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The Nawegaon National Park extends over 13,388 ha, and lies in the southern parts of the Bhandara and Gondia districts of Maharashtra. Nawegaon Lake, which spreads over 1,100 ha, was formed by the impoundment of a stream at Itiadoh, which is 14 km away. The lake is fringed by low hills covered with forests. It was built by the Kohali community, about 300 years ago. The Gond Queen Durgawati invited some experts from Rajasthan to construct this lake. Subsequently, the lake was maintained by the Nizam of Hyderabad, Bhosale Kings and then the British. The natural vegetation conforms to the “Southern Tropical Dry Deciduous Mixed Forests” as classified by Champion and Seth (1968). The forest is composed of 40 species of trees, 16 species of shrubs and 44 species of herbs (Ilorkar and Khatri 2003). The dominant vegetation includes Terminalia tomentosa, Pterocarpus marsupium, Anogeissus latifolia, Lagerstroemia parviflora, Butea monosperma, Diospyros melanoxylon Bombax ceiba, Cassia fistula and Adina cordifolia. Bamboo Dendrocalamus strictus forms a dense undergrowth and teak Tectona grandis is interspersed with the other trees.
AVIFAUNA: 209 species of birds are listed in the checklist of the Forest Department (Misra, undated), including some doubtful records such as the Greater Adjutant Leptoptilos dubius and the Crimsonbacked or Small Sunbird Nectarinia minima. A good scientific report of birds of this area is lacking. Although 35 species of ducks, waders and storks are found, none of them exist in adequate numbers to reach the 1% biogeographical population threshold of Wetlands International (2002). As the lake is quite deep, it is not very attractive to waterfowl, and the number of those found does not satisfy A4iii criteria (>20,000 individuals). However, this site has typical representatives of the bird life of Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests of central India, and fits the A3 criteria. The checklist mentioned earlier includes 26 Biome-11 (Indo-Malayan Tropical Dry Zone) species in this IBA. The area is notable as both Red Junglefowl Gallus gallus and Grey Junglefowl Gallus sonneratii occur (Chitampalli 1977). This site is also the southernmost limit of distribution of the Sarus crane Grus antigone.
OTHER KEY FAUNA: This IBA has all the large mammals that can be expected in any good protected forest of central India, such as the Tiger Panthera tigris, Leopard P. pardus, Wild Dog Cuon alpinus, Hyena Hyaena hyaena, Wolf Canis lupus, Sambar Cervus unicolor, Gaur Bos frontalis, Barking Deer Muntiacus muntjak, Four-horned Antelope Tetracerus quadricornis, Sloth Bear Melursus ursinus, Chinkara Gazella bennettii, Chital Axis axis, and Nilgai Boselaphus tragocamelus. Not much is known about the reptiles, amphibians and fish fauna.
Key contributors: Girish Jathar, Deepak Apte and Kishor Rithe.
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Navegaon National Park. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/05/2022.