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INDIA

INDIA;

AREA: 4,280,152 km2. The creation and administration of the national parks and reserves are under the respective states;

TOUR DESTINATIONS IN INDIA;

1. GIR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY (GUJARAT)- INDIA;

Establishment: 1965.   The Gir forest sanctuary is famous for being the only place where the Asiatic lion now exists. It is a race of the same species as the African lion  and was once found in most parts of western, northern, and central India.

About 1880 it become extinct in India except for the Kathiawar peninsula. Since 1884 the range of the Asiatic lion has shrunk to the Gir Forest alone, where the population was estimated at 285 lions, but in 1968 it had decreased to 162.

GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION: Kathiawar peninsula of western most India, 63km from Junagadh.

SIZE: 1,295km2

ACCESSIBILITY: By rail, sasan station, by road, Bombay- sasan road.

NEAREST AIRPORT: Keshod (56km from sasan, 11/2 hours flying time from Bombay

BEST VISITING: January-May

 

CLIMATE:

Annual rainfall of this lowland area;  about 635mm in monsoon months July-October;  Temperatures; April-July (800-1050F); December-February (550-850F)

FLORA:

A mosaic of teak woodlands and open thorn scrub among light stands of grass.   “Flame of the forest” trees are in full scarlet bloom January –February.

MAMMALS:

In addition to the Asiatic lion, the reserve contains three other powerful predators- the striped hyena, leopard, and sloth bear. There are several species of wild herbivores, on which the lions prefer to prey; the huge nilgai, four- horned antelope, Indian- gazelle (chinkara), sambar, spotted deer, and wild boar (the lion’s favorite food in Gir)

BIRDS:

Peafowl are numerous, as they are in all jungles in India. There are also tinier birds, such as sunbirds and other nectar-feeders.

 

2. CORBETT NATIONAL PARK (Uttar Pradesh)- INDIA;

Establishment: 1935. Probably the best place in India for seeing tigers. This is the first and principal nature reserve of India(formerly named Hailey National Park), now named as a tribute to the famous Jim Corbett whose writings have done so much to promote the preservation of the India fauna.

GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION:

Lower slopes of Himalayas and plains, 244km NE of New Delhi.

SIZE: 52,600ha.

ACCESSIBILITY:

By road from New Delhi; by rail to Ramnagar (47km from park), where jeep is available.

BEST VISITING: December-March.

TOPOGRAPHY:

The foot hills of the Himalayas and lowlands of the Indo-Gangetic plain give the park varied altitude (460-915m).  Precipitous gorges with great slabs of bare sandstone and vertical rock strata alternate with broad, flat valleys(duns) of old alluvial terraces. There are also cascading rivers, dark unfathomed forests pools, sun- sparkling swamps, open plains.

Main watercourse: the Rāmgangā River, which winds through the famous patti dun, a valley flanked by low hills.

CLIMATE:

The area is swept by monsoon winds with rains and moisture June- October when no human beings remain in the reserve, at that time completely cut off from the rest of the world. Roads do not usually open until mid—December. Hottest months, April-September (700-950F);  Coldest; December-January (300-350F)

FLORA:

Chief vegetation is deciduous Jungle; sal trees are everywhere, in April their leaves a mass of light green and yellow gold.

Rāmgangā Reserve is bordered by shim shem trees and bauhinias or orchid trees with pink or mauve flowers in April, by Kusumu trees with leaves of bright pale mahogany- and by spectacular flame of the forest trees with gorgeous scarlet flowers in bloom from mid- February until the end of March. Tall semal trees display crimson blossoms. In the moister thickets; drapenes of creepers and ferns and flourishing orchids.

MAMMALS;

Animals abundant, most of them representing the sub- Himalayan fauna. The Indian elephant, sambar, spotted deer (Chital),  hog deer, muntjac, goral, and wild boar are the grazers and browsers preyed upon by the tiger, the most important species of the park.

Other mammals; Leopard, jungle cat, striped hyena, Jackal, wild dog (dhole), sloth bear,  Himalayan black bear, otter, honey badger(ratel),  yellow- throated marten, mongoose, Langur, rhesus monkey, porcupine, flying squirrel,  and palm squirrel(two species).  Occasionally a serow wanders down from the higher elevations of the Himalayas.

BIRDS:

A few of the many that can be observed; red jungle fowl, black partridge, flycatchers,  drongos, babblers, bulbuls, orioles, chloropsis,  doves, kingfishers, hornbills, herons, kites, and eagles of various species.

OTHER VERTEBRATES:

Reptiles include two crocodiles, the gavial-and the marsh crocodile, called mugger in India. The Indian python is the largest snake. the mahseer and goonch are best-known fishes.

 

3. KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK (Assam)- INDIA;

Establishment: 1908. This park is perhaps India’s most interesting game reserve, chiefly as a refuge for the great Indian rhinoceros,  but there are also other mammals to be seen in these vast swamplands. From the park the snows of the eastern Himalayas, 176km away, can be seen on clear days in October.

GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION:

Sibsagar District, Assam, south of Brahma Putra River.

SIZE: 42,994ha.

ACCESSIBILITY: Between two airports; Gauhati (225km west), Jorhat (88km east); motor transport available

BEST VISITING: December-March.

 

 

TOPOGRAPHY:

The Brahmaputra River has created a wide valley between the Himalayas and the mountain ranges in the south and East.  On its southern bank the sanctuary covers an area of swamps in lowland country about 76m above sea level.

CLIMATE:

Rainy season coincides with hot weather; temperatures between 650 and 900F. Coolest months December-January have 450-750F)

FLORA:

Vegetation dominated by tall, dense “elephant grass”,  chiefly phragmites karna but also saccharum species. This “grass” can attain 6m, hence the need for elephant- back rides to observe animals over the tops. Many pools are thickly covered with water hyacinths, introduced from South America 50 years ago as an ornamental plant. Gallery forests of  acacias like “Koroi” (Albizzia proceral and the Indian silk-cotton tree surround the Brahmaputra and patch the swamp and valley slopes.

MAMMALS:

Elephant-back excursions usually take place in early morning, except in December-January when mornings are Misty and Indian rhinos are visited in the afternoon. Rhinos may be seen grazing or wallowing in the mud; they are un afraid and quite accustomed to tame elephants. Still widely distributed in the 19th century,  by 1900 there were only about a dozen rhinos left in Kaziranga. By 1971 with protection this number had grown to 400- more than half of the world population. Cattle egrets associated with the Indian rhinos make them visible at a long distance.

Swamp deer and long deer are often seen in herds of ten or 15.  Wild boar are common;  also sambar and muntjack (keeping to wooded areas).  Gaur occurs.

Sloth- bear, Himalayan black bear, tiger, and leopard are rather rare; luck is needed to see them. Other carnivores are jungle cat, large Indian civet, wild dog, jackal, mongoose, otter,  pangolin, porcupine, and hog- badger. Kaziranga is the last stronghold of the nearly exterminated pygmy hog (Sus salvanius).  Monkeys include rhesus and common langur.

BIRDS:

Occur in great variety.  One of the most interesting nesting birds is the pallas' fishing eagle. Numerous waterfowl, herons, and egrets are dispersed in pools and marshes. Also the adjutant stork and the smaller adjutant stork, the black- necked stork, the Indian darter, and a large breeding colony of the gray pelican. Other birds; the black bittern, the lesser florican and black partridge.

OTHER VERTEBRATES:

Reptiles include water monitor, Indian python, common cobra, and king cobra.

 

4. BANDIPUR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY (Mysore) AND MUDUMALAI WILDLIFE SANCTUARY (Madras)- INDIA;

Establishment: Bandipur wildlife sanctuary (1941), Mysore and Mudumalai wildlife sanctuary (1940),  Madras.

These contiguous reserves on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats lie in different states, separated by the moyar River, and form an ecological unit at the foot of the Nilgiri Hills. Both have a fauna typical of southern India. Bandipur is probably the best sanctuary in India for observing the gaur, a wonderful wild ox, largest of all bovines and more magnificent than the European and American bisons.

GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION: Southern India.

Bandipur Area: 5,698 ha.

ACCESSIBILITY: By Mysore- Catacamund road (Mysore, 130km; nearest airport; Bangalore, 160km).

BEST VISITING BOTH AREAS: April-May

Mudumalai Area: 32,116 ha.

CLIMATE:

Semi-arid because western Ghats and adjoining hill ranges too high to allow eastward passage of the southwest monsoon with its rains and moisture. Rainy season; June- October; Bandipur, 890mm, Mudumalai, 1422 millimeters.  Hottest months; April-June (700-950F); coldest; December- January (550-700F)

FLORA:

Deciduous forests, chiefly stunted teak, bamboo, sandalwood, and drought- resisting plants. At beginning of year, Bandipur jungle undergrowth is rather thin, favoring observation of a wealth of animals.

MAMMALS;

The two sanctuaries contain a wealth of animals. Predators; tiger, leopard, sloth-bear, civet cat, ruddy mongoose, wild dog (dhole), and striped hyena.

Other mammals; muntjac, samber, spotted deer (chital), mouse deer /chevrotain, gaur, Indian elephant, four- horned antelope, nilgiri tahr,  wild boar, gray Langur, bonnet macaque, malabar squirrel, and porcupine.

