Biodiversity refers to the variety of life forms at all
levels of organization, from gene through species to higher
taxonomic forms and also includes the variety of ecosystems
and habitats as well the processes occurring therein.
Biodiversity is fundamental to the fulfillment of human
needs - a biodiversity rich region offers wide options and
opportunities for sustaining human welfare including
adoption to changes.
India is one of the 17 Megabiodiverse countries in the world
and accounts for 7-8 % of the recorded species. The State of
Assam is a constituent unit of the Eastern Himalayan
Biodiversity Region; one of the two biodiversity “Hot Spots”
in the country .The climatic condition and wide variety in
physical features witnessed in Assam have resulted in a
diversity of ecological habitats such as forests, grasslands
,wetlands, which harbour and sustain wide ranging floral and
faunal species placing
The word “Assam” has its origin in the Sanskrit Word “Asom”
meaning unparalleled or peerless. Indeed Assam is
unparalleled as nature has been uniquely generous in
endowing the State with such bounties that Assam is part of
one of the 25 mega diverse region on planet earth.
In his book “Red River and Blue Hills” eminent scholar Hem
Barua has written, “to many outsides Assam is no more than a
land of mountains and malaria, earthquake and floods and the
Kamakhya Temple. To others, it is a green woodland where
slothful serpents, insidious tigers, wild virulent eyes and
clams. Assam to most of the people is mentally a distant
horizon like Bolivia or Peru – less known and more fancied”.
However, today, Assam is not only more fancied, but also
known for its ecological diversity, for the range of floral
and faunal species and for the conservation successes
achieved. Kaziranga, Manas, Pobitora, Orang, Dibru-Saikhowa
are names recognized world over and bring laurels to the
people of this magnificent State.
The climatic conditions cause prevalence of not and highly
humid weather in this part of country and coupled with
heterogenic physiography make possible luxuriant growth of a
number of plant communities imparting Assam a distinct
identity phytogeographically, many a species are endemic to
this region and it is also the center of origin for
commercially important plants including Banana, Citrus,
Mango, Zizyphus, and Tea. The array of floristic richness
has prompted many a scholars to describe Assam as the
“Biological Gateway” of North East. The eminent Plant
Taxonomist and Plant Geographer Armen L. Takhtajan observed,
“Cradle of flowering plants lies in between Assam and Fiji”.
Diverse Plant Communities :
In the “Revised Survey of Forest Types in India”, Champion
and Seth categorized as many as fifty one different forest
types/ sub types for this region. But, the species diversity
is so spectacular that it becomes often difficult to clearly
identify separate riche to existing plant formations.
However, broadly speaking the forest in Assam can be
described into following types/ sub types.
- Tropical Wet Evergreen Forests.
- Tropical Semi Evergreen Forests.
- Tropical Moist Deciduous Forests.
- Sub-tropical Broadleaf Hill Forests.
- Sub-tropical Pine Forests.
- Littoral and Swamp Forests.
- Grassland and Savannahs.
Tropical Wet Evergreen Forests are found in the districts of
Golaghat, Jorhat, Sibsagar, Tinsukia, Dibrugarh and in a
narrow stretch in Lakhimpur and Dhemaji districts along foot
hills. These forests also occur in the southern part of the
State at lower elevations in Borail Range, and in Loharbund,
Sonai, Longai and Dholia Reserve Forests in Cachar and
Hollong (Dipterocarpus macrocarpus), the tallest tree of
Assam and also the “State Tree” is the most predominant
constituent of these forests. The associated species are
Borpat, Jutuli ,Sam, Dewa sam, Nahar , Teeta chap, Bhelu,
Forests in Southern Assam have, however, Dipterocarpus
terbinatus(Garjan) in association with Mesua ferrea ( Nahar),
Mesua floribunda ( Bolong)), Michelia glabra (Champ),
Palaquium polyanthum (Kathalua) etc
One witness luxuriant growth of epiphytes and trees with
fissured bark support magnificent ornamental orchids of
Assam. Lianas, vines and climbers are plentiful twining
round trees in middle canopy. Almost all the tree ferns of
Assam growing majestically in these forests present a treat
to the eyes. The undergrowth is dense with both low shrubs
and herbs occupying the space. Canes, palms and bamboos grow
along edges of forests.
