Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary
Falling under two dictrcits of Lower Assam under BTC (Bodoland Territorial Council) Dhubri and Kokrajhar, and covering approximately 45.568 sq. kms (4556.8 hectares) Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary famous for the Golden Langur and is the second protected habitat for Golden Langur in India. Located in a panoramic location surrounded by green hills and two lakes on either side, Chakrashila Hill was first declared as reserve forest in 1966 and on July 14, 1994 it was recognized with the status of sanctuary by the Government of Assam. It is around 6 km from Kokrajhar town, 68 km from Dhubri town and 219 km from Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati.
The Sanctuary is a safe haven for huge varieties of animals, which are on the verge of extinction. It is famous for the Golden Langur (Presbytis Geei), found only along the Indo-Bhutan border in Assam and is the second protected habitat for Golden Langur in India. It was in the year 1986 when the members of Natures Beckon, an environmental activist group in North East India, first discovered Golden Langur in Chakrashila. It is surrounded by hills. The lower hilly reaches are covered with Sal coppice regeneration while middle and upper reaches are covered with mixed deciduous forests and there are two lakes on either side of the Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary. These are Dheer & Deeplai. A place for both local & migratory birds, these two lakes contribute a lot towards enriching the biodiversity of the Snctuary. Many different mammals, birds, twenty three species of reptiles, more than forty butterfly species are found in this sanctuary.
Climatic condition of Chakrashila falls under tropical moist category. Annual average rainfall varies between minimum 2000 mm to 4000 mm maximum. Temperature is maximum 30 degree in summer and 8 degree in winter. Highest rainfall occurs during the month of July & August. Relative humidity is very high with an average of 86% in summer.
The main aim behind declaring this forest as a sanctuary was to conserve this endangered species & to secure their habitat. Other than Golden Langur, another 30 species of mammals are recorded in this sanctuary including Leopard, Leopard Cat, Rhesus Macaque, Chinese Pangolin, Porcupine, Barking Deer, Sambar, Asiatic Jackal, Bengal Fox etc. Other than mammals, 23 species of reptiles & amphibians including snakes, monitor lizards, turtle & frogs are also found here. More than 40 species of butterflies & 60 different species of insects are also found in Chakrashila wildlife sanctuary.
There are more than 250 species of birds in Chakrashila, some of which are listed as endangered in IUCN Red Data List. The adjacent two lakes Dheer & Deeplai also contributes a lot & become an integral part of the rich bird diversity of the sanctuary. Some of the important & commonly seen bird species are Little Cormorant, Darter, Little Egret, Intermediate Egret, Large Egret, Shag, Pond Heron, Night Heron, Open Billed Stork, Greater Adjutant Stork, Lesser Adjutant Stork, Lesser Whistling Teal, Cotton Teal, different species Owl , Hornbill, Green Pigeon, Green Imperial Pigeon, Kingfisher, Dove, Barbets, Drongoes, Sunbirds, Shrikes, Minivets, Magpie Robin, Tailor birds etc.
The forest type of Chakrashila is mostly semi-evergreen forest. Sal tree (Shorea robusta) is a dominant tree in this forest. In upper area, mixed deciduous forest are also seen. Other prominent tree species include Sal ( Sorrea robusta), himolu ( bombax cieba) ,Amari (Amoora wallichi), Bhumura(Terminalia belerica), Bandardima (Dysoxylum procerum), hilikha ( Terminalia chebuja), poma(Cedrela toona), bogiopoma (Chikrasia tablaris), Jamuk( Syzygium cuminni), Kadam ( Anthocephalus cadamba), Moj(albizzia lucida), Udal(Sterculia villosa), outenga(Dillenia indica), Paroli( sterosperwum personatum), gomari(Gmelina arborea), Bhatghila( oroxylum indicum), Bonsum(Phoebe goalparens). Grasslands are also an integral part of this forest.
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