Forests of Nameri

The present day core of Nameri Tiger Reserve (NTR) was carved out of the Naduar Reserve Forest (RF), one of the oldest RF of Assam. The vegetation types observed in this RF were a mosaic of tropical evergreen, semi-evergreen, moist deciduous forests with cane brakes and narrow strips of riverine grasslands. Prior to the declaration of Nameri Wildlife Sanctuary, timber, cane, and other minor forest produce were extracted on a regular basis as per the working plan prescriptions for Naduar RF. Such extractions activities that opened up the dense forest were discontinued after the declaration of sanctuary.

As per the bio-geographic classification of India, the NTR falls under the Brahmaputra Vallye Biogeographic Province (9A) of Northeast Biogeographic Zone (9). The main forest types recorded inside the reserve are: Assam Valley Tropical Evergreen Forests, Sub Himalayan Light Alluvial Semi- Evergreen Forests, Eastern Alluvial Secondary Semi Evergreen Forests, Cane Brakes, Low Alluvial Savanna Woodland, Eastern Hollock Forests, Eastern Seasonal Swamp Forests, Eastern Dillenia Swamp Forests and Eastern Wet Alluvial Grassland. The vegetation type includes the riverine grasslands that are in various succesional stages to the evergreen and semi-evergreen forests.

Some of the key species of these forest types are: Mesua ferrea, Ailanthus grandis, Sloanea assamica, Michelia montana, Tetrameles nudiflora, Dysoxylum hamiltonii, Altingia excelsa, Sapium baccatum, Vatica lanceaefolia, Garcinia cowa, Strobilanthes asper, Combretum decandrum, Mucuna imbrecata, Vitis trifolia , Bischofia javanica, Duabanga grandiflora, Dillenia indica, Ailanthus grandis and Bombax ceiba.

Amongst the different vegetation types, tropical evergreen to moist deciduous forests dominate the PA area while the riverine grasslands comprise of less than 10% of the total area of the park. A study of vegetation changes pertaining to the period 1970 to 2011 indicates that after notification of PA by carving out area from Naduar RF, the density of forest cover is on the rise whereas the grassland extent is showing a declining trend during the same period owing to woodland encroachment through succession.

According to the Champion & Seth's classification the following forest types have been noticed in the core and buffer areas of NTR (Champion & Seth, 2005).

Forest types found in Nameri National Park, the core of NTR

Group

Forest Type

1B/C2(b)

Upper Assam Valley Tropical Evergreen Forest

2B/1S1

Sub-Himalayan Light Alluvial Semi-evergreen Forest

2B/2S1

Pioneer Euphorbiaceous Scrub

2B/2S2

Eastern Alluvium Secondary Semi-evergreen Forests

2/E1

Cane brakes

3/1S1

Low Alluvial Savannah Woodland

4D/SS5

Eastern Dillenia Swamp Forest
(a) Dillenia – Biscofia composition
(b) Dillenia – Mesua composition

Forest types in observed in the Eastern and Western buffer of NTR

Group

Forest Type

1B/C2(b)

Upper Assam Valley Tropical Evergreen Forest

2B/2S1

Pioneer Euphorbiaceous Scrub

2B/2S2

Eastern Alluvium Secondary Semi-evergreen Forests

3/C2d(iii)

Eastern Heavy Alluvium Plains Sal

3C3(b)

Low Alluvial Savannah Woodland

4D/SS5

Eastern Dillenia Swamp Forest
(a) Dillenia – Biscofia composition
(b) Dillenia – Mesua composition

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