Ranthambore National Park and Tiger Reserve

Site description (2004 baseline):

Site location and context
The Ranthambore National Park, at the junction of the Aravalli and the Vindhyachal Ranges, is a unique combination of natural and historical richness, standing out conspicuously in a vast arid and denuded tract of eastern Rajasthan. Ranthambore is c. 14 km from the town of Sawai Madhopur (Monga 2002). Inside the core area are a few natural ponds and depressions, notable among them being Man Sagar, Lahpur Pond, Milak Talao near Jogi Mahal and Galai Sagar near Khandar. Ranthambore ranges over a high undulating topography, from flat topped hills (Indala, Doodh-Bhat and Chiroli) to the conical hillocks and sharp ridges, from wide and flat valleys (Lahpur, Nalghati, Khachida, Anantpur) to narrow, rocky gorges (Sharma 2000). Inside the core area, there are remnants of the old villages like Anantpur, Chiroli, Kachida and Bherda in the north, Lakarda and Lahpur in the middle and Guda in the south. The ruins of the old buildings and the Shikargahs (hunting grounds) of the Maharajas of erstwhile Jaipur State still exist. Two protected areas, Kailadevi WLS and Sawai Mansingh WLS, are linked by narrow corridors to the core of Ranthambore NP and all these together comprise the Tiger Reserve. The terrain of Sawai Mansingh WLS is flat and rocky, and the Devpura irrigation dam in the Sanctuary is a useful source of water for wildlife and a good habitat for aquatic flora and fauna, especially for migratory water birds. The Kailadevi WLS is the northern extension of the Ranthambore NP in Karauli and Sawai Madhopur districts.The Sanctuary is bound to the west by the River Banas and to the south by the River Chambal. The forest cover is fairly sparse and spread out in the other parts. Main flora of the site are Anogeissus pendula mixed with Acacia catechu, Acacia leucoploea, Dichrostachys cinerea, Ficus religiosa, F. bengalensis, F. glomerata, Cassia fistula, Albizzia lebbeck and Diospyros melanoxylon.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: Ranthambore is world famous for its Tigers Panthera tigris, but not many people know that it has rich bird life as well. The Tropical Dry Deciduous Forest and wetlands support nearly 272 bird species (Chowdhary 2000). Sarus Crane Grus antigone, Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca, Oriental White-backed Vulture Gyps bengalensis, Long-billed Vulture Gyps indicus, Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus and Stoliczka’s Bushchat Saxicola macrorhyncha are among the threatened species found here. Many Near Threatened species are also found in the wetlands. The site qualifies as Biome-11 and harbours species of Indo-Malayan Tropical Dry Zone. BirdLife International (undated) has listed 59 species under Biome-11, out of which 33 have been seen in Ranthambore. It holds some of the best biome-restricted bird assemblages of the Tropical Dry Deciduous Forest in India. During winter, the wetland of Ranthambore hosts 30-40 Black Storks Ciconia nigra and is probably the best area in northwest India to see this species.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Ranthambore National Park is famous for Tiger. The other predators include Leopard P. pardus, Caracal Felis caracal, Ratel or Honey Badger Mellivora capensis, Jungle Cat Felis chaus, Sloth Bear Melursus ursinus, Wild Boar Sus scrofa, Golden Jackal Canis aureus, Hyena Hyaena hyaena and Common Fox Vulpes vulpes.

The herbivores comprise Chital Axis axis, Sambar Cervus unicolor, Bluebull Boselaphus tragocamelus, Chinkara Gazella bennettii and Common Langur Semnopithecus entellus.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
MAIN THREATS: Overgrazing; Fuel wood collection; Poaching; Tourism.

There are many villages along the periphery of the core area and the buffer zone. They put enormous pressure on the Park and the Sanctuary. Illegal grazing is a constant problem which the forest guards have to deal with, almost on a daily basis, at the boundaries of the Park. As the Park is easily accessible and made famous by visits of celebrities, there is also tremendous tourist pressure.

Key contributors: Valmik Thapar, Sunjoy Monga and G. V. Reddy.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Ranthambore National Park and Tiger Reserve. Downloaded from on 07/12/2023.