Tropical Semi Evergreen Forests occur mostly in Hallangapar,
Abhoypur, Dilli, Dhansiri, Kholahat, Mayong, Garbhanga, Rani,
Mahamaya, Guma, Haltugaon, Kachugaon, Gali, Pobha, Ranga,
Kakoi, Nauduar, Batasipur, Dohalia, Singla, Longai, Bhuban
Pahar, Sonai, Barak and Inner Line Reserve Forests along
Northern and Southern parts of the State.
These forests have mostly medium size trees with few large
trees. Shrubs, lianas, climbers, orchids and ferns grow
copiously. At the fringe bamboos and canes occupy the space.
Species association and frequency of their occurrence vary
from forest to forest, but the ones commonly found are
Actinodaphne obovata (Petarichawa), Aesculus species (Ramanbih),
Artocarpus chama(Sam), Albizia species(Siris, Sau, Koroi),
Anthocephalus chinensis (Kadam), Duabanga grandiflora (Khakan),
Castonopsis species (Hingori, Dhobahingori,
Kanchan),Dillenia indica (Ou-tenga), Bauhinia purpurea (
Kanchan), Lagerstroemia species( Jarul, Ajar,Sidha),
Magnolia species(Phulsopa, Gahorisopa, Pansopa, Kharikasopa,
Kathalsopa, Duleesopa),Mallotus species( Sinduri, Joral,
Dudhloti, Buritokan), Michelia champaca(Teeta campa),
Syzygium species( Paharijam, Mokrajam, Berjamu, Kolajamu,
Bogijamu, golapjamu). Schima wallichii (Bolem,Ghugra),
Terminalia species, ( Hilikha, Bohera, Bhomora), Trewia
nudiflora( Bhelkor), Hatipolia, Holok etc.
Moist Deciduous Forests can further be described as Sal
Forests and Mixed Deciduous Forests. Sal Forests occupy
considerable forest area in the Central and Lower parts of
the State in the Districts of Nagaon, Morigaon, Kamrup,
parts of Nalbari and Barpeta, Darrang, Dhubri, Kokrajhar and
In these forests, Sal grows in association with
Lagerstroemia species( Jarul, Ajar), Schima Wallichii(
Ghugra), Stereospermum personatum (Paruli), Adina cordifolia
(Haldu), Artocarpus species ( Sam), Ficus species( Bor,
Dimoru, Dhupbor, Bot, Athabor, tengabor, Lotadioru,
Khongaldimoru), Bischofia javanica (Uriam), Gmelina arborea
(Gomari), Michelia champaca(Teeta champa), Terminalia
species (Hilikha, Bhomora, Bohera). Toona ciliate (Poma)
Moist Deciduous Mixed Forests occur at the foot of hills in
Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Karbi-Angong and N. C. Hills districts.
Trees are mostly deciduous with Sprinkling of few evergreen
and semi-evergreen species. Important plant species growing
in these forests include Adina cordifolia9 Haldu), Albizia
species(Siris, Kolasiris, Koroi, Sau) Alstonia
scholaris(Satiana), Artocarpus chama (Sam), Careya arborea(
Kumbhi), Dalbergia species(Sissoo, Medelua), Ficus species (Bot,
Bor, Dimoru), Lagerstroemia species (Jarul, Ajar), Mallotu
species (Senduri, Joral, Dudhloti) etc.
These forest harbour rich diversity of shrubby and
herbaceous ground vegetation. Some of the Reserve Forests
also have teak plantations.
