Bandipur National Park, established in 1973 as a tiger reserve under Project Tiger, is a national park located in the south Indian state of Karnataka. It was once a private hunting reserve for the Maharaja of the Kingdom of Mysore. Bandipur is known for its wildlife and has many types of biomes, but dry deciduous forest is dominant. The park spans an area of 874 square kilometers (337 sq mt), protecting several species of India's endangered wildlife. Together with the adjoining Nagarhole National Park (643 sq km (248 sq mt)), Mudumalai National Park (320 sq km (120 sq mt)) and Wynad Wildlife Sanctuary (344 sq km (133 sq mt)), it is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve totaling 2,183 sq km (843 sq mt) making it the largest protected area in southern India.
Bandipur is located in Gundlupet taluq of Chamarajanagar district. It is about 80 kilometers (50 mt) from the city of Mysore on the route to a major tourist destination of Ooty. As a result, Bandipur sees a lot of tourist traffic and there are a lot of wildlife fatalities caused by speeding vehicles that are reported each year. There is a ban on traffic from the hours of dusk to dawn to help bring down deaths of wildlife.
The Maharaja of the Kingdom of Mysore created a sanctuary of 90 sq km (35 sq mt) in 1931 and named it the Venugopala Wildlife Park. The Bandipur Tiger Reserve was established under Project Tiger in 1973 by adding nearly 800 sqkm (310 sq mt) to the Venugopala Wildlife park.
Biology And Ecology:
Flora: Bandipur supports a wide range of timber trees including: Teak (Tectona grandis), Rosewood (Dalbergia latifolia), Sandalwood, Indian-laurel (Terminalia tomentosa), Indian Kino Tree (Pterocarpus marsupium), giant clumping bamboo (Dendrocalamus strictus), clumping bamboo (Bambusa arundinacea) and Grewia tiliaefolia. There are also several notable flowering and fruiting trees and shrubs including: Kadam tree (Adina cordifolia), Indian gooseberry (Emblica officinalis), Crape-myrtle (Lagerstroemia lanceolata), axlewood (Anogeissus latifolia), Black Myrobalan (Terminalia chebula), Schleichera trijuga, Odina wodiar, Flame of the Forest (Butea monosperma), Golden Shower Tree (Cassia fistula), satinwood (Chloroxylon swietenia), Black Cutch (Acacia catechu).
Fauna: Bandipur has supports a good population of endangered and vulnerable species like Indian elephants, gaurs, tigers, sloth bears, muggers, Indian rock pythons, four-horned antelopes and dholes.
Mammals: The commonly seen mammals along the public access roads in the park include chital, gray langurs, Indian giant squirrels and elephants. A list of medium to large-sized mammals in the park is given in the following census table published in 1997 are Tiger, Leopard, Indian Elephant, Gaur, Dhole, Chital, Sambar, Sloth Bear, Four-horned Antelope, Gray Langur, Wild Boar, Muntjac.
Birds: Peafowl are among the most commonly seen birds in Bandipur along with grey junglefowl, crows and drongos. Bandipur is home to over 200 species of birds including honey buzzards, red-headed vultures, Indian vultures, flowerpeckers, hoopoes, Indian rollers, brown fish owls, crested serpent eagles and changeable hawk-eagles.