Protected Areas play a vital role in conservation and management of biodiversity. The newly formed state of Uttarakhand has a strong network of Protected Areas (PAs): One World Heritage Site (Nanda Devi); One Biosphere Reserve (Nanda Devi); One Tiger Reserve (Corbett); Six National Parks (Corbett, Rajaji, Nanda Devi, Valley of Flower, Gangotri, & Govind); Six Wildlife Sanctuaries (Kedarnath, Govind, Sonanadi, Binsar, Askot and Benog); Two Conserve Reserves (Asan reservoir & its environs and Jhilmil Jheel) and 14 Important Bird Areas (IBAs). The six National Parks and an equal number of Wildlife Sanctuaries together covering an area of 0.71 million ha constitutes 13.35% of the geographic area of the state.
Jhilmil CR is one of the India's first conservation reserves, situated on the left bank of river Ganges in Chidiyapur (Chiriyapur) Forest Range of Haridwar Forest Division, Uttarakhand. The area is one of the last remnants of Terai habitat, hence it is a very unique and species rich ecosystem which encompasses spectacular landscapes, tall grasslands, tropical moist deciduous forests and a wide range of biological diversity.
This reserve is the home of vulnerable Swamp Deer (Rucervus dvauceli), which is the flagship species of this reserve and was only recently discovered in Uttarakhand. To protect this flagship species, the area was recently declared as Conservation Reserve by the Government of Uttarakhand in 2005. It also has a tremendous potential to serve as an alternate home for Great Indian Rhinoceros in the future.
The Zoological Survey of India under its mandate has attempted to enumerate the faunal diversity of this conservation reserve during 2010-2011. The document reports 410 species belonging to nine animal groups, including 15 Globally Threatened species.
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