Bordering Moist Deciduous Forests in rain shadow areas are
found forests which has been referred to as “Dry Forests” by
Kanjilal. This type of forests are encountered in the
Lumding, Langting, Mailongdisa Reserve Forests. A typical
example is the Umananda Island in the middle of Brahmaputra
North of Guwahati. Important species include, Aegle
marmelos(Bel), Albizia species(Siris), Cassia fistula(Sonaru),
Bombax (Simul), Alstonia scholaris(Satiana), Ficus
species(Bor), Litsea species( Loban, Bagnola, Mezankori,
Honwalu,Digloti) Melia azedarach( Neem), Moringa
oleifera(Sajana), Orosylum indicum(Bhatgila), Mallotus
species(Senduri), Terminalia species(Hilikha,Bhomora) etc.
Sub-tropical Broad Leaf Hills forests and Sub-tropical Pine
forests occur in the districts of Karbi-Anglong and N. C.
Hills. Species commonly occurring are Alseodaphne
petiolaris(Ban-hanwalu), Antidesma bunius, Betula alnoides,
Cleidon speciflorum etc. Higher up pure stands of Pinus
kesiya(Khasi-pine) are found particularly in the Hamren
sub-division in Karbi-Anglong district.
Grass land and Savannahs are grass dominated biomes and form
the major part of vegetation in Kaziranga National Park,
Pobitora, Orang, Sonai-Rupai, Laokhowa, Barnadi, Burachapori,
Dibru-Saikhowa Wildlife Sanctuaries and some part in Manas
National Park. Grasslands support important wildlife
population in Assam. Important grasses are Apluda mutica,
Phragmatis karka, Sclerostachya fusca, Saccharum species
etc. These species grow gregariously at the onset of monsoon
and grow even upto 6 meters tall.
Littoral and Swamp forests have almost lost their identity
because of biotic pressure on land. Presently sedges and
grasses form the largest component of vegetation. Important
species include Ageratum conyzoides, Alocasia species,
Alpinia species., Amaranthus species., Bacopa species.,
Blumea species., Bombax species., Crotolaria species. etc.
The Species Rainbow:
Because of its physiography, edaphic conditions and a
conducive climatic as well as a number of protected areas,
Assam boasts of profuse diversity of floristic elements.
Altogether 4273 species of vascular plants have been
recorded in Assam which constitutes 25.12% of total
floristic wealth of India. The table below gives an account
of various groups of vascular plants.
of the plant group
In Assam plants belonging to family Poaceae with 303 species
form the largest group of vascular plants. Herbaceous plants
make 47.83% of the flora followed by trees (19.97%),
shrubs(19.67%) and climbers(12.53%)
Fern and Fern Allies with 315 and 40 species respectively in
Assam represent 25.45% and 35.84% of Indian Pteridophytes.
The important species are Psilotum nudum, Huperzia
phlegmaria, Huperzia squarrosa and Royal Ferns e.g. Osmunda
regalis, Osmunda japonica and Osmunda claytoniana and
majestic tree ferns like Angiopteris assamica, Angiopteris
erecta, Alsophilia species etc.
Assam has 23 species of Gymnosperms and include Cycas
pectinata, Podocarpaus neriifolia, P. Wallichianus, Pinus
kesia) and Genetum gnemon with three varities and G.
montanum. These species have restricted distribution but
represent plants of high economic importance as source of
timber, pulpwood, resins and turpentine and their seed as
source of food and medicine and leaves as vegetables.
Angiosperms form the largest category of plants in Assam
with 3895 species. Assam has also 154 species of primitive
Angiosperms better known as “Living fossils” belonging to
family Magnoliaceae (19 species), Schizandraceae (1
species), Annonaceae (45 species), Myristicaceae (7
species), Chloranthaceae (2 species) and Lauraceae (80
species). Outside Assam only one “Living Fossils” species
have been recorded from Bomdi- La in Arunachal Pradesh.
The important species are Magnolia species., Pachylarnax
pleiocarpa, Fissistigma species., Alseodaphne species.,
Cinnamomum species., Litsea species., Michelia species. etc.
Plants belonging to this category are the most economically
important plants of Assam and meet the demand for timber,
plywood, pulpwood, furniture, agricultural implements.