BIRDS:

A great variety of birds includes red spurfowl, several species of quail and partridge, gray jungle fowl, peafowl, green pigeon,  wood pigeon, malabar trogon, black- headed oriole, and malabar gray hornbill.

 

5. KANHA NATIONAL PARK (Madhya Pradesh)- INDIA;

Establishment: 1935. One of the best national parks in Indian for easy views of hoofed animals and scenic vistas. Kanha national park is chiefly a forest, but the many open woodlands and grassy plains provide opportunities to see the larger mammals. This national park covers the upper Banjar valley and was formerly called the Banjar valley Reserve.

GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION:

Central highlands of India, 55km SE of Mandla.

SIZE: 31,598 ha.

ACCESSIBILITY: by road from Jubbulpore, 96 km to the North, or from Nagpur 320 km to the south.

BEST VISITING : March-May.

TOPOGRAPHY:

The park lies within the undulating hills of the satupura range, the highlands separating the Deccan plateau and the Indo- Gangetic plain. Elevation varies; 533m in NW to 840m in SE. Grassy valleys (maidans) are interspersed with scattered wooded belts or islands. Many rivers and springs and some minor lakes.

CLIMATE:

Rainy season;  July- October (park closed August- October).  Annual rainfall; 1,525 millimeters;  Hottest months; May-July (750-1050F);  coldest; December- January (300-700F)

FLORA:

Forests mostly of the hardwood sal tree,  succeeded at higher altitudes by featherlike leaves of bamboo. The famous flame of the forests tree is seen here and there.

MAMMALS:

Hoofed animals are abundant; the gaur, spotted deer(chital), swamp deer (barasingha),  sambar, muntjack, mouse deer (chevrotain),  blackbuck, four- horned antelope, nilgai, and India gazelle.

Carnivores include tiger, leopard, wild dog (dhole), jackal, Bengal fox, striped hyena, and sloth-bear. The tiger is relatively common, but the Leopard and the dhole are rare. The reserve is famous for its swamp deer, a species peculiar to India and Nepal. Though elsewhere living in swampy areas, it frequents the monthly dry maidans of the kanha national park, where it can be seen in herds of 20-45 animals.

BIRDS:

A rich and varied birdlife with more than 90 species recorded includes jungle fowl, peafowl, quail, sandgrouse, green pigeon, blue rock pigeon, emerald dove, snipe, various ducks such as teal (Anas crecca) and the ruddy Sheldrake.

OTHER VERTEBRATES: Indian pythons occur in this national park.

TURKEY

TURKEY;

Area: 770,900 km2

 TOUR DESTINATIONS  IN TURKEY;

  1. LAKE MANYAS NATIONAL PARK( TURKEY);

Establishment: 1959. A bird paradise throughout the year, Lake Manyas is located on one of the migratory flyways from Africa to Europe or vice versa, but the lake is also an important breeding and wintering area. The national park lies along the northeastern shores of the lake.

GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION:

South of the Sea of Marmara, 20 km south of Bandirma.

•        SIZE: 52ha.

•        CLIMATE: Mediterranean; temperate and mild.

•        ACCESSIBILITY: By road

OF SPECIAL INTEREST: scientific research station;  small museum, Kus cenneti.

TOPOGRAPHY:

A flat area flooded every winter and spring. The lake (not deeper than 10m) is rich in suspended in organic matter and calcium carbonate, and plankton.

 FLORA:

Vegetation dominated by willow bushes and sallow trees. Vast reedbeds fringe- the shore line.

BIRDS:

The birdlife is spectacular. Willows,  sallows, and reeds provide nesting habitats for about 2,000 pairs of cormorants, for pygmy cormorants, egrets, gray and purple herons, night herons, little bitterns, spoonbills, glossy ibises, and Dalmatian pelicans, while white pelicans pass on migration to and from the Danuble Delta. Many other species breed there as well. The roosts are sometimes impressive when birds of 25 species gather in the same tree. Waders, coots, and ducks are numerous, particularly during the winter and the migration periods.

 

   2. ULU DAG NATIONAL PARK( TURKEY);

Establishment 1961. This national park offers beautiful views and a vertical series of forests and vegetation zones on Ulu Dag (“Mount Olympus”), rising like a great wall south east of Bursa.

GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION:

Northwestern Turkey,  SE of sea of Marmara, near Bursa.

•        SIZE: 27,300ha.

•        ACCESSIBILITY: By road from Bursa; telefe rique.

•        BEST VISITING: July and August;  winter months offer skiing.

 

•        GEOLOGY:

 

Ulu Dag (2,543m) is a product of great upheaval and twisting forces over long ages. It consists chiefly of granites and gneisses,  overlaid with layers of crystalline schists. There is a wolframite mine near the summit. Once the massif was an island in prehistoric sea.

•        TOPOGRAPHY:

The Ulu Dag massif is the most prominent land feature in NW Turkey, rising abruptly on N side and rolling back into a series of plateaus with several deeply incised river valleys.

•        CLIMATE:

Different from the rest of the Marmara region. Snow falls almost 64 days a year and stays 171 days. At 1,540m above sea level, maximum snow depth is 2.03m,  but at an elevation of 1,920m, it is 7. 5 meters. Even in summer the alpine lakes occasionally freeze. Summer climate is always excellent, temperate.

•        FLORA:

The forest is an excellent example of vertical zonation. Below 850m; beech, chestnut, maple, and elm; 850-1200m; Austrian pine; Upper levels are composed of pure stands of Born Mueller fir, tree heaths, alpine shrubs and grasses. Scattered oriental spruce, aspen, and homeland are found.

•        FAUNA:

Larger mammals are represented by Jackal, red fox, wolf, brown bear, pine marten, and wild boar. The mountain also supports a large variety of birds.

 

•        3. KARATEPE (ARSLANTAS) NATIONAL PARK( TURKEY);

Establishment;  1958. On the slopes of the Taurus Mountains this national  park comprises a hilly country with forests and coppices, a rich animal life, and ancient ruins. The Hittites, one of the earliest civilizations, were dominant in Anatolia about 2000 B.C . Bilingual inscriptions found in the area provided the key to hieroglyphic Hittite. The area contains Hittite epitaphs, mosaics, and reliefs, as well as relief sculpture from Phoenician and Roman times.

•        GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION:

Taurus Mountains of Anatolia, southern Turkey.

•        SIZE: 7,715 ha.

•        NEAREST VILLAGE: Kadirli.

•        GEOLOGY AND TOPOGRAPHY:

Asia Minor is a high plateau, a part of the alpine configurations formed more than 50 million years ago, during the tertiary period. The Taurus range runs along the Mediterranean. The national park is on a lower plateau (80-630m), across which the Ceyhan River flows.

•        FLORA:

Forests predominate, consisting chiefly of Aleppo pine, holly oak, Kermes oak, sumac cyctus, and madrone.

•        MAMMALS:

Animals include wild boar, roe deer, wolf, jackal, pine marten, badger, and beaver.

•        BIRDS:

Larger birds are eagles, falcons, hawks, buzzards, and partridges.

ISRAEL

  ISRAEL;

•        AREA: 20,782 KM2.

TOUR DESTINATIONS IN ISRAEL;

      1.  EIN GEDI NATURE RESERVE( ISRAEL);

 Establishment: 1966. A remarkable oasis in the desert, its eastern boundary the Dead sea, is the setting of this reserve. In the south a steep cliff rises at the head of the southern bank of Nahal Arugot. The famous ruin of Masada is just north (18km) of the reserve.

 GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION:

In the desert, west of the Dead Sea.

•        SIZE: 850 ha.

•        CLIMATE: Hot, sub-tropical.

OF SPECIAL INTEREST: Scientific investigation (field study center);

 TOPOGRAPHY:

The existence of the oasis is chiefly due to a system of springs. Ein Gedi spring, arising on a hill between two rivers, is surrounded by trees and shrubs until it runs dry and disappears in the desert gravels. The water of two wadis (river beds),  Nahal David and Nahal Arugot, have cut deeply across the rock formations of the Judean Desert on their paths to the Dead Sea. Over a period of thousands of years the two rivers have built up a layer of sediments in the two wads. Most of this land is now cultivated, but there is also natural vegetation.

FLORA:

The vegetation, providing a great contrast to the poverty of the surrounding deserts, consists of elements with East African or Asiatic hot- dwelling species.  Reeds grow along wadi banks, but trees, like common figs, willows, and poplars, are also found, as are maiden hair ferns and flowers. The true oasis region has a rich and varied vegetation including big, Christi trees with orange- colored fruits, and Sodom apples. Curiously there is a single tree of Maerua crassifolia at Ein Gedi and only two or three species of its kind in all of Israel. Hundreds of various shrubs, flowers, and grasses blossom- February-April if there have been any rains. Peculiar to Ein Gedi is Solanum incanum with violet flowers. The only orchid is Helle borine veratrifolia.

MAMMALS:

For an area surrounded by deserts the fauna is remarkably rich; red fox, striped hyena, caracal, rock hyrax, Nubian ibex, and gazelle.

