Sitabani Wildlife Reserve
Sitabani Wildlife Reserve falls in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand and has geographical and ecological characeristics of the Sub-Himalayan belt. It comprises an entire hill of the Kumaon Himalayas and is flanked on three sides with dense Sal forest connecting it to the famous Jim Corbett National Park. To the north, it is connected to the Oak and Rhododendron Himalayan mountain forests of Nainital forest division and the western boundary is etched by a sub-tributary of the Kosi river. Broadleaved deciduous forest, riverine vegetation, scrubland, grassland along with gorges and ravines form a varied topography inhabited by rare wildlife. The reserve gets above 600 species of resident and migrating birds throughout the year. Being a part of the trans-Himalayan birding corridor, the reserve gets both plain and mountain birds during latitudinal and altitudinal migration patterns. Some Himalayan animal species like Himalayan Black Bear, Himalayan weasel, Yellow-throated Pine Marten, Himalayan Goral and Serow also visit the reserve especially during the winter months. Indian leopards in this reserve inhabit the craggy cliffs and gorges to avoid interaction with the dominant predator, the Royal-Bengal Tiger which prefers the thickly forested valleys and lowlands. Herds of Asiatic Elephants often pass through the bamboo plantations of this nature reserve when migrating between the core and buffer areas of Jim Corbett National Park. Altitudinal and geographical variations and diverse flora combined with direct connectivity with Jim Corbett National Park on one side and the Nainital Forest Division on the other makes this reserve a natural tiger-leopard and birding corridor of strategic conservation value.