Leaves of Litsea monopetala, L. cubeba etc. are used for
The orchids of Assam:
In Assam as many as 293 species of Orchids are reported
which represent 44.39% of North.East species and 24.42% of
species occurring in India.
Orchids as a group of flowering plants exhibit wide range of
habits and have specific macro climatic requirements for
their growth, development and regeneration. Assam orchids
show all the habits and growth forms found in Orchidaceous
taxa. Mostly they are epiphytes. Goodyera procera and
Spiranthis sinesis are adapted to aquatic habitant whereas
Vanilla pilifera and Galeola altissima are climbers.
Orchids grow to their magnificent best in the Evergreen and
Semi- Evergreen forest and to some extent in Moist Deciduous
Species belonging to genera Acanthephippium, Anoectochilus,
Apostasia, Agrostophyllum, Coelogyne, Cymbidium, Dendrobium,
Eria, Oberonia,, Calanthe, Eulophia, Geodorum, Habenaria,
Malaxis, Nephelaphyllum, Vanilla, Zeuxine, Didymoplexis,
Galeola, Bulbophyllum, Camarotis are the commonly found
Bamboos in Assam:
Bamboos have gained considerable importance in the
socio-economic life of people in Assam for the variety of
uses they cater to.
Altogether 38 naturally growing species of bamboo are
recorded in Assam of which Bamboosa masrtersei is restricted
in distribution to Dibrugarh district. Bamboosa cacharensis,
Dinochlora compactiflora, D.india are restricted to Barak
Valley. Chimnobabusa griffithiana and Oxetenanthera
parviflora are restricted in distribution to N.C.Hills.
Bambusa rangaensis grows wild in the Ranga R.F. of Lakhimpur
district. Bamboosua vulgaris is the introduced species
cultivated throughout Assam as ornamental plant.
Bambusa jaintiana and Melocanna arundiana are the species
reported only from Assam.
There are no exclusive bamboo forest in the plains of Assam,
bamboo grooves are found mostly along the edge of Reserve
Forests. But pure bamboo forests occur in N.C Hills and
Karbi Anglong districts predominated with Melocanna
baccifera and Chimnobambusa griffithiana.
Bamboo is cultivated widely in Assam and every household
grows bamboo in its bari land. Commonly cultivated species
are Bambusa balcooa (Bhaluka bamboo), Bambusa tulda (Jati
bamboo), Malocanna bacciferra (Muli bamboo), Dendrocalamus
hamiltonii (Koko bamboo) and Dendrocalamus giganteus (Mokalm
14 species of cane grow in cane brakes in forests of Assam.
Calamus flagellum, Calamus floribunadus, Calamus latifolius
are found widely distributed throughout Assam.. Plectomia
assamica and Plectomia bractealis are endemic species.
Medicinal Plant diversity:
Assam is home to a good number of plants having medicinal
uses in Aurvedic, Unani, Homeopathic and even modern medical
practices. Quite a few of them are used by traditional
village practitioners called Bej and people respond
favourably to these traditional practitioners particularly
in rural areas. Altogether, 952 plants species have been
identified which have uses in medical practices in some form
or other. Asparagus racemosa (Satmul), Curcuma aromatica
(Ban-haldi), Emblica officinalis (bel), Terminalia species (Hilikha,
Bahera), Eugenia jambolana(Loha-jam),Garcina species (Thekera),
Holarrhina antidysentrica (Dudhkuri), Hydnocarpus kurzii (Chalmugra),
Litsea cubeba (Mejankuri), Ocimum species.(Tulsi),
Phlogocanthus thyrsiflorus (Titaphul), Piper longum (pipoli),
Saraca indica (Asoka), Wedelia calandulacea (Mahabhringraj),
Zinziber officinalis (Ada) are some of the most commonly
used plants in treatment of various aliments. But the list
is not exhaustive.
