Wild animals are an integral part of life on the earth. They form various food chains in the ecosystem, with tigers and lions at the top of the echelon. These dumb denizens of forests along with others like deer, bear, rhinoceros, wild boar and a range of other animals are responsible for maintaining the ecological balance of Nature.
With the falling efficiency for normal preying, a tiger may turn man-eater and warrants to be killed by man. Jim Corbett, an able shot had to kill a number of such man eaters. He has described his experience in a book titled “The Man-eater of Kumaoon”. This one time able hunter and a naturalist, Jim Corbett turned to be a conservationist of tiger. Named after him is the Corbett Nation Park, the erstwhile Hailey National Park.
The Corbett National Park situated along the banks of river Ramganga is situated in the foothills of Himalayas in Uttarakhand. Due to its wide area of coverage, it spreads over two major districts namely Pauri Garhwal and Nainital district. Within the trek land of Paltidun some of the other trailing parts are spread over Kalagarh and Ramnagar forest divisions.
The Corbett National Park comprises of scattered even plane valleys encompassed by hilly crests magnificently bounded by prolific grasslands provide natural habitation to a wide range of wild life that attracts attention of nature lovers and bird watchers.
Preservation of wild life, particularly tiger, has become a global concern. The Indian Wildlife Board launced a national scheme called ‘Project Tiger’ for ensuring total protection to the tiger population. Seven special reserves in India were selected for this purpose, keeping in view the aesthetic, ecological, cultural, economic and scientific significance. Corbett National Park is one of these seven tiger reserves.
Apart from Tiger, Corbett National Park is the home to many other endangered beasts of prey like Gharial and Mugger in the sun sands. Some varieties of Turtles and Tortoises share their presence along the banks of the river Ramganga. Other carnivores include the Leopard, Bear, Fox and Hog and their prey like sambar, deer, Cheetal, spotted Deer and muntjac.
Corbett National Park is home to nearly 300 species of rare home and migratory birds of which bird watchers and ornithologists find special interest in ducks, Snipes, Egrets, Spotted Eagle, Woodpecker, darter, Thrushes etc.
Being a rich shelter for species, Corbett National Park is prolific in grasslands, atypical sky touching trees, shrubs, trees and meadows. The Park is abundantly scattered with trees like Bamboo, the rich expensive rare Sal, Green Shisham and the Chaurs giving the forest a rich gloomy reddish pale finish. Chir Pine is the only coniferous tree is found here. Rising above highlands are Oak trees adding to its spectacle.
Though suitable to visit throughout the year the Corbett National Park remains close in the monsoon from June to October since during this period the animals and habitats of the Park move to higher altitudes and areas and due to recurring rain and indefinite weather conditions the area becomes inaccessible. Corbett National Park is the most ideal tourist destination exhibiting perfect maintenance of predator-prey relationship that is the Law of the nature.