BIRDS:

The area has many birds. Although the most spectacular bird, the Lammergeir, is very rare, it may be seen soaring widely over deserts and wadis. Other interesting birds include black start, house bunting, Scotocercaa sand martin, and others.

•        OTHER VERTEBRATES:

Gecko and an agama (Agama sinaica) are the most visible during the day.

SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE;

•        Area: 585 km2

TOUR DESTINATIONS IN SINGAPORE;

  1. KRANJI RESERVE ( SINGAPORE );

Establishment: 1883. Situated just north of the Equator, the reserve has a climate that is, of course, tropically hot and moist.

GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION: Straits of  johore N side of Singapore Island

•        SIZE: 20ha; used for scientific research.

•        CLIMATE: Tropical.

•        ACCESSIBILITY: By Bukit Timah road.

 

•        FLORA: The vegetation is dominated by mangrove;  progress of  land building is greater than at Singapore Strait, resulting in a pronounced invasion of foreshore and dry- land plants. Presumably this is due to Kranji’s distance from the open sea, as well as to differences of water, current, mud accumulation, and elevation.

CAMBODIA

CAMBODIA;

Area: 181,739 km2

 TOUR DESTINATIONS IN CAMBODIA:

1. ANGKOR NATIONAL PARK( CAMBODIA );

Establishment: 1925. The national park protects the ruins and the living nature around them.

GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION, 320km NW of Phnom Penh;

•        AREA: 10,717 ha.

•        HISTORY:

At its peak the Khmer civilization included not only Cambodia but also much of present –day Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and even part of the Malay Peninsula.

The ruins at Angkor are spread over an immense area, set in a network of ancient canals. The main tourist attractions are the Angkor wat (dating from the 12th century) with its enormous moat- surrounded square and half- mile- long frieze depicting scenes from the Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharata; the Bayon; the enclosure of Angkor Thom; and the temple of Ta Prohm;

•        CLIMATE:

Rainy season; May to October, When the Mekong River rises as much as 15m and reverses the flow of the Tonle Sap River back to the Lake of Angkor.

•        FLORA:

At Ta Prohm, vines and roots have prized stones apart and now entirely cover stone sculptures. Giant trees occupy buildings and grow out of the roofs; vegetation fills moats and canals. The lush forest sweeps everything in its green embrace. The original forest around the temples was destroyed at least five or six centuries ago. Though the actual forest around Angkor resembles the virgin forest still existing in this part of cambodia, it shows differences and has not re- established its climax.

•        FAUNA;

Sambar deer at present browse among the temple ruins,  and there are tigers, leopards and monkeys around. The birdlife is rich, colorful, and interesting and so are the fishes living in the nearby Tonle Sap, an artificial lake and irrigation system built by the Khmer civilization and still functioning.

MALAYSIA

MALAYSIA;

TOUR DESTINATIONS IN MALAYSIA;

  1. TAMAN NEGARA NATIONAL PARK ( MALAYSIA );

Establishment;  1938. A mountainous area covered by dense tropical forests that protect interesting fauna, including the extremely rare Sumatran rhinoceros. This reserve, formerly known as the King George V National park, is located in the states of Pahang, Kelantan, and Trengganu; headquarters are at Kuala-  Tahan, which has an airstrip.

 GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION: Northeastern Malay Peninsula.

•        AREA: 440,000ha.

•        CLIMATE: Tropical, with high rainfall.

•        TOPOGRAPHY:

The area includes Gunong Tahan, Malaya’s highest mountain (2,190m), wide plateaus, and limestone outcrops. Almost the whole area is clad in lowland and mountain rainforest. Other mountain are Gunong Gedong (2,033m) and Gunong Ulu Kechau (1,914m)

•        MAMMALS:

Most of Malaya's larger mammals can be found; Malayan tapir, Sumatran rhinoceros, muntjack (barking deer) sambar, gaur, wild boar,  Asiatic elephant, tiger, leopard, binturong, and the sloth bear.

  2.  BAKO NATIONAL PARK ( MALAYSIA );

Establishment: 1954. The greater part of the reserve is covered by primary forests, mainly tropical heath forests;  the area is of special interest to ornithologists and botanists.

GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION:

Maura Tebas peninsula, western  sarawak;

•        SIZE: 2,550 ha.

•        CLIMATE: Equatorial;  hot and moist.

•        ACCESSIBILITY:

From Kuching by launch or by speedboat (a journey of about an hour); landing is at Telok Asam.

•        GEOLOGY AND TOPOGRAPHY:

The underlying rock, coarse-grained sandstone, is covered by frequently infertile and podsolized soils. The reserve is bounded on three sides by the coastline of sandy bays, small coves, and cliffs.

•        FLORA:

Mixed lowland vegetation; mangrove and littoral forests, exposed coastal cliff vegetation, lowland dipterocarp (gurjun) forests, heath forests (Kerangas),padang vegetation, and peat swamp forest. Above the high tide mark grow a number of beach trees typical for the Malay Archipelago like biansu, ketapang, rulant, putat laut, and baru laut. Tropical heath forests cover most of the plateau sandstones. The principal dominants are Dacrydium beccarii and casuarina robile. Dipterocarpus borneensis, white odendron moultonianum, and Tristania species are also common. My remecodia tuberosa, Hydnophytum, and phymatodes simnosa, are particularly abundant on Padang areas, while on acid soils, bladderwort species, pitcher plants, and the interesting small sundew Dresera spatula are to be found.

•        MAMMALS:

The white dolphin, known only from Borneo, and the rare plumbous dolphin are found in Bantul Bay. Quite common by the shore are the larger Malay chevrotain and the Bornean pig. Within and near the mangrove forest is the interesting long- nosed monkey (Nasalis larvatus) , fully protected in Sarawak. The crab –eating macaque and the silver leaf-monkey are not un common.

•        BIRDS:

Abundant birdlife includes many migratory species along the shore. September-Ocober; large flocks of whimbrel, redshank, greater and lesser sandplovers, and Little stints. Among the mangroves; wood swallows, dyal, black- winged iora, Malaysian fan flycatcher, and white- collared Kingfisher. Around the rest house at Telok Asam; yellow-vented bulbul, dusky monnikin , pied triller, and chestnut-headed bee- eater;  foliage birds; brown barbet, fairly blue bird, straw- headed bulbul, a wonderful singer, and the silent lesser green broad bill, flower peckers and sunbirds. Birds of prey; the white- breasted sea eagle, gray-  faced buzzard, crested goshawk, brahminy kite, and the rare black eagle.

 

3. KINABALU NATIONAL PARK ( MALAYSIA );

Establishment: 1964. The National Park includes the whole of mountain Kinabalu from 600m to the summit (4,101m), the highest mountain in south eastern Asia. The incredibly rich Flora includes 140 families of flowering plants of the 200 to 250 families that occur in the whole world;  it is probable that birds number at least 500 species.

GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION:

Northern Borneo, about 48 km East of Kota Kinabalu.

•        SIZE: 69,000ha.

•        CLIMATE:

Ranges from hot tropical to temperate;  night temperatures at upper levels near or just below freezing.

•        ACCESSIBILITY:

By air ( airstrip at Ranau, 24km from entrance);  by road, 93km from Kota Kinabulu on Ranau Road to mile 35 (Park headquarters ) with visitor accommodation and main road leading toward summit).

•        GEOLOGY:

Mountain Kinabulu is part of the Crocker Range, but its granite block rises to more than twice the height of the range. The mountain, a granite intrusion into Eocene shale and older ultrabasic rock, is formed of granodionte, an igneous rock of early Pliocene that solidified below the surface but is now exposed through the erosion of overlying shale and sandstone rocks.

•        TOPOGRAPHY:

Dense forests cover the mountain slopes to about 3,360 meters. Above, bare rocks form a ridge tipped with numerous peaks. The north face of the dome is cleft by a gully that pluges precipitously some thousand meters. The eastern ridge leads through spectacular pinnacles.

Pinosuk plateau (1,500-1830m) was probably formed by the accumulation of rock debris from the mountain above.

•        FLORA:

Very varied; no other mountain in the world has so many species of oaks(60) and figs (80).  Dense primary rainforest prevails at 1,190- 1,830m on N an E sides, but much of this has been felled on S and W flanks by the local Dasuns. In addition to the oaks and figs there are many other families like chestnuts, wild mango steens, tulip trees, and a number of species in the myrtle family. Species of conifers;  Borneo Kauri, celery pine, podocarpa, and dacrydiums abound at 1,220-3,050 meters;  at 2,440-3050m moss forest,  surmounted still higher by bushes, shrubs, and alpine plants, and, finally, bare rock with tiny cinquefoils seeking shelter in crevices. There are 72 genera of orchids besides hundreds of ferns, mosses, and fungi and tree ferns. Huge pitcher plants (four species) are conspicuous; the bowl of Nepenthes rajah can hold up to four pints of water.

   Shrubs and plants above 900m including photinias, pygaeum, berries of the genera Rubus  and Vacinium, Euphrasia borneensis, several species of gentians, and Low’s buttercup.