Wetlands and Aquatic Plant Diversity:
Assam has more fresh water wetlands then any other state in
the North Eastern Region. The two major drainage systems of
Assam-the Brahmaputra and the Barak and in the flood plains
of these river systems exist patches of marshy depressions
and swamps as well as perennial water bodies of varying
shape, size and depth called locally as beels, haors, jalah,
doloni, hola, pitoni etc. Man made tanks like Joysagar,
Sibsagar, Dighalipukhuri, Jorpukhuri, Hazarapukhuri, Rajhuwa
Borpukhuri etc. were also dug by ancient Rulers of Assam.
There are an estimated 3513 beels and hoars, 1,85,623 ponds
and tanks and one reservoir in Assam. Deepor beel near
Guwahati is a Ramsar site. Besides Deepor beel and some
others mentioned above wetlands of importantce are Chandubi,
Rata, Sohola, Taralipather, Phokolai, Mer, Sonbeel, Jamjing,
Sagunpara, Motapung, Sarlane, Sareswar, Roumari, Khalihamari,
Goranga, Sapekhati, Koladuar etc.
The aquatic plants species of Assam belongs to diverse
habits and have distinctive characteristics. More than 100
such aquatic species have been identified and they can be
described into following broad categories.
- Free floating hydrophytes: Eichhornia cressipes, Pistia
stratioles, Lemna mino etc.
- Suspended submersed hydrophytes: Ceratophyllum demersum,
Utricularia gibba etc.
- Anchored submerged hydrophytes: Hydrilla, Potomogeton,
- Anchored hydrophytes with floating leaves: Nelumbo, Euryle
- Anchored hydrophytes with floating shoots: Ludwigia,
- Emergent amphibious hydrophytes: Sagittaria, Scrirpus.
- Wetland hydrophytes: Cyperus, Hygrophylla etc.
Endemic flora are plants which occur in a restricted area.
Altogether 165 species of plants have been recorded which
are restricted in distribution to certain pockets in Assam,
though some of them show extended destruction in the N.E.
Region and elsewhere in India. However about 100 such
species have distribution restricted to Assam only. These
include trees e.g. Accacia gageana, Adiantum assamicum,
Alseodaphne andersonii, Alseodaphane khasyana, Angiopteris
assamica, Cedrela fabrifuga, Cinnamomum cacharensis,
Coelogyne assamica, Combretum wallichii, Dinochloa indica,
Diospyros cacharensis, Dipterocarpus mannii, Eugenia
cyanophylla, bamboos e.g. Bambusa cacharensis, Bambusa
mastersii, Chimnobambusa griffitheana, orchids e.g.
Bulbophyllum elassonotum, Bulbophyllum vireus, Dendrobium
Rare and Endangered Species:
From all available account following categories of
threatened plants recognized by the IUCN have been reported
Extinct: Bambusa mastersii, Cleisostoma arietinum, Cyperus
corymbosus, Dendrobium assamicum, Dendrobium aurantiacum,
Hetaeria anomala, Liparis stachyurus and Sapria himalayana.
Paphiopedilum specerianum is reported to be extinct in wild.
Besides the above; 284 species of plants are observed to be
critically endangered, 149 species as endangered, 58 species
as vulnerable, 13 species as near threatened.
The Rich Faunal diversity
Assam is part of the transitional zone between the Indian,
Indo- Malayan and Indo- Chinese Biographical regions.
