Protected Areas in News: Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary


  • Recently, the Assam government has decided to upgrade Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary into a National Park.

Back to Basics:

Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary

  • located within thelarger Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve, which spreads across the coal- and oil-rich districts of Upper Assam (Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts).
  • The Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary is also known as the Jeypore Rainforest.
  • Dehing is thename of the river that flows through this forest and Patkai is the hill at the foot of which the sanctuary lies.
  • The oldest refinery of Asia in Digboiand ‘open cast’ coal mining at Lido are located near the sanctuary.
  • It is famous forAssam Valley Tropical Wet Evergreen Forests bordering Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Rare fauna found in the region include Chinese pangolin, flying fox, wild pig, sambar, barking deer, gaur, serow and Malayan giant squirrels.
  • only sanctuary in India which is home toseven different species of wild cats – tiger, leopard, clouded leopard, leopard cat, golden cat, jungle cat and marbled cat.
  • Assamese macaque,a primate found in the forest, is in the red list of Near Threatened species.
  • highest concentration of the rare endangered White Winged Wood Duck.
  • Dehing Patkai is a deciduous rainforest interspersed with semi-evergreen and lush green flora.

Other National Parks in Assam

  • Kaziranga, Nameri, ManasDibru-Saikhowa and Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park.

About NP & WLS

As per our 1972 Wildlife Protection Act, we define a Sanctuary as:

  • “The State Government may by notification declare any area to be a sanctuary if it considers that area is of adequate ecological, faunal, floral, geomorphological, natural, or zoological significance for the purpose of protecting propagating or developing wildlife or its environment” and

A national park as

  • “whenever it appear to the State Government that an area, whether within the sanctuary or not is by reason or its ecological, faunal, floral, geomorphological, natural, or zoological association or importance, needed to be constituted as a National Park for the purpose of propagating or developing wildlife therein or its environment it may, by notification, declare its intention to constitute such area as a National Park”.


  • To visit national parks, official permission is to be taken from the requisite authorities, while no official permission is to be taken to visit a wildlife sanctuary.
  • The national parks have clearly marked boundaries (fixed by legislation), while Boundaries of wildlife sanctuaries are not sacrosanct.
  • Most of the national parks were initially wildlife sanctuaries, which were then upgraded to national parks, while a national park cannot be downgraded to a Wildlife

Similar to the Wildlife Sanctuaries, a National Park is defined by state government via notification. The state government can fix and alter boundaries of the National Parks with prior consultation and approval with National Board of Wildlife.

  • Central government can also declare a national park via a notification where the State Government leases or otherwise transfers any area under its control, not being an area within a Sanctuary, to the Central Government and the Central Government may, if it is satisfied that the conditions specified in 1972 Act are fulfilled in relation to the area so transferred to it, declare such area, by notification.
  • All kinds of destruction, exploitation and removal of Wildlife and any damage in the habitat of any animal is completely strictly prohibited inside a national park.
  • Under no circumstance grazing of cattle is permitted inside the national park.
  • No alterations of the boundaries of a national park shall be made except on a resolution passed by the legislature of the state If state govt want to close a sanctuary, just a gazette notification is enough but not the case with a National park.

Conservation reserves and community reserves in India

  • terms denoting protected areas of India which typically act as buffer zones to or connectors and migration corridors between established national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and reserved and protected forests of India.
  • Such areas are designated as conservation areas if they are uninhabited and completely owned by the Government of India but used for subsistence by communities, and community areas if part of the lands are privately owned.
  • Administration of such reserves would be through local people and local agencies like the gram panchayat, as in the case of communal forests.
  • Community reserves are the first instances of private land being accorded protection under the Indian legislature. It opens up the possibility of communally owned for-profit wildlife resorts, and also causes privately held areas under non-profit organizations like land trusts to be given protection.

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