MAMMALS:

Since the park covers part of the forest- clad hills below 900m, virtually all rainforests forms of  Borneo Fauna occur, including the rare Sumatran rhinoceros and Orangutan. Other larger mammals; gibbon, proboscis monkey, sambar deer(these occasionally climb to summit), muntjack(up to 3,350m), banteng, bearded pig, and civet cat.  The tufted pygmy squirrel is seen in the trees; the Borneo ferret- badger is today found only on mount Kinabalu, at 1060-2,500m.

•        BIRDS:

The ecological range of this park makes it most probable that more than 500 species occur here. Among the most common (to be seen while walking from 1,400m up to the summit) are white- bellied swift let, golden- napped barbet, gray drongo, little cuckoo dove, Malaysian tree pie, white head’s spider hunter, mountain minivet, mountain black eye, and mountain blackbird. Noisest birds are the babblers,  bushy- crested hornbill, and rhinoceros hornbill.

•        BUTTERFLIES: The Kite swallow tails.

INDONESIA

INDONESIA;

•        AREA: 1,913,249 KM2

TOUR DESTINATIONS IN INDONESIA.

1. LOSER MOUNTAINS NATURE RESERVE (SUMATRA)- INDONESIA;

Establishment: 1934; (Sumatra).  Scenically it is also very attractive, covering the foothills and slopes of Mountain Loser (3,465m)

GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION: Northern Sumatra.

•        SIZE: 416,000ha.

•        VISITS; On foot or on  horseback;

•        ACCESSIBILITY;  10hrs, by jeep from Medan (nearest tourist city, airport).

•        TOPOGRAPHY:

The reserve is a country of grass plains consisting of cogonales (1,-3m high) interspersed with groves of Merkus pines, dense jungles, and swamps.

•        MAMMALS:

The most precious mammal is the Sumatran rhinoceros, once distributed over almost the whole of south eastern Asia  but today limited to a few localities in Burma, Malaya, Sumatra, and Sabah on Borneo. In 1970 there were 58 Sumatra rhinos on Mount loser.

    The reserve’s second most valuable mammal is the Orangutan, numbering about 930 (1972).  Third in rarity comes the Sumatran serow, a native of the chamois, exterminated in most parts of its former range and now confined to the mountains.

   Other mammals include Indian elephant,  mouse- deer, Malayan sambar, muntjack, wild boar, tiger, clouded leopard, Malayan  bear, wild dog, otter, white – banded gibbon, Siamang, pig- tailed macaque , crab- eating macaque, and leaf- monkey (two species)

•        BIRDS:

The argus pheasant and hornbills are the most conspicuous.

 

•        2. UDJUNG KULON STRICT NATURE RESERVE (West Java)- INDONESIA;

Establishment: 1937. One of the most important reserves in Tropical Asia, 41km from Krakatau Volcano Island in the Sunda strait. It is the home of spectacular and very rare mammals, the most famous of which is the Javan rhinoceros.

•        GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION:

Udjung Kulon Peninsula, south western point of Java.

•        SIZE: 61,000ha.

•        ACCESSIBILITY: By motorboat; Labuhan to Handeuleum (6hours); by car; Djakartato Labuhan (5hours).

•        GEOLOGY:

The udjung kulon peninsula is of volcanic origin; the western part has volcanic rocks with bare vertical cliffs (some are 50-70m high).  Most of mountains consist of layered rock formations; marl, tuff, breccia sandstone, Conglomerates.

•        TOPOGRAPHY:

Jungles and varied sea scapes;  rocky and sandy shores, Lagoons, dune formations, mountain ridges radiating from the top; cliffs and hills and in the south- east a marshy shore girdle. Streams and rivers originating in mountain ridges have rapids and sharp falls.

•        CLIMATE:

Tropical, with a wet western monsoon December-March, and a  more dry eastern monsoon during the rest of the year. Temperature ranges; 180-220C

•        FLORA:

The actual forests of the peninsula and islands are regrowth vegetation because of the tidal wave accompanying the violent 1883 eruption of Krakatau which swept over and flooded the area. In the interior, vegetation includes spectacular virgin rainforests with several canopy stories of giant figs, tjerlang, white- flowered Gossampinus veletonii, and coral tree; a remark ably high number of different palm species; bamboos, giant ferns, vines, and lianas; open pastures have alang alang grass.

MAMMALS:

The reserve is of special  importance because it harbors the Javan rhinoceros, the rarest of the world’s five species of rhinos.

In the 1850’s this rhino ranged over most of Asia southward to Sumatra (exterminated there in the 1940’s) and Java. The reserve is also a stronghold for the banteng,  the wild ox that once was common in south eastern Asia. It is not known  whether the mainland race survives. The sanctuary is also the last refuge of the Java tiger, once numerous in many parts of Java. About a dozen were estimated to exist in Udjung Kulon at the beginning of the 1960’s but it is uncertain whether the tiger now exists there. Other mammals on the peninsula; Javan deer, lesser mouse deer , muntjack, wild water buffalo,javan pig,  wild boar, malayan giant squirrel, a small Indian civet, Javan mongoose, Leopard(of  which many are black),  dhole, flying fox, monkeys like the crab- eating macaque, silvered leaf- monkey,  sunda island leaf monkey, and gray gibbon.

BIRDS:

Over 100 species have been recorded, probably there are many more. The green peafowl, two species of jungle fowl, and bee- eaters may be mentioned.

OTHER VERTEBRATES:

Reptiles include many species of lizards such as geckos, skinks, and monitors as well as snakes, among which the python is the most conspicuous. Salt- water crocodiles occur.

 

3. BALURAN ANIMAL SANCTUARY (Java)- INDONESIA;

Establishment: 1937.  This park is probably  the best place in Indonesia to see large bovines like the banteng and wild water buffalo and provides a good spot for exciting photographic safari. The area ranges from the shores of Madura and Bali straits in a gradual rise to the peak of mount Baluran, 1,103 meters above sea level.

GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION: Northeastern java.

SIZE: 25,000ha.

ACCESSIBILITY: By road from Surabaja or Banju wangi (Port of Bali).

NEAREST CITY: Surabaja (By air from Djakarta).

 

GEOLOGY AND TOPOGRAPHY:

Mount Baluran is an ancient volcano with several satellites consisting of volcanic soils. Most of the reserve is a lowland covered by swamps, savannas, and open forests.

CLIMATE:

Mt. Baluran and Mt. Klosot form a barrier preventing wet western monsoon winds from discharging moisture. The result is an unusually short rainy season;  from December through February.  Dry season is from March to October.

•        FLORA:

Due to dry climate, tropical vegetation less luxuriant here than elsewhere in Java. Mangrove forests and Marshy nipa palm are along the littoral; grassy savannas from excellent pastures for grazing mammals; parklike  open woodlands have acacias, palms;  dense teak forests cover lower slopes of the Baluran massif, gradually replaced by Albizzia, Ficus, Podocarpus.

•        MAMMALS:

The tiger and the leopard are rarely seen though the black phase of the latter is rather common; the observer is more than satisfied, however, by the extra ordinary possibilities of seeing all the Javan Ungulates except the Javan rhinoceros.

 Large herds of  javan deer, banteng, and wild water buffalo are plentiful; the muntjac is seen singly or in pairs. The lesser malay chevrotain, no larger than a hare, is chiefly nocturnal.

  Other mammals; wild boar, Javan pig, wild dog (dhole), palm civet, small Indian civet, Javan mongoose, Leopard cat (Felis bengalensis), sunda island leaf- monkey, and the crab- eating macaque.

•        BIRDS:

Green jungle- fowl, red jungle fowl, green peafowl, at least three species of hornbill, five species of birds of prey, and five species of pigeons and doves.

•        OTHER VERTEBRATES;

Reptiles are common but only lizards are usually observed. There are, however, two species of pythons-the Indian and the reticulated - plus Cobras, banded crait, Russell’s viper, whip snakes, and others.

 

•        4. KOMODO ISLAND AND PADAR RINTJAK ANIMAL SANCTUARIES( INDONESIA);

The two reserves, protect the giant monitor, largest lizard of the world in modern times, with a lenghth of 3m and weight of 136 kg.

•        GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION: W of Flores, Lesser sunda Islands.

•        SIZE: Komodo, 30,000ha; Padar- Rintjak, 16,000ha.

•        VISITS: Made on foot or by boat.

•        NEAREST TOURIST CITY:

Denpasar, Bali (8 hours by plane from Komodo.)

PHILIPPINES

PHILIPPINES;

•             AREA: 300,838 KM2

TOUR DESTINATIONS IN PHILIPPINES:

 1. MOUNT APO NATIONAL PARK (Mindanao)- PHILIPPINES;

Establishment: 1936. An area of extensive forests, unique in the phillipines where most forests have been destroyed, with a rich fauna including birds that are very rare.

•        GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION:

Southeastern Island of Mindanao.

•        SIZE: 72,936ha.

•        ACCESSIBILITY: Via Digos- cotabato Road from the Kidapawan side, west of Mt. Apo.

•        GEOLOGY AND TOPOGRAPHY:

The Philippines including Mindanao consist of two tectonic areas, related structures, and volcanic uplands. Mt. Apo is a volcano that reaches 2,453m with numerous waterfalls on its precipitous slopes, hot mineral springs, and a lake.

