Kaziranga is a national park in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of the state of Assam, India. A World Heritage Site, the park hosts two-thirds of the world's Great One-horned Rhinoceroses. Kaziranga boasts the highest density of tigers amongprotected areas in the world and was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006. The park is home to large breeding populations of elephants, wild water buffalo, and swamp deer Kaziranga is recognized as an Important Bird Area by Birdlife International for conservation of avifaunal species. Compared to other protected areas in India, Kaziranga has achieved notable success inwildlife conservation. Located on the edge of the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot, the park combines high species diversity and visibility.
Kaziranga is a vast expanse of tall elephant grass, marshland, and dense tropical moist broadleaf forests, crisscrossed by four major rivers, including the Brahmaputra, and the park includes numerous small bodies of water. Kaziranga has been the theme of several books, songs, and documentaries. The park celebrated its centennial in 2005 after its establishment in 1905 as areserve forest.
The park is approximately 40 km (25 mi) in length from east to west, and 13 km (8 mi) in breadth from north to south. Kaziranga covers an area of 378 km2 (146 sq mi), with approximately 51.14 km2 (20 sq mi) lost to erosion in recent years. A total addition of 429 km2 (166 sq mi) along the present boundary of the park has been made and designated with separate national park status to provide extended habitat for increasing the population of wildlife or, as a corridor for safe movement of animals to Karbi Anglong Hills. Elevation ranges from 40 m (131 ft) to 80 m (262 ft) .The park area is circumscribed by the Brahmaputra River, which forms the northern and eastern boundaries, and the Mora Diphlu, which forms the southern boundary. Other notable rivers within the park are the Diphlu and Mora Dhansiri.
Four main types of vegetation
exist in this park. These are alluvial inundated grasslands, alluvial savanna woodlands, tropical moist mixed deciduous forests,
and tropical semi-evergreen
forests. Based on Landsat data for 1986, percent coverage by
vegetation is: tall grasses 41%, short grasses 11%, open jungle 29%, swamps 4%,
rivers and water bodies 8%, and sand 6%.
Kaziranga contains significant breeding populations of 35 mammalian species, of which 15 are threatened as per the IUCN Red List] The park has the distinction of being home to the world's largest population of the Great Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros (1,855), Wild Asiatic Water Buffalo (1,666) and Eastern Swamp Deer (468) Significant populations of large herbivores include elephants (1,940), gaur (30) and sambar (58). Small herbivores include the Indian Muntjac, wild boar, and hog deer. Kaziranga has the largest population of the Wild water buffalo anywhere accounting for about 57% of the world population