Favourable climate, topographic and edaphic factors support
luxuriant growth of diverse plant communities and create
varied habitats. The Wet Evergreen, Semi-Evergreen, Moist
Deciduous, Wet Savannah and riparian forest as well as
extensive network of river systems and swamps , marshes and
wetlands provide ideal conditions and suitable habitat for
sustenance of wide variety of fauna be it mammals, primates,
reptiles, amphibians, fishes, mollusks , birds, butterflies,
moths etc. With existence of one of the most diverse faunal
population; Assam provides the gateway for spread of both
oriental and Palaearctic fauna to other parts of the
Mammalian diversity :
Assam forms the western most boundary for the Indo-Chinese
species including primates and the easternmost limit of
several peninsular mammalian fauna. The distributional
extent of several Indian species including clawless otter,
the spotted deer, the swamp deer, the stone marlin, the
hispid hare, the great Indian one horned rhinoceros, the
pigmy hog etc. have terminated in Assam plains. The
distributional range of several Indo-Chinese fauna gets its
sustenance from this region. Mention can be made of its
sustenance from this region. Mention can be made of such
species like clouded leopard, the marbled cat, the golden
cat, the spotted linsang, the large Indian civet, the
binturong, the crab eating mongoose, the ferret badger, the
hog badger, the hoary bamboo rat, the bay bamboo rat etc
.Assam is home to all the primate species found in the North
Eastern region. Besides, many of the relict mammalian fauna
of peninsular India particularly those occurring in the
Western Ghats have close relationship with Assam and N.E
region and therefore undoubtedly Assam holds a key place in
the evolutionary process of divergence of mammalian fauna in
Assam’s mammalian diversity is represented by 193 species
which are widely distributed in this region. But of late
some of the species like one horned rhinoceros, water
buffalo, pigmy hog, swamp deer, golden langur, hoolock
gibbon have their distribution limited to isolated pockets
and protected areas.
Out of 15 Indian primate species 9 are found in Assam.
Hoolock gibbon is the only ape found in India. The other
primate species are golden langur, capped monkey, rhesus
macaque, pigtail macaque, stump tailed macaque, Assamese
macaque, and slow Lorries. Golden langur or “Sonali Bandar”
as it is known locally is confined between Sankosh river in
the west; Manas in the east; Brhmaputra in the south and
mountains in Bhutan in the north. Pigtail macaque and
stumped tailed macaque locally known as Gahorinejia Bandar
and “ Senduiria Bandar” respectively are distributed in the
Eastern, central and southern part of the state. Rhesus
macaque, capped monkey and Assamese macaque are more or less
distributed through the State. Assamese macaque and Rhesus
monkeys are also found in villages and in urban areas.
Most of the primates are predominately arborcal in nature
but Rhesus monkey, Assamese macaque and stump tailed macaque
are partly terrestrial also.
Slow Lorries is the only prosimian found in Assam and the
N.E. region. Locally known as “Lajuki Bandar” they are
solitary animals and obligate canopy dwellers..
Because of the habitant loss and fragmentation the primates
are facing serious threat to their survival.
Assam is one of the “endemic bird areas” in the world. With
950 bird species the State is home to 53.5% of the bird
species found in the Indian Sub- Continent, 17 species of
birds are endemic to Assam and include Manipur Bush Quail,
Marsh Babbler, Snowy throated Babbler, Tawny breasted Wren
Babbler, Blyth’s Tragopan, Beautiful Sibia, Grey sibia,
Black breasted Parrotbill, Chestrunt breasted partridge,
Rusty breasted shortwig etc. 45 species of birds from Assam
find mention in the Indian Red Data Book and include white
winged wood duck, Blyth’s Tragopan, Greater Adjutant, lesser
Adjutant, Leser whitefronted Goose, Merbled Teal, Beer’s
Pochard, Palla’s Sea Eagle, Greater spotted Eagle, Green
Peafowl, White rumped vulture, longbilled vulture etc.
Assam’s varied physiography and habitant conditions support
a rich variety of reptilian population. Gangetic gharial, 19
species of tortoises and 77 species of snakes and lizards
are found in the state.
Assam and other parts of the N.E. region have 70 species of
Amphibions reported from the region.. Gangenophis fulleri
and Ichthyphis garoensis are endemic to Assam.
The Brahmaputra and Barak river system along with their
tributaries and flood plain wetlands locally known as beels
provide very condusive habitant for an array of fish
species, Assam and other parts of N.E. region is recognized
as one of the hot spots of fresh water fish biodiversity.
197 food, sports and ornamental fish species are reported
from the region of which 185 are reported from Assam. The
important ornamental fish species are colisa, Nemacheilus,
Danio, Botia and Chaca. Commercially important fish species
include, Rohu, Ktla, Pabha,Pabda Chital, Magur, Singi, Sol,
etc. Over exploitation is posing serious threats to fish
diversity and 25 species are identified as threatened.