•        CLIMATE:

Tropical at lower levels with generally high temperature and rainfall throughout the year; temperate at higher elevations. Prevailing winds from SW, June to October, and from NE during the remainder of the year.

•        FLORA:

Most parts of the slopes are clad in a luxuriant montane rainforest where dipterocarp (gurjun) trees dominate. This area is succeeded above by a montane mossy forest rich in epiphytes. Higher up are stunted, wind-marked trees, their branches covered by mosses, lichens, ferns, and orchids. On the upper plateaus of Mt. Apo is a tropical- alpine vegetation almost entirely composed of species peculiar to the Philippine mountains above timberline.

•        MAMMALS:

Among the rich variety of species, the larger mammals include Bornean pig, Philippine deer, slow loris, Philippine tarsier, crab- eating monkey, the extremely interesting Philippine flying lemur, Malay civet, and palm civet.

Leopard cats are found in two Philippines islands; Negros and Palavan). There are also large numbers of insectivores, bats, and rodents.

•        BIRDS:

The rare monkey-eating eagle, a spectacular bird, is the pride of the national park. Endemic to the Philippines, it formerly occurred on Samar and Leyte as well but is now confined to the island of Mindanao, where only some 40 pairs remain. Other birds more or less peculiar to Mt. Apo are the Apo lorikeet and the Apo sunbird.

 

 

•        2. QUEZON NATIONAL PARK (LUZON)- PHILIPPINES;

•        Establishment; 1934, enlarged 1940.

•        GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION: Southern Luzon, 290km  S of Manila.

•        SIZE: 983 ha.

•        CLIMATE:

Tropical, but gradually becoming milder of higher elevations; high rainfall.

•        ACCESSIBILITY:

By rail from Manila, or by road (autobuses)

•        NEAREST LARGE TOWNS: Atimonan and Lucerno.

•        TOPOGRAPHY:

The peak and slopes of Mt. pinag banderahan (490m),  situated on an isthmus between Lamon Bay and Tayabas Bay, are included in this park with beautiful views of rivers, waterfalls, and gorges in a setting of intact vegetation.

•        FLORA:

An exceedingly misty virgin lowland rainforest is quite dominated by large trees of dipterocarps(gurjuns),  the crowns of the trees forming a thick canopy letting in little sunlight.

•        MAMMALS:

Abundant wildlife includes the crab- eating macaque, Philippine deer, Javan pig, numerous rodents, and bats.

•        BIRDS:

Extraordinary abundance. Pompadour green pigeon, white- eared brown fruit dove, Philippine cockatoo, gray- breasted brush cuckoo, Philippine coucal, jungle fowl, spotted button quail, megapode, Philippine falconet, tarictic handbill, rufous hornbill, barred gray bird, white breasted wood swallow, and the Philippine fairly blue bird as well as parrots and others.

•        OTHER VERTEBRATES:

Many lizards can be observed of which the most impressive is the monitor lizard (Varanus grayi)

JAPAN

JAPAN

  • AREA; 371,087 square kilometres. Since the Japanese archipelago is located in the volcanic zone encircling the Pacific Ocean, its protected areas have frequently been shaped and reshaped by volcanic activities.

 TOUR DESTINATIONS IN JAPAN;

  • 1. DAISETSUZAN NATIONAL PARK (Hokkaido)- JAPAN;

Establishment: 1934.  One of the wildest of the Japanese national parks, as well as the largest, embracing mountain ranges and volcano groups. The northern latitude (about 43degree 30’N),  the alpine character, and volcanic activity with hotsprings provide contrasts.

  • Geographical Location; – Central part of Hokkaido, northern Japan.
  • Size: 231,929ha; many villages;

 

  • TOPOGRAPHY:

The tectonic Ishikari mountain range (1,980m) is surrounded by other volcano groups; the Tokachi (SW) and shikaribetsu (SE).  Daisetszu mountains are formed by nine volcanic ranges surrounding Ohachi daira, a large crater with swamps, poison gas, and hotsprings.  Highest Daiset suzan peak and Hokkaido's highest Mt. is Asahi-dake( 2,290m).   Smoke issues from several fissures caused by past eruptions. Two gorges in Daisetsuzan are particularly beautiful; soun- Kyo, the most famous,  through which the Ishikari River flows northward under steep walls, and Tennin- Kyo- through which the river chubetsu flows westward.

  • CLIMATE:

Temperate and sub-arctic, depending on  altitude, but always with pronounced humidity.

  • FLORA:

Slopes of mountains and volcanoes are covered with virgin conifer forests. Plants in marshes, bogs, valleys, and forests are of a northern character; those on mountain slopes are representatives of an alpine flora.

  • MAMMALS:

Animals also are typical northern haunts. Among the most interesting mammals; the northern pika, which here has its only occurrence in Japan, Siebold’s chipmunk, and the brown bear. Sika deer, badger, and sable are common.

  • BIRDS:

Many species of the Asian taiga.

 

  • 2. AKAN NATIONAL PARK (Hokkaido)- JAPAN;

Establishment: 1934. Located in Japan’s northern most island, this national park has an almost sub-arctic character despite its smoking volcanoes and hotsprings. A mountainous landscape with forests, lakes, and snow-capped peaks offering magnificent scenery.

The only remaining population of the predecessor and perhaps original in habitants of Japan, the Ainu people live in Hokkaido and many of them around lake Akan.

  • Geographical Location: Northeastern Hokkaido
  • Size: 87,498 ha.
  • Accessibility: By road or rail from Kushiro in the south, or Abashiri and Shari in the north.

GEOLOGY: Volcanoes and the caldera lakes Akan, Kutcharo, and Mashu occupy the whole national park but only the volcanoes Me- akan and Atosanupuri -  show volcanic activity at present. The summits of these two have a number of craters,  and white smoke constantly pours forth (there have been several major eruptions in recent years).  Particularly beautiful is the fantastically crystal clear lake Mashu, whose transparency is 41. 6m, the deepest water visibility in the world.

  • TOPOGRAPHY;

Altitude range;  100-1,503m. The Kutcharo caldera is one of the largest in the world and is filled with the huge lake of that name, 125m deep. Other types of lakes are those formed by dammed lava flows or crater lakes.

  • CLIMATE:

Typical for northern most Japan; cold and rather humid. Summers are warm, but winters have a sub-arctic climate with much snow.

  • FLORA:

Vast virgin conifer forests, largely Sachalin firs and yezo spruce, are inter spersed with stands of white birch, which at higher levels forms a uniform forest belt. Mountain tops are particularly covered with rhododendrons and creeping pine.  At  the foot of the active volcano Atosanupuri the meadows are covered by dense yezo- azaleas lavishly beautiful in flower, June- July.

Lake Akan harbors a unique freshwater plant, the Marino or ball weed, a deep- green algae that forms soft velvety spherical structures about 2 to 3.2 inches in diameter. These algae grow at the bottom of the lake.

  • MAMMALS:

This park harbors the brown bear, badger, ermine, sable, red squirrel, and varying hare, all representatives of the Eurasian Fauna- also typical East Asian elements like the sika deer.

  • BIRDS:

Palearctic species include raven , nut cracker, willow tit, nuthatch, yellow- breasted bunting, bull finch, pied wagtail, and great black woodpecker, also Gray’s grasshopper warbler and Japanese green pigeon.

 

  • 3. SHIKOTSU –TOYA NATIONAL PARK(JAPAN);

(Western Hokkaido);

 

Establishment: 1949. This park with a remarkable spectrum of various types of volcanoes and caldera lakes of different ages has been called a museum of volcanoes. In addition, virgin forests and broad valleys make the mountain country very attractive.

Size: 98,660ha;  five zones of special protection (1,408ha);  other areas contain many villages and spa towns;

  • Climate; Cool, temperate.

 

  • Accessibility:

By road or rail

 

  • GEOLOGY:

The area around lake Shikotsu is a large caldera. Of the surrounding volcanoes, Mount Tarumae is particularly noteworthy; it looks like an aspite but is actually a conide whose summit was broken off  in an eruption of 1909 and was replaced by a dome of dark lava, 100m in height and 460m in diameter, rising out of the low and leveled crater; a so called double conitholoide. From a crevice in the lava dome, columns of white smoke are constantly rising. South of the lake Toya caldera area that most interesting volcano is Mt. Showa shinzan. In the winter of 1943 a part of the farmland suddenly started to rise (about 250m); in June 1944 several eruptions occurred, vigorously ejecting ashes, sand, mud, and later red- hot lava. In 1945 the lava pouring over the surrounding ground grew to a height of 100m, forming rock pyramid. Consequently, all in all, a 300- meter- high mountain was created in two years. Still active, for the moment only sulfurous clouds and vapors indicate that there is life in the young volcano.

Mount Yotei (or shiribeshi), with an altitude of 1,893m, is a typical conide volcano, and therefore is often called the Fuji of Hokkaido.

  • FLORA:

Most prominent feature is the virgin forest of Yezo spruce covering the slopes of the Hoheikyo valley. Cherries blossom in early May. Lower mountain elevations have deciduous forests cover; Japanese beech, maple, and oak;  white birch and aspen grow at higher elevations. Many meadows and swamps have alpine flora.

