The Nandhaur area is the sub-landscape flanked by River Gola in the west and River Sharda in the east and intersected by River Nandhaur which flows east to west in the northern area and then turn south to cut the landscape into two before disappearing in the tarai area. Though there are many rivers in this landscape, but Nandhaur is the most significant among them and also is the only one which is perennial with substantial water.
It also has large swathes of undisturbed forests which have virtually no habitation. It is a critical link for the wildlife populations to move across the Tarai Arc Landscape and therefore makes Nandhaur landscape declared as a wildlife sanctuary.
The majority of Nandhaur landscape lies in Haldwani Forest Division, whose five ranges namely Chakata, Nandhaur, Jaulasal, Danda and Sharda cover about 600 sq. km. area. In the north-eastern side, the Dogadi range of Champawat Forest Division forms an important part of this landscape andis flanked by the forests of of Kilpura, South Jaulasal and Ransali ranges of Tarai East Forest Division.
The core of the Nandhaur WLS lies in parts of all ranges of Haldwani Forest Division and Dogadi range of Champawat Forest Division. The peripheral areas of the above ranges and the ranges of Tarai East Forest Division in the southern boundary provide an extension to the usage of forests by the animals and are very important for maintaining the connectivity of the forests with the other areas to the east and west.
The Nandhaur WLS houses a very healthy population of Asian elephants, leopards and sloth bears. It is also home to tigers but the population is low with a great potential of rebound. The total area of the Nandhaur landscape is around 850 sq. kms. which makes the area practically viable for sustaining a thriving population of variety of mega-fauna.
In 14th December, 2012 it become the Nandhaur Wildlife Sanctuary. Due to expansion of Tiger in Corbett and its continuous movement towards Nandhaur WLS, Government is planning to declared it as 3rd Tiger Reserve of Uttarakhand state. Presently it covers 269.95 square km area.
Biodiversity of Nandhaur Wildlife Sanctuary
The Nandhaur Wildlife Sanctuary is very rich area in terms of biodiversity. The area has more than 100 species of trees, 30 species of shrubs and 20 species of climbers and grasses. The area also has 27 different forest types and sub-typeswhen classified according to the Champion and Seth forest classification. The area is predominately Sal forest covering about 70% of its area. Besides this, it also has Shisham, Bamboo, Teak, Chir Pine a nd riverine forest. Since the area lie in bhabhar belt, it is relatively dry and the composition of forest is affected by that. However, the Nandhaur river valley has water throughout the year and the best of the forests in the landscape are present along the river.
The area is also home to about 25 species of mammals, 250 species of birds, 15 species of reptiles and 20 species of fishes. The major charismatic species of the area are Tiger, Leopard, Elephant, Sloth Bear, Mahaseer and Great Pied Hornbill. There have been constant threats to the area in terms of usage pressure, illegal poaching which can be curtailed by declaring the area as a wildlife sanctuary.
In an effort to document the biodiversity of the area, camera trapping was done in various ranges and some important species captured using camera traps have been listed below.