Anthony Marr




Part 2b

What must be


at all cost


Tiger Reserve



Kanha National Park is within 6 hours by road of Bandhavgarh National Park, both in Madhya Pradesh,

India's "Tiger State".  Unlike Bandhavgarh, Kanha has a

Core Area and a Buffer Zone.  In the Buffer Zone,

which surrounds the Core Area, are 178 villages, about

20 of which being transplanted from the Core Area

when the park was first created.  Both the human and

cattle populations in the Buffer zone are about 100,000.


Both the Core Area and the Buffer Zone of Kanha

National Park are about 1,000 sq. km. in size.  By the

 formula of about one tiger per 10 sq. km., the tiger

population estimate is about 100.  Kanha has a rich

ecosystem.  Kanha's vegetation is extra diverse

because of the various biomes related to Kanha's

altitude variations.  No matter what part of the year one

visits the park, there are always some plants in bloom.


Other than thick vegetation in

certain Kanha biomes, there are

others with wide open meadows

and watering holes.  The chital ,

the main prey species of tiger,

leopard and wild dog, has an

estimated population of 10,000. 


Kanha is the physical

setting of Rudyard Kipling's

The Jungle Book.  Kipling

lived here for years to

write it.  At the Kisli

Gate of Kanha, there is

a tourist lodge called

Kipling Camp still. 

The prominent British

conservationist Belinda

Wright also live here to

make her documentary

Land of  the Tiger and

research and expose 

poaching at a time

when it was denied.


 Termite mounds in ex-paddy-field turned meadow.

Victorian biologists called an insect society a "Super-Organism"


The fabulous Flame of the Forest tree

not only burns brightly in the park,

but lines highways for miles at a stretch.


The spectacular and critically endangered

Barasinga deer was the species that Kanha

was originally created to protect, when there

was one single population in the world with

only some 35 individuals.  Today, that

population has increased to about 350.  But

were the Kanha tigers wiped out, the park

would be gone, together with the Barasinga.


One of the 150 or so park guards each living in an

insolated mud hut inside the park.  He is the tiger's front

line protector.  But unlike his North American counterpart, he

has no 4WD, nor firearms for arresting  poachers or even

self-defense, nor radio to ask for help if needed.  All he has is

a pencil and a notebook, at best a rickety one-speed bicycle

or walkie-talkie.  He can observe, record and report, but

cannot intervene.  He needs our help to help him help the tiger.