  • MAMMALS:

An impressive population of brown bear inhabit the park. Others; sika deer, yezo squirrel, sable, weasels, badger.

 

  1. TOWADA- HACHIMANTAI NATIONAL PARK (Honshu)- JAPAN;

Establishment: 1936-1956.

  • Geographical Location: Northern Honshu.
  • Size: 83,351 ha; includes a special protection area (9,422ha);
  • GEOLOGY:

Lake Towada is a rare phenomenon because it is a double- structured caldera due to the past three eruptions. About 100,000 years ago the area was an active volcano; the central part subsided after lava, gushed out; the next eruption created a new mountain, which in turn caved in. A central cone emerging in the third eruption rises over the eastern headland.

  • TOPOGRAPHY:

The eight peaks of the Hakkado volcanoes are separated by plateaus. The Oirase River drains Lake Towada, then courses through mount gorges and open valleys. The Hachimantai area includes a mountain range with volcanic peaks;  Mt. Lwate, 2,041m,  Mt. Komagte, and Mt. Hachimantai, 1,613m, are the most important. Remnants of volcanic activity appear in the form of steam and smoke as well as of boiling mud and hotsprings.

  • CLIMATE:

Temperate;  highland weather almost always refreshingly cool in summer, winters rich in snow.

  • FLORA:

Magnificent forests of Japanese beech, birch, maple, and oak with coniferous forests of false arborvitae on upper volcanic slopes. The many interesting alpine plants include a bleeding heart, Dicentra  peregrina.

 

  1. 5. FUJI – HAKONE- IZU NATIONAL PARK( JAPAN);

Establishment: 1936, 1955, 1964. The dominant feature of this complex of four areas is well known all over the world;  Fujiyama, which plays an important part in the religious, social, and artistic life of Japan. The volcano rises from the so – called “sea of trees”, luxuriant conifers and deciduous trees growing on the lava flow of its foothills. On the northern and eastern bases of Mt. Fuji are the beautiful Fuji- Goko, Fuji five lakes. Hakone is another volcanic and lake area with magnificent scenic beauty. The Izu peninsula and the seven isles of Izu in the pacific form the other sectors of this national park.

  • Geographical Location: Southeastern Honshu
  • Size: 122,309 ha.
  • Accessibility: By rail and by highway from Tokyo;

 

  • GEOLOGY:

All of these areas are of volcanic origin. Fuji probably first erupted over 100, 000 years ago; the Hakone mountains developed from a triple volcano resulting from volcanic activities over a million years ago. Fuji last exploded in 1707, but a large number of  hotsprings show that volcanism is still at work. There are 18 different eruptions on record, the worst occurring in the year 800,864, and 1707. All produced extensive lava flows.

  • TOPOGRAPHY;

Fuji is surrounded at its northern base by five lakes, all serving to contrast or mirror the model conide volcano towering to a height of 3,776m, the highest mountain in Japan. The area of Mt. Hakone, a typical composite volcano, is dotted with peaks, cones, craters, hotsprings, plains, rivers, and contains lake Ashi (800 meters above  sea level).  From Hakone, a   u- shaped Mt. range runs S to Mt. Daruma pass and the Izu peninsula, with its many active hot springs, where Mt. Amagi and its coastal belt fringe the entire range. A chain of volcanic islands, the seven isles of Izu, extends south of the peninsula for a distance of some 185 kilometers.

  • CLIMATE:

Temperate, permitting visits years around, but the mountain area is snow covered in winter and the lakes frozen. Mt. Fuji is officially open to climbers July 1- August 31, but not closed even in snow. Capped winter. (There is a driveway up to the so called fifth stage at 2,298 meters;  from there the summit and the crater can be reached on foot in 4-5 hours).  The izu peninsula and the seven isles of Izu have a mild climate, with winter temperatures averaging 5.50C higher than Tokyo's.

  • FLORA:

Botanically, it is Mt. Fuji with its altitudinal zones of vegetation that is the most interesting area of this national park. Below the sea of trees, Fuji cherry trees and azaleas, in full bloom in early summer, are outstanding.

Seven vegetational  belts may be observed below timberline. Progressing upwards; several species of oaks, the false camellia, Japanese beech, Japanese red pine and black pine; at high levels; Japanese larch, firs, southern and northern Japanese hemlocks. In the Hakone mountains are thick woods with various oaks, magnolia, wild cherry, beech, Japanese cypress, and bamboo. Among other plants the insectivorous round- leaved sundew (Drosera).  The izu Archipelago has luxuriant growths of subtropical plants.

  • MAMMALS:

Japanese macaque, raccoon dog, red fox, Japanese marten, Siberian weasel, badger, Japanese hare, Oriental squirrel, giant flying squirrel, wild boar and sika (Japanese) deer. The most numerous group; bats, with 11 species.

  • BIRDS:

On Mt. Fuji,  Lake Yamanaka is a particularly fine area for birds. Lake Ashi has mute swans introduced from Switzerland in 1957. Other birds in the Hakone mountains include Japanese pied Kingfisher, Japanese ruddy Kingfisher, Japanese blue flycatcher, narcissus flycatcher, and Himalayan cuckoo. Shear along the Izu peninsula.

OTHER VERTEBRATES; Lake Ashi has eel, introduced rainbow trout, carp, and catfish.

 

  1. NIKKO NATIONAL PARK (Honshu)- JAPAN;

Establishment: 1934, 1950, 1957. A vast area of  lakes, waterfalls, plateaus, and mountains, with architectural features of great interest notably the gorgeous Joshugu shrine, dating from 1634-1636. The national park, combining a harmonious blending of natural and artificial beauties, is most typical of Japanese landscape.

  • Geographical Location: About 160km N of Tokyo.
  • Size: 140,698 ha, in three sectors; 14 zones have special protection; wilderness area at oze (9,799ha)
  • Climate:

Mild, with abundant rainfall reflected by a luxuriant vegetation.

  • Accessibility: By road or rail from Tokyo.
  • GEOLOGY:

This region is an outstanding example of c                                                                                                                                                            the result of volcanic activity which, beside eruptions and lava flows, has brought about land up heavals and movements of landblocks. Volcanoes with many hotsprings dominate the area; Mt. Nantai (2,484m),  Mt. Shirane (2,577m),  Mt. Hiuchi (2,360m),  Mt. Shibutsu (2,288m),  and Mt. Nasu (1,917m),  still active.

  • TOPOGRAPHY:

A mountainous region with large open expanses in various stages of evolution, some still water- filled and forming large lava- dammed lakes like the chuzenji (1,271m above sea level) and the Yunoko (1,478m),  and others which have gradually dried up and are today big swamps or grassy plains.

Many rivers run through the area, some forming spectacular waterfalls, especially the Kegon River (with a free- leaping fall of  97m).

  • FLORA:

The 300- year- old cedars, artificially planted but remarkable, form a superb avenue leading to the historical shrines and temples at Joshugu. In the mountains, at lower elevations  are found white birch, maple, Japanese beech, several species of oaks;  at higher elevations; Japanese larch, momi fir, southern and northern japanese hemlocks, and the distinctive Japanese false arborvitae (Thujopsisi dolobrata).  Meadows with alpine plants have colorful carpets in white, yellow, and red, formed by myriads of lilies and other plants, matched only by the Kaleidoscopic autumn colors of the deciduous forests.

  • MAMMALS:

Japanese serow, one of the rarest Ungulates in the world still exist in some protected areas on Honshu and Kyushu).  Other interesting species; the Japanese black bear and Japanese macaque.

  • BIRDS:

The most interesting bird is the azure-  winged magpie, a beautiful species with an extraordinary distribution;  it occurs only in easternmost Asia and in south- westernmost Europe.

 

  1. 6. BANDAI-ASAHI NATIONAL PARK (Honshu)- JAPAN;

Establishment: 1950, 1957. Outstanding volcanic and tectonic Mt. landscape have an interesting and vast stretch of virgin deciduous forest, one of the largest and most beautiful in Japan. This national park is noted as one of Japan’s three best areas for birds.

  • Geographical Location: Northern Honshu.

Size: 189,661ha;  special protection; ten zones (17,139ha);  many villages, lumbering, cultivation.

  • Nearest large cities: Fukushima and Yamagata.
  • GEOLOGY:

A volcanic area. The titanic eruption of 1888, blasting away one third of Mt. Bandai, created many lakes, marshes, swamps, and ponds. The Adatara Mts to the east form another volcanic chain. The Azuma volcanoes, a third volcanic range, contain Mt. Issaikyo (1,949m) which had a large eruption in 1893 and a lesser upheavel in 1950. The primitive tectonic Mt. massif of Yide has an altitude of  2,000m.

  • FLORA:

Mt. Yide and Mt. Asahi are clad in virgin beech forests. In general, all Mts have deciduous forests on their lower slopes while conifers cover the upper parts.

  • MAMMALS:

The mountains shelter the Japanese serow, the Japanese black bear, and the Japanese macaque.

