles include Reticulated Python, Burmese Python, Indian Cobra, King Cobra, Banded Krait, Pit Viper, Common Blind Snake, Flying Snake, Common Monitor Lizard and Water Monitor Lizard among others. Many endangered and endemic turtle species are found in Nameri, the most noticeable among them being the Tricarinate Hill Turtle, Indian Eyed Turtle, Malayan Box Turtle, Peacock Softshell Turtle, Assam Roofed Turtle, Indian Roofed Turtle, etc.

Birds – Nameri National Park is a bird watcher’s paradise with over 300 species of birds. The white winged wood duck, great pied hornbill, wreathed hornbill,rufous necked hornbill, black stork, ibis bill, blue-bearded bee-eaters, babblers, plovers and many other birds make Nameri its home.

Click here to see the list of Birds at Nameri

Climate of Nameri National Park ~

Climate is the most important environmental element that determines the accessibility and seasonality of ecotourism destinations like Nameri. Nameri National Park being a part of the Brahmaputra valley enjoys a sub-tropical monsoon climate with mild and partly dry winter and a warm humid summer. The climate of this part of Assam is characterised by a wet summer, the warmest temperatures being experienced during the influence of the south west monsoon season along with abundant rains, and a highly humid atmosphere throughout the year. Winter, summer or pre-monsoon, monsoon and retreating monsoon are the distinct seasons experienced here in a year. The Jia-Bhoreli basin shows an increasing trend in mean annual rainfall from south to north with almost uniform trend along east-west stretches of the area. The monthly average temperature during winter season at Nameri National Park usually remains above 10 degrees. Rains with thunderstorms start from March to May indicating the onset of the pre-monsoon season. The period is characterized by a rapid rise of temperature and has a monthly average of 26 degrees. With the onset of monsoon in early June, heavy rainfall occurs and the rising temperature, the monthly average temperature being 30 degrees. The cold season is from December to February. The southwest monsoon season is from June to about the beginning of October. October and November constitute the post-monsoon season.

Broadly the climate of the Nameri National Park can be divided into three seasons. These are summer season from March to May, Rainy season from June to October and winter season from November to February. The summer season is hot. In winter season cold is experienced due to snow fall in higher ridges of Arunachal Pradesh situated on the north of the Nameri National Park.

Location and How to Reach Nameri National Park ~

Nameri National Park is located at a distance of approximately 240 kilometers from the city of Guwahati in Assam (5 hours by road). The coordinates of the park range from  latitudes 26°0′ N and 26°37′ N, and longitudes 93°0′ E to 93°25′ E within the Sonitpur district of Assam. The park is approximately 20 kilometers in length from east to west, and 10 kilometers in breadth from north to south covering a total area of about 200 square kilometers.

The best option to reach Kaziranga National Park is to arrive at Guwahati Airport/Railway Station and drive to the National Park. We arrange your transport from the Airport to the National Park with an experienced local who will guide you with the important facts of the region during the journey.

Activities at Nameri National Park ~

1| Jungle Trekking

2| River Rafting

3| Birdwatching

Resorts, Hotels and Cottages at Nameri National Park ~

1| Eco Camp Nameri

2| Camp Lalimou Nameri

3| Jia Bhoreli Wild Resort Nameri

4| Nameri Jungle Camp

5| N Palky Camp Nameri

6| Wild Mahseer Heritage Tea Bungalow Balipara Nameri

To plan your visit to Nameri National Park in Assam please fill the form below ~

Geography of Nameri National Park ~

Geographically, Nameri is one of the most beautiful National Parks in India which is very sparsely populated and is surrounded by rich dense vegetation and a varied animal life. Nameri unlike Kaziranga National Park is not frequented by many tourists and hence this National Park has been able to stay away from much of tourist activity that head led to its having an unadulterated landscape filled with rich vegetation and water bodies. Nameri National Park is almost 90% covered with vast forests and woodlands that a amounts to almost 180 sq km of the total area of the National Park. The river Jia Bhoreli along with its tributaries which form the western boundary of the Nameri National Park covers the other 10% of the Nameri National Park along with the various grasslands of the National Park.

The Jia Bhoreli river flowing across the Nameri National Park is a vital part of the flora, fauna and avifauna here at it brings along with it the much needed vital nutrients and water source needed for the survival of the animal and plant life at Nameri. The Jia Bhoreli river originates in the Himalayas and traverses a total distance of 247 km to finally merge with the Brahmaputra river near Tezpur after flowing throughout the area of Nameri. Jia Bhoreli along with its ten tributaries are the natural water available for the wildlife of Nameri National Park and form sufficient for them to survive even during the dry winter months.

