Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary is a small Sanctuary with semi-evergreen forests and evergreen patches amidst tea gardens and human settlements. It is an isolated protected area of evergreen forest. The sanctuary had been carved out of the then Hollongapar Reserve Forest named after the dominant tree species – the Holong.
Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary Location:
Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Jorhat district of Assam. Set aside as a “Reserve Forest” (RF) on 27 August 1881, it was named after its dominant tree species, Hollong or Dipterocarpus macrocarpus. The sanctuary officially extends to the Dissoi Valley Reserve Forest, Dissoi Reserve Forest, and Tiru Hill Reserve Forest, which are used as dispersal areas for Indian elephants (Elephas maximus indicus) and other animals. Three extensive tea gardens that belong to the estates of Dissoi, Kothalguri, and Hoolonguri span the distance between the Hoollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary and the nearest forests in Nagaland, the Dissoi Valley Reserve Forest.
History of Gibbon Wildlife sanctuary
Gibbon Wildlife sanctuary is houses Seven out of only 15 species of Apes in India. It was given the status of a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1997 by the Assam Government vide notification no. FRS 37/97/31 . Set aside initially in 1881, its forests used to extend to the foothills of the Patkai mountain range. Since then, the forest has been fragmented and surrounded by tea gardens and small villages. In the early 1900s, artificial regeneration was used to a develop well-stocked forest, resulting in the site’s rich biodiversity.
Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for
The Hoollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary contains India’s only gibbons – the hoolock gibbons, and Northeastern India’s only nocturnal primate – the Bengal slow loris. The upper canopy of the forest is dominated by the Hollong tree (Dipterocarpus macrocarpus), while the Nahar (Mesua ferrea) dominates the middle canopy. The lower canopy consists of evergreen shrubs and herbs. The habitat is threatened by illegal logging, encroachment of human settlements, and habitat fragmentation.
Hoollongapar Sanctuary contains India’s only ape family – the Hoolock Gibbon, numbering about 106. Other primates in the sanctuary include the Stump-tailed Macaque (Henduri Bandor in Assamese) which are some 233 in number, the Pig-tailed Macaque which are left with a population of 75 only, the Capped Langur with just 162, 174 Rhesus Macaques, and the Slow Loris (Lajuki Bandor) whose estimation is yet to be made.
Geography of Gibbon Sanctuary
The sanctuary officially extends to the Dissoi Valley Reserve Forest, Dissoi Reserve Forest, and Tiru Hill Reserve Forest, which are used as dispersal areas for Indian elephants (Elephas maximus indicus) and other animals. Three extensive tea gardens that belong to the estates of Dissoi, Kothalguri, and Hoolonguri span the distance between the Hoollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary and the nearest forests in Nagaland, the Dissoi Valley Reserve Forest. The tea gardens include Katonibari, Murmurai, Chenijan, Koliapani, Meleng, Kakojan, Dihavelleoguri, Dihingapar, Kothalguri, Dissoi and Hoolonguri. Neighboring villages include Madhupur, Lakhipur, Rampur, Fesual A (the western part), Fesual B (the eastern part), Katonibari, Pukhurai, Velleoguri, Afolamukh, and Kaliagaon.
Concern of Gibbon Sanctuary
The main concern in the reserve is that the habitat is being threatened by illegal trees felling encroachment by human settlements and habitat fragmentation. Collection of large quantities of leaves and grasses from the forest bed to feed cattle poses interferences.The tea gardens are used by elephants as a corridor to Nagaland, making them vulnerable to frequent poaching. Railway lines further divide the park, stranding a single group of gibbons in a small fragment of the sanctuary.
Animals found in Gibbon Sanctuary
This sanctuary is famous for its non- human primate diversity. Seven out of nine species of non human primates found in North Eastern India are found in this sanctuary.It includes Hoolock Gibbon,Capped Langur,Slow Loris,Rhesus Macaque, Assamese Macaque,Pigtailed Macaque & Stump tailed Macaque.Other mammals found in this sanctuary are _ Leopard, Leopard Cat, Jungle Cat, Chinese Pangolin, Wild Boar, Squirrel, Asian Elephant, Indian Fox,Civet Cat, Bats etc.Many different varieties of Lizard,Python, Cobra , Turtles are also found in this sanctuary.
Birds found in Gibbon Sanctuary
Due to the high density of primate population within this relatively small geographical area, the bird’s nest & their eggs are devoured by the primates of the sanctuary;hence the number of birds ae relatively less. Among the birds found in this sanctuary are__ Hornbill, Green Pigeaon, Owl,Woodpecker, Dove, Bulbul, Black headed Oriole, Drongo, Barbet, different species of Egrets etc.
Trees found in Gibbon Sanctuary
Different varieties of bamboo, cane, orchids, ferns are found in abundance along with the trees like Holong, Sashi, Holokh, Sam, kothal (Jack Fruit), Ajar, Titachopa,Seleng etc in the thik forests of Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary.
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