THAILAND

THAILAND;

AREA: 520,385 KM2

TOUR DESTINATIONS IN THAILAND;

  • 1. KHAO YAI NATIONAL PARK(THAILAND);

Establishment: 1962. A mountainous region with vast forests, many species of  large mammals, and a very rich birdlife.

  • Geographical Location: About 200km NE of Bang Kok.
  • Size: 216,875 ha.
  • Accessibility: By asphalt road branching off “Friendship Highway”
  • Best visiting: November to May.
  • GEOLOGY AND TOPOGRAPHY:

Khao Yai is a rolling plateau with several sandstone ranges of which the massifs of Khao Laem (1,328m) and Khao Khieo are the most important and form a watershed, headwaters of many rivers. There are waterfalls, caves, and a network of forest- clothed valleys.

  • CLIMATE:

The heat of the tropical climate is reduced by the area’s elevation. Hottest months;  April-May. Mansoon rains;  July- October.

  • FLORA:

The rainforest of Khao Yai is a drier type than those in southern Malaysia and in Indonesia. Lower levels are chiefly mixed deciduous forests with many bamboos;  at 600 -1,200m is a dense forest of gurjun oil, and many other trees, the branches ornamented by orchids. Above this zone on the mountain ridge is a low dense forest of oak and coniferous trees. The previously cleared lands are colonized y alang alang grass.

  • MAMMALS:

Many species of  large mammals are to be found in abundance. Their tracks are observed almost everywhere along streams and in muddy soil; muntjac, mouse deer, sambar, hog deer, banteng, gaur, wild boar, Indian elephant, Tiger and Leopard. Strangely enough the tiger is more numerous than the Leopard in Khao Yai. Civet cat, mongoose, porcupine, white- banded gibbon,  and langur, among others, also occur in the National park.

  • BIRDS:

Many species of hornbill can be found in the national park throughout the year, including pied hornbill and great hornbill. Some other common species are silver pheasant, Indian Lorikeet, red- billed blue magpie, emerald dove, numerous woodpeckers, sun birds, crested serpent eagle, green- legged hill partridge, red jungle fowl;  at higher altitudes; scarlet minivet and nuthatches. Song thrushes and shama are very common but more heard than seen.

  • OTHER VERTEBRATES: The common cobra, King cobra, and tree snakes are common but usually overlooked.

 

 

  • 2. TUNG SLANG LUANG NATIONAL PARK(THAILAND);

Establishment: 1963. This national park extends over a plateau, mountains, and valleys with partly virgin vegetation and rich animal life.

  • Geographical Location:

Northern Thailand, 400km from Bangkok

  • Size: 128,000 ha.
  • Climate: Tropical; monsoon rains; July- October.
  • Accessibility: By rail and by road (Friendship Highway between phitsanulok and Lomsak)
  • GEOLOGY AND TOPOGRAPHY:

The park lies on an extension of  the Khorat plateau, consisting chiefly of sandstone in flat or gently rolling tables of mesas ( highest is 1,200m), separated from each other vertically by steep cliff walls. There are extensive savannas and forests,  rivers and waterfalls.

  • FLORA:

Forests present a series of zones. Tracts of virgin high forest include large trees; gurjun, vatica, merawan, shorea, evergreen chinkapin, pharsa, and mango. Other expenses have been occupied by pines and oaks. In cleared area of Jungle of  Eupatorium odoratum and other species have replaced the high forest.

Many of the rocks have been colonized by Orchids, Rhododendrons, and Agapetes saxicola.

  • MAMMALS:

The higher mammals are represented by tiger, leopard, sambar, gaur, wild boar, gibbon, and many rodents.

BIRDS: A large number of specis occur in the park area. At a higher altitude of  about 1,000m silver pheasant and the beautiful Burmese gray peacock pheasant are very common;  the Siamese fireback is confined to a lower level around 680 meters.

Other species that may be commonly observed by visitors; brown- breasted partridge, red jungle fowl, doves, hanging parrot, owls, trogons, has been reported from this park.

 

  • 3. PU KRADEUNG NATIONAL PARK( THAILAND);

Establishment; 1962.  A unique mountainous landscape of subtropical pine forest and extensive meadows, harboring interesting mammals and birds.

  • Geographical Location:

Loey province, NE Thailand, 600km from Bangkok.

  • Size: 34,813ha. Climate; for the tropics, very cool
  • Accessibility: By road.

 

  • GEOLOGY AND TOPOGRAPHY:

 

The park is part of a pene plain, including a flat- topped sandstone plateau (elevation; 1,350m) with precipitous walls.  Topography very variable; there are rolling plains, rock- outcrops, caves,  streams, waterfalls, and creeks. Open grasslands are interspersed with forests.

  • FLORA:

Pines predominate;  Merkus pine at lower levels and Khasia pine higher up. others are birch, maple, oak, phyllotaxus, horn beams, chinkapins, and others. Rhododendrons in large numbers cover the meadows; orchids and other flowers abound.

  • FAUNA:

Inhabitants of the park include Leopard, tiger, muntjack, sambar, and wild boar

  • BIRDS:

More than 150 species have been observed. Large birds are rare. The common species that can be found on the plateau are francolin, brown- breasted hill partridge, mountain imperial eagle, trogons, and long –tailed broad bill.  Silver pheasant is a rare resident of the park.

  • OTHER VERTEBRATES:

Among the reptiles the rare big- headed turtle.

SRILANKA

SRILANKA

AREA: 65,863 KM2

TOUR DESTINATIONS IN SRILANKA;

  • 1. RUHIUNU NATIONAL PARK( SRILANKA);

Establishment: 1937, enlarged 1950. The national park, known as everywhere as “Yala” because of the contiguous Yala protective zones, offers exciting scenes of wildlife with typical jungle setting where almost all the larger mammals of Srilanka may be seen. The park contains ruins from the 2'nd century B.C.  when 10,000 monks lived in the numerous caves of the area.

  • GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION: SE corner of Srilanka, facing the sea.
  • SIZE: 23,000ha.
  • ACCESSIBILITY: By car from Colombo (290km)
  • BEST VISITING: December-May.

GEOLOGY:

The island of Srilanka, a detached portion of the peninsula of southern India, consists chiefly of Cambrian gneisses, granites, and Quartzites.

  • TOPOGRAPHY:

The few rocky hills arising at sea shore and in the interior are surrounded by plains, scrub jungle, and high forest. Shores are rocky, pebbly, and sandy. There are numerous sea scapes and brackish lagoons, rivers and their deltas, freshwater pools, and waterholes.

Two rivers, the Menikganga and the Kumbkkan oya, still carry water during the dry season (by August most lakes and water holes are dry) and attract high numbers of mammals and birds from the rest of the reserve. Elephants migrate out of the park area during the dry season.

  • CLIMATE:

The park is in the dry zone of Srilanka and exposed on annually to drought. No rain; July-September.  The rainy season (October- April) ravines area, and this is therefore most beautiful period; local birds breed and avian migrants arrive from northern Asia and Europe.

  • FLORA:

Sandy scrub and thorn; jungle intersected with grassland, acacia woods; some local high forests along the menikganga river. Many swampy waterholes carry aquatic grasses and wild rice.

  • MAMMALS:

Animals are the main attraction;  the rare and endemic race of Srilankan elephant still has a refuge here; large herds of graceful spotted deer move over plains and jungles; sambar fairly numerous, also wild boar; impressive water  buffaloes occur but are shy and mostly found in interior jungle marshes. Most buffaloes in the national park are feral animals, not so heavy as the pure wild ones; the sloth- bear and leopard are the largest predators, the langur the most often observed monkey. Hares are common.

  • BIRDS: A very rich and varied bird fauna here; peafowl plentiful and their display wonderful to watch in mating season; another ornithological highlight; Jungle fowl with their intensive colors. Near the Buttuwa Bungalow, gray pelicans, Indian darters, and other waterfowl frequent the pools. In late October newly arrived Malay bitterns visit these pools in early mornings. Other examples of Ruhunu birds; tiny flower peckers, the Ceylon finch lark, black-winged stilt, ceylon  brown baza, Ceylon hawk eagle, and pygmy woodpecker. Also; hornbills, flycatchers, orioles, babblers, sun birds, barbets, bee- eaters, Kingfishers, terns, storks,  and herons.
  • OTHER VERTEBRATES:

The salt- water crocodile and the mugger or marsh crocodile occur, and the monitor lizard is extremely common.

  • 2. GAL – OYA NATIONAL PARK( SRILANKA);

Establishment; 1954. Gal oya is situated in a lake region partly serving as a water storage reservoir and surrounded by jungle forests.  Bird life is rich and diversified.

  • GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION Eastern Srilanka
  • Size: 25,000ha
  • BEST VISITING: May- September.
  • TOPOGRAPHY:

The Gal Oya River drains the lakes, of which senana yake samundra is the largest in Srilanka. Some gneissy hills occur and a low mountain range.

  • CLIMATE:

Dry.  Little or no rain during southwest monsoon period (May- September )when the great mount massif in south central Srilanka catches the moisture and precipitation of the oceanic winds. Most rainfall is November-  February.

  • FLORA:

The terrestrial habitats around the lakes are wooded savannas with grass and scattered trees. There is also a dry evergreen forest of the jungle type.