Dense forest comprising of evergreen and deciduous forests are the core of the jungles of Nameri National Park along with bamboo and cane tree growths here. In addition, Nameri National Park is also home to a wide variety of orchid species of Assam. Spreading across the plains of northern Assam and extending up to the Eastern Himalayas is the State of Arunachal Pradesh, Nameri National Park has a varied topography which is characterized by evergreen forests, undulating mountains, perennial streams and the calm Jia Bhoreli river. The streams and rivers flowing across the National Park mostly originate in Arunachal Pradesh and continue to flow down to finally meet the mighty Brahmaputra river near Bhomoraguri Hill near Tezpur at the Sonitpur district in Assam. The area around the Nameri National Park is mostly plain with the occasional hillocks and spurs. Along with this, there are huge deposits of alluvium and sandstones across the northern parts of the park. Along the eastern and western area of the National Park, there are huge deposits of alluvium and sandstones across the northern parts of the Park. Along the eastern and western area of the National Park there are deposits of boulders, pebbles, shale, slate, cobbles of quartz and other minerals and alluvial deposits.

Management Paraphernalia – Nameri National Park and Tiger Reserve

Vision Statement – Conserving the biodiversity with special emphasis on Tiger, a keystone species of Nameri National Park and Tiger Reserve and adjoining landscape, for posterity through science based management interventions, sustainable ecotourism and eco development initiatives and by facilitating stakeholder participation.

Management goals of Nameri National Park

  • Management of contiguous habitats of Nameri – Pakke landscape for sustaining the optimum density of carnivores and herbivores
  • Creating partnerships with local communities and other stakeholders through eco development activities at the park
  • Creating favorable working atmosphere for the field staff through capacity building in various aspects of wildlife management
  • Promoting sustainable ecotourism through development of smart facilities for visitors
  • Promoting interdisciplinary research of understanding complex ecological interactions and biodiversity documentation.

Management Objectives of Nameri National Park

  • Maintaining the population of top predators like tiger, co-predators and associated prey base at optimum density levels
  • Enhancing the quality of existing grasslands through science based interventions
  • Improve the overall protection status by controlling illegal activities like poaching, fishing, tree felling, etc.
  • Promote conservation education and create awareness amongst the stake holders
  • Maintain the existing infrastructure of the park in good condition
  • Enhance the visitor experience by creating appropriate visitor facities
  • Facilitate participation of local communities through eco development based livelihood initiatives

SWOT Analysis of Nameri National Park and Tiger Reserve

Strengths

  • Good number of anti-poaching camps exist at strategic locations
  • Fairly rich diversity of carnivores and herbivores
  • PA has natural barriers during monsoon season
  • Expertise available for independent monitoring of wildlife
  • Use of Elephants for patrolling difficult areas
  • PA is also a part of Sonitpur Elephant Reserve
  • Good wireless connectivity between anti-poaching camps

Weaknesses

  • Staff strength is inadequate
  • Poor connectivity between camps during monsoons
  • Lack of extensive patrolling paths
  • Aging field staff and low level of motivation
  • Difficult and inaccessible terrain for strategic patrolling
  • Lack of timely and adequate fund flow

Opportunities

  • Greater role for conservation of endangered bird species
  • Scope to enhance visitor experience
  • Scope for greater participation of stakeholders
  • To emerge as popular birding destination
  • PA as an important source population for top carnovores
  • Building capacity of other PAs in wildlife monitoring techniques
  • Improve living conditions and work satisfaction fo field staff

Threats

  • Complete loss of forest cover in the buffer areas
  • Tribals with hunting tradition inhabit the fringe areas of PA
  • Pressure on natural resource of PA for illegal exploitation
  • Inadequate and erratic funding
  • Difficult to gather intelligence because of law and order issues

Nameri National Park is home to many rare and endangered Butterfly species, such as Birdwing, Crimson Rose, Indian Map, Mormons, Mime, etc. Apart from this the Park is home to many species of Amphibians and Invertebrates.

Nameri National Park has a rich and varied Bird diversity that includes 384 species recorded so far of which 8 species are globally threatened (White-Winged Wood Duck, Rufous Necked Hornbill, Pallas Fish Eagle, White Rumped Vulture, Slender Billed Vulture, Greater Spotted Eagle, Lesser Adjutant Stork, Jerdon’s’ Babbler) and five species of nearly threatened category (White-Cheeked Partridge, Black Bellied Tern, White ailed Eagle, Lesser Fish Eagle and Red Headed Vulture)

River Jia-Bhoreli and its Tributaries harbor varieties of fish species the most noticeable of which being the Golden Mahseer. Among invertebrates, eighty species of butterflies and moths have been posted so far at the Nameri National Park and Tiger Reserve.