The river systems and extensive flood plains also harbour
fresh water mollusks. So far 39 species of freshwater snails
have been reported from Assam of which 10 species are used
These are amongst most beautiful creatures on earth. Around
1500 species of butterflies are reported from India of which
nearly half are reported from Assam and N.E. India. The
Swallowtail butterflies occupy an important place and the
IUCN has identified the entire N.E. Region as Swallowtail
rich zone under “Swallowtail Conservation Action Plan”.
Butterflies play an important role in pollination of plants
and besides being important aesthetically they play
important role in biodiversity conservation.
Diversity of Moths:
Moths are also beautiful creatures and in Assam about 387
species of moths are reported. Most of the moth species are
distributed throughout the State .
The protected Areas Network in Assam:
The Protected area Network in Assam occupies 3925-sq. km.
area and constitute about 5 % of the State’s geographical
area. The PAN includes 5 National Parks and 17 Wildlife
sanctuaries as well as 3 proposed Wildlife Sanctuaries, 3
Tiger Reserves, 5 Elephant Reserves, 2 Biosphere Reserves
and 2 World Natural Heritage Sites and they play very
important role in in-situ conservation of biodiversity.
Kaziranga National Park needs no introduction and is
virtually home to great Indian one horned rhinoceros.
Besides, wild buffaloes, swamp deer, hog deer, sambar,
elephant, tiger and leopard are also found in KNP. The
faunal population of KNP has 35 species of mammals, 42
species of fishes, and 254 species of birds including Bengal
florican. Kaziranga National Park in also a “World heritage
site” and a” Tiger reserve”.
Manas National Park is also a Biosphere Reserve and forms a
contiguous linear belt along the foot of Himalayas. The
floral diversity includes 543 plant species. The faunal
diversity is represented by 60 mammalian species, 42 species
of reptiles, 7 species of amphibians, 5 fish species, 103
invertebrate species and 327 species of birds. Translcation
of rhinos from Pobitora and Manas is being undertaken in
stages to reintroduce rhinos in Manas.
Dibru-Saikhowa Biosphere Reserve includes Dibru- Saikhowa
wild life Sanctuary and biogeographically exhibits the
properties of both the Indian and Malayan sub-regions. It
consists of a number of “ecotones” between floral
communities of riparian and grassland habitats as well as
deciduous forest and wet evergreen forest types. This
biosphere reserve is home to many important faunal species
including white wing wood duck, hoolock gibbon, wild
buffalo, several species of turtles, Gangetic dolphin,
golden mahaseer etc. The documented animal population
includes 3 species of amphibians, 22 species of reptiles, 25
species of birds, 25 species of mammals, 62 species of
fishes etc. This biosphere reserve is also home to a number
of feral horses.
Vulture conservation and breeding centre (Rani):
In view of the depletion of the global population of
vultures, the Govt. of Assam in collaboration with the BNHS,
Bombay has established a Vulture conservation & Breeding
centre at Rani. The objectives of the project is to have 50
pairs of Vultures for breeding with the ultimate goal to
release than in the wild.
Tiger Researve ( 3 Nos,):
(1) Manas T.R.---------- 65 tigers (Estimation 2000 ).
(2) Nameri T.R.--------- 26 tigers (Estimation 2000 ).
(3) Kaziranga T.R.------ 85 tigers (Estimation 2000 ).
Out of 25 Protected Areas (P.As) in Assam, Manas N.P.,
Nameri N.P, were notified as Project Tiger in 1973 and 1985
respectively. Recently in 2007, the Kaziranga N.P. was also
brought under the agencies of Project Tiger inclusive of
Laokhowa - Burachapori W.L.S complete. The Manas N.P has the
distinction of having the highest number of endangered
species which under went cruel unrest during the 1090s,
consequent of which the Manas N.P. was enlisted as World
Natural Heritage Site in Danger.