Nagzira Navegaon Tiger Reserve

The Nagzira-Navegaon Tiger Reserve is a miraculously preserved “Green Oasis” in the eastern most part of the Maharashtra State and has a great importance from bio-diversity conservation point of view.

This newly declared tiger reserve is locked in the arms of nature and adorned with picturesque landscapes, luxuriant vegetation and serves as living outdoor museum to explore and appreciate nature.

This reserve is indeed nature’s priceless asset and beckons one and all to enjoy its picturesque landscape, its scenic beauty and its pure and fresh air. It is really a boon to us and hence we must realise the real worth of this marvellous treasure house of nature and must protect it as a part of our national heritage.
It has got immense potentials from bio-diversity conservation point of view and its values are discussed below.

ECOLOGICAL OR ENVIRONMENTAL VALUES: It is an important conservation unit in Central India in general and Vidarbha in particular. It acts a “Green-lung” for the adjoining human settlements and helps in maintaining the environmental balance.

ZOOLOGICAL VALUES: It is home of many endangered species. The vertebrate fauna includes, besides a number of fishes, about 34 species of mammals, about 166 species of birds including migratory land and water birds, about 36 species of reptiles and about 4 species of amphibian. This reserve is notable for its wealth of birds and is indeed a bird watcher’s paradise. The zoological values of this reserve are briefly given below.

1) Invertebrates:
This reserve is the abode of, besides innumerable other insects and ants species, about 49 Butterfly species belonging to 9 families, the important species among them are Common Rose, Common Mormon, Lime Butterfly, Common Sailor, Common Indian Crow, Black Rajah etc.

2) Mammals:
Nearly 34 – species of mammal belonging to about 8 natural orders and 16 families are seen in this reserve, out of which about 14 species are of endangered status, namely Tiger, Leopard, Jungle Cat, Small Indian Civet, Palm Civet, wolf, Jackal, Sloth Bear, Ratel, Common Giant Flying Squirrel, Gaur, Four Horned Antelope, Mouse Deer, Pangolin.

3) Birds:
The avifauna of this reserve is its most attractive wildlife feature. Well over 166 species belonging to about 16 different orders and 47 families have been recorded here. Also as many as 15 species of migratory birds and about 42 species of local migrants are reported. One remarkable bird, “Bar-headed Goose” which is a winter migrant from Ladakh and Tibet inhabits Chorkhamara tank located adjoining the reserve. There are 13 bird species of endangered status including peafowl and the birds belonging to “Accipitridae” family.

4) Reptiles:
This reserve is the abode of about 36 species of reptiles belonging to 2 natural orders and 11 families out of which about 6 species are of endangered status namely Indian Rock Python, Dhaman, Indian Cobra, Russel’s Viper, Checkered Keelback and Common Monitor.

5) Amphibia:
This reserve is a home of many interesting varieties of frogs and toads like Tree-frog, Bull-frog, Six-toed frog, an uncommon toad; Ramanella montana etc.

6) Fishes:
The Nagzira lake and the other water-bodies in and around this reserve abound in many varieties of fresh water fishes.

One of the unique features of this reserve is the existence of diverse vegetation type ranging from dry mixed forests to moist forests. Its forests belong to the category of “Southern Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests” – 5A/C3 as per the revised classification of the forests by Champion and Seth. This reserve serves as a living repository of various economical, medicinal, aromatic, ornamental plant species. Nearly 200 tree species are seen in this reserve.

This reserve exhibits an amazing diversity of terrain and the altitude ranges from nearly 30 meters to about 560 meters above the mean sea level, which is the highest point of the reserve. The typical geological formations are Sakoli Series having number of formations comprising of phyllites, slates, chlorites etc. and Saucer Series. The rocks of the two groups appear to show difference in chemical composition of lime bearing rocks. The mineralogical difference is that the rocks of Saucer group commonly contain Felspar and Biolite but no chlorite whereas those of Sakoli group contain invariably chlorite, rarely Biolite and no Felspar. All this is coupled with a diversity of terrain having steep ridges, narrow valleys and deep gorges with varying altitude.

Other places of interest are Itiadoh Dam (65 km), Tibetan Camp at Gothangaon (60 km) and Pratapgad (70 km).

Visiting Timings:
October 1 - January 31 - Morning Safari 7 am to 10 am, Evening Safari 3:30 pm to 6 pm.
February 1 - June 15 -Morning Safari 7 am to 10 am, Evening Safari 3:30 pm to 6 pm.
June 16 - September 30 - Reserve Remains Closed Due to Heavy Rains.

Weather :
For most of the year, temperatures are moderate and pleasant.
The best time to visit is during April and May.

Getting there :
The nearest airport is Nagpur (122km).
The nearest bus stand is Sakoli, 22 km away.
Close by rail stations are Nagpur (122 km), Gondia (45 km) and Bhandara (75 km).