  • MAMMALS;

Among the mammals of this national park are Indian elephant, Leopard, Jackal, small civet, mongoose, otter, purple- faced Langur, slender loris, Indian pangolin, Indian porcupine, water buffalo, sambar, spotted deer (Chit al),  mouse deer (chevrotain), and muntjac.

  • BIRDS:

The rich avian fauna includes paradise flycatcher, black-headed oriole, green bee- eater, and stork- billed kingfisher.

Others are Ceylon gray hornbill, Malabar pied hornbill, rose- winged parakeet, serpent eagle, ceylon hawk eagle, gray-headed fishing eagle, brahminy kite, Indian peafowl, and Ceylon jungle fowl.

  • OTHER VERTEBRATES:

Reptiles include python, rat snake, cobra, swamp crocodile, and monitor lizard.

  • 3. WILPATTU NATIONAL PARK( SRILANKA);

Establishment: 1937.  Srilanka’s largest national park, a vast area entirely encircled by sanctuaries. Wild animals and abundant birdlife are the chief attractions for naturalists; for archaeologists; the ancient cave temples, ruined dagobas, and stone columns of the Buddhist civilizations of the Sinhalese, from pre- Christian to medieval times.

  • GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION:

Western Srilanka, on Indian ocean.

  • SIZE: 108,780ha.
  • ACCESSIBILITY: By Puttalam – Anuradhapura road (182km from Colombo)
  • BEST VISITING: July, August, and September.
  • TOPOGRAPHY:

A flat and sandy area with some 42 shallow lakes (villu in Tamil and wila in Sinhalese), holding the mon soon rains. The eastern section has many streams and richer vegetation, with woods, forests, and meadows.

  • CLIMATE:

Both wet and dry season visits have their own advantages and disadvantages and give much to the visitor. Wilpattu climate dry, much like that of Gal oya and Ruhunu.

  • FLORA:

Forests are in no way primeval, due to the area's ancient human history. Secondary growths constantly exploited, should be more precisely termed “territory” or “quaternary” growths. Richness of wild flowers in this parkland turns the national park into a great flower garden January- March.

  • MAMMALS: Spotted deer (chital) in herds are the most common larger mammals.

Wild boars frequently seen, also water buffaloes bathing in the mud. Sambar and Indian elephants are other impressive mammals. Woodlands contain porcupine and monkeys of various species. Among the carnivores; sloth- bear, jackal, leopard, and jungle cat.

  • BIRDS:

Kingfishers (Three species), bee- eaters, white ibis, spoonbill, storks (four species), herons and egrets (seven species), waders and ducks, parrots, sun birds, birds of prey, owls, jungle fowl, peafowl, and hornbills.

  • OTHER VERTEBRATES:

The marsh crocodile can be observed; some pools are teeming with baby crocodiles.

BURMA

BURMA;

  • AREA: 680,651 KM2

TOUR DESTINATIONS  IN BURMA;

  • 1. PIDAUNG GAME SANCTUARY (BURMA);

Establishment: 1927.  Situated in the lowlands of northern Burma, this game reserve is still relatively rich in animals though many of the large mammals were slaughtered during worldwar  II. The area covers several ranges of low rounded hills.

  • GEOGRAHICAL LOCATION: Northern Burma, W of Irrawaddy R.
  • Size: 72,500ha.
  • BEST VISITING: February- April.
  • TOPOGRAPHY:

Mosaic pattern of grassy plains( Lwins) surrounded by forests and scrub jungle (Indaing).  Some plains contain saline earth, and these salt licks are constantly frequented by mammals, as are waterholes and swamps around the pidaung river.

  • CLIMATE:

Visits by car are out of the question in rainy season (May- October), all roads becoming rivers of mud. Visitors may reach the rest house in rainy season by rail but will be cut off from the northern section by an unfordable pidaung river.  Impractible to drive into reserve before late January.

  • FLORA:

Scrub forests, chiefly gurjun oil trees. The evergreen forests of the hills are not of a pure rainforest type but do display examples of primeval beauty in giant figs and teaks. Orchids grow on trunks and branches overhanging the Pidaung River.

  • MAMMALS:

The sanctuary was primarily consisted for the following species; sambar, hog deer, muntjac, gaur, banteng, wild boar, Indian elephant, tiger, leopard, Asiatic black bear, and the Asiatic wild dog, and these are all still present.

Animals most numerous and most readily observed in forests and open plains and meadows are the gaur, elephant, and the sambar, but none of these species exceeds 100 individuals. In the forest are found the phayre leaf monkey, the Chindwin Langur, the Burmese pig-tailed macaque, rhesus monkey, and hooklock gibbons with their melodious chorus, a characteristic sound of these jungles. Other forest dwellers are the oriental civet and the yellow- throated marten.

  • BIRDS:

Of great interest are kilij pheasant, Chinese francolin, partridges of several species, painted quail, jungle fowl, green peafowl, green pigeons of at least four species, pied hornbill, black- necked stork, white- winged wood duck, and many waders and passerines. The swamp at nanaw maung is particularly favorable to waterfowl.

BANGLADESH

BANGLADESH;

AREA: 21,279 Km2

TOUR DESTINATIONS IN BANGLADESH;

•        1. CHITTAGONG HILL TRACTS NATIONAL PARK( BANGLADESH);

Establishment: 1927. This national park is a portion of a vast forest reserve. The most prominent member of its fauna is the tiger, who preys on deer; jungle fowl the most conspicuous of many birds. The Karnfuli River runs from east to west, cutting deep gorges across the north- south strike of minor hills.

Geographical location: South eastern Bangladesh, on Assam and Burma borders.

•        SIZE: 25,900 ha.

 

 

•        2.  SUNDARBANS GAME SANCTUARY(BANGLADESH);

Geographical location: In the Ganges Delta, at the Bay of Bengal

•        SIZE: About 27,000ha.

•        GEOLOGY,  TOPOGRAPHY, AND CLIMATE:

A level tidal plain in the enormous delta, the entire area is a network of rivers and rivulets but with dense forests. The plain was formed by sediments from the Ganges though it is located west of the main arms of the river. The area is without even a single hill. The climate is tropical.

•        FLORA:

This mosaic of land and waterways is covered by a thick natural forest that in includes such species as Keora, Cawa, Golpatta, Sundri, and ferns.

 

•        MAMMALS:

The abundance of animals includes numerous spotted deer (chital). But the area is most notable because it is the home of the famous Royal Bengal Tiger, which, however is not subspecifically distinct from the race occurring elsewhere in India, Pakistan, and the surrounding regions. It is called “Bengal tiger)” simply because the scientific description of the tiger was based on a specimen from Bengal.

NEPAL

NEPAL;

Area.141,341km2

TOUR DESTINATIONS IN NEPAL;

  • 1. CHITAWAN NATIONAL PARK (Chitawani District)- NEPAL;

Establishment: 1964, upgraded to national park, 1971. Extensive areas of seasonal swamps, which are the habitats of the great Indian rhinocerus.  From these swamps, found along the rapti and Reu rivers, on clear winter days one can see a magnificent panorama of forested hills with the Himalayan peaks Annapurna and others on the horizon.

  • Geographical location.

At southern base of Himalayan foothills, 80 km SW of Kathmandu

  • Size: About 76,000ha.

Nearest town: Hitdura;

  • GEOLOGY:

The reserve is chiefly on moist alluvial land, formed by the sedimentation of rivers spreading out a few miles from the base of the Himalayas.

  • TOPOGRAPHY:

The area lies between the churia hills and the steep hills of the Mahabharata range, that is, inside the foothills of the Himalayas. A number of transverse valley (duns) break and dissect the hills. The rapti valley is a flat plateau (altitude 275-300m).  This area and the Reu valley vary from low-lying river beds to undulating plains below the hills.

  • CLIMATE:

Cold weather months; November -April, but hot weather can start as early as March; rainy season; June- September (1,650-1750mm) when riverine tracts are flooded.

  • FLORA:

Vegetation consists of tall swamp grass (Saccharum), which grows up to 6 meters. Some river banks have dense thickets of shisham, simul, Khair, and Bauhinia. On smaller hills are extensive forests of sal with a grassy undergrowth.  The vegetation of the savanna varies with the flood level - reeds and grasses, such as phime grass, and alang alang.

MAMMALS; The protagonist of the sanctuary is the great indian rhinoceros.When the swampy areas flooded, the rhinos move to the drier scrub jungle. Four species of deer occur; muntjac, sambar, spotted deer, and hog deer. Other Ungulates are nilgai, gaur, and wild boar(very common here). Indian elephants visit the reserve coming from the surrounding dense forests. The largest predators are tiger, leopard, striped hyena, and sloth- bear. In the deeper water of the marayni River (of which the Rapti and Rek are tributaries) the Gangetic dolphin may be seen shimming.

  • BIRDS:

The rich birdlife includes waterbirds like egrets, herons, black- necked stork, adjutant stork, black ibis, pintail, ruddy Sheldrake, and other ducks.

Several species of eagles, hawks, and vultures occur, as well as peafowl, jungle fowl, black partridge, and many others.

  • OTHER VERTEBRATES: Both the gavial and the marsh crocodile are to be found in the Rapti River.
 
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