Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary

by Aug 3, 2021Wildlife, Wildlife Sanctuary0 comments

Owing its name to Mehao Lake, located within the reserve, Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most popular wildlife places in Arunachal Pradesh. The sanctuary was established in 1980 and is home to many species of wild animals including the Bengal tiger, hoolock gibbon, leopard, and clouded leopard.

The sanctuary is gifted with virgin natural lush green forests and lakes. The sanctuary harbours some rare varieties of orchids.

Idu Mishmi Tribe and Adi Tribe are the major tribes that dominate the areas. Also, here one can find a good Nepali population.

History

The Mehao Lake is an accidental lake at a height of 1640 m of the Sanctuary, from which it derives its name as the Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary. It was created during the earthquake of 15 August 1950, and spans about 4 sq km.

The Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary was created on 1980 and recently it was proposed that some 55-odd sq km be de-notified.

Location and Geography

The sanctuary lies roughly between 93o 30‘ and 95o 45′ east longitudes and 28o 5′ and 28o 15′ north latitude and covers an area of 281.5 sq. km. The altitude varies from 400m to 3568m from Mean Sea Level (MSL).

Condusive climate, edaphic factors and the geographical location of the district give rise to luxurious vegetation rich in diversity.

Flora

The forest can be classified into four major types; tropical evergreen, sub-tropical and temperate forest, temperate broad leaved forest and temperate coniferous forest.

Major flora spotted in the Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary are:
Terminalia myriocarpa, Altingia excelsa, several Albizzia species, Duabanga grandiflora, Dillenia indica, Mesua ferrea, Phyllostachys bambusoides, Dendrocalamus giganteus and Bambusa pallida.

At the highest point of the sanctuary, one can spot medicinal plants like Mishmi Teeta (Coptis teeta).

Fauna

The Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary is home to around 60 species of mammals and several other animal species. Clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), marbled cat (Pardofelis marmorata), wild dog (Cuon alpinus), spotted linsang (Prionodon pardicolor), Himalayan Black Bear (Selenarctos thibetanus) and Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) are some of the prominent species found in the national park.

During the winter season, snow leopard (Uncia uncia) also appear.

Not to forget are bird species like Purple Woodpigeon (Columba punicea), Rufous-necked Hornbill (Aceros nipalensis), Blyth’s Tragopan (Tragopan blythii) and the rare and enigmatic Wedge-billed Wren-babbler (Sphenocichla humei).

The sanctuary is also rich in butterfly species. About 232 species of butterfly were identified.