The Pench Tiger Reserve (Madhya Pradesh) is a 292.85 sq km (113.07 sq mi) Project Tiger tiger reserve located in the Seoni District and Chhindwara District of southern Madhya Pradesh in central India. It is contiguous on the south with the 257.23 km2 (99.32 sq mi) Pench Tiger Reserve (Madhya Pradesh), both of which are included in the Level 1, 13,223 km2 (5,105 sq mi) Tiger Conservation Unit – 31 (Kanha-Pench TCU).
The Reserve gets its name from the Pench River that flows, north to south, 74 km through the reserve. The Pench River bisects the Pench reserve into two nearly equal parts; the 147.61 km² of the Western Block which falls in the Gumtara Range of the Chhindwara Forest Division and the 145.24 km² of the Eastern Block in the Karmajhiri Range of the Seoni Forest Division.
The total area of the Reserve is 757.89 km² of which, the Indira [Pench National Park, Madhya Pradesh|Priyadarshini Pench National Park, forming the core zone of the Reserve, covers 292.85 km², and the Mowgli Pench Wildlife Sanctuary is 118.30 km² in area. A Buffer Zone constituted by Reserved Forests, Protected Forests and Revenue land, occupies 346.73 km².
The Reserve lies in the southern lower reaches of the Satpura Range of hills on the southern border of Madhya Pradesh. The general topography of Pench Tiger Reserve is mostly undulating, characterised by small ridges and hills having steep slopes, with a number of seasonal streams and nullahs carving the terrain into many folds and furrows, a result of the folding and upheavals of the past. The topography becomes flatter close to the Pench River. Most of the Tiger Reserve area falls under flat to gentle slope category (0-22 °) (Sankar et al. 2000b). The mean altitude is around 550 m above M.S.L. The geology of the area is mainly gneisses and basalt (see Shukla 1990 for details).
The Central Indian Highlands have a tropical monsoonal continental climate, with a distinct monsoon (July to September), winter (November to February) and summer (April to June). The mean annual rainfall is around 1400 mm, with the south-west monsoon accounting for most of the rainfall in the region. For the dry season (November to May), the mean rainfall was 59.5 mm, and the temperature varies from a minimum of 0°C in winter to 45°C in summer (Sankar et al. 2000). It is situated near seoni district in madhya pradesh.
On the extreme southern boundary of the Tiger Reserve, a dam (Pench Hydroelectric Project) has been constructed on the Pench River. This dam forms the State boundary between Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. Because of this dam’s reservoir, a sizeable proportion (54 km²) of the Tiger Reserve on the Madhya Pradesh side has come under submergence of the resulting water body (reservoir) after the monsoonal rains. As summer approaches, these areas, from where the water gradually recedes downstream, become lush green meadows attracting high numbers of wild herbivores.
During summer, the Pench River dries out leaving small pools of water locally known as "doh" or "khassa", which, besides the Pench reservoir, are the most important sources of water for the animals during this period. Artificial sources of water such as earthen tanks and check-dams (anicuts) too tend to dry out before the month of March, due to the inherent low water retention capacity of the soil. The Reserve management has also set up many hand-pumps and artificial water holes throughout the Reserve to serve as minor sources of water during the pinch summer months.
Pench Tiger Reserve belongs to the Indo-Malayan phyto-geographical region. Ecologically, Pench is categorized as a tropical moist deciduous (TMD) tiger habitat. Teak is a ubiquitous species in the region, with a presence ranging from a sporadic distribution in most parts of the study area to localized teak-dominated patches. Teak (Tectona grandis), and associated species such as Madhuca indica, Diospyros melanoxylon, Terminalia tomentosa, Buchanania lanzan, Lagerstroemia parviflora, Ougeinia dalbergoides, Miliusa velutina and Lannea coromandalica, occur on flat terrain.
The undulating terrain and hill slopes have patches of Mixed Forest dominated by Boswellia serrata and Anogeissus latifolia. Species like Sterculia urens and Gardenia latifolia are found scattered on rocky slopes. Bamboo forests occur in the hill slopes and along streams. Some of the open patches of the Park are covered with tall grasses interspersed with Butea monosperma and Zizyphus mauritiana. Evergreen tree species like Terminalia arjuna, Syzygium cumini and Ixora parviflora are found in riparian vegetation along nullahs and river banks. Cleistanthus collinus dominant patches are also found in some parts of the Tiger Reserve.
Zoogeographically, the Reserve falls in Oriental region. The carnivore fauna is represented by the tiger (Panthera tigris Linnaeus), leopard (Panthera pardus Linnaeus), dhole (Cuon alpinus Pallas), jungle cat (Felis chaus Gueldenstaedt), and small Indian civet (Viverricula indica Rasse). Wolf (Canis lupus) occurs on the fringes and outside the Reserve limits. Striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena), sloth bear (Melursus ursinus Shaw), jackal (Canis aureus), and common palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) make up the rest of the carnivore fauna of the Reserve.
Chital (Axis axis Erxleben), sambar (Cervus unicolor Kerr), gaur (Bos frontalis Lambert), nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus Pallas), wild pig (Sus scrofa L.), barking deer (Muntiacus muntjac Zimmerman) and chowsingha (Tetraceros quadricornis Blainville), are the wild ungulate species found in the study area. Chital, sambar, nilgai and wild pigs are found all over the Tiger Reserve. With the distribution of water governing their movement patterns to a great extent, gaur migrate down from the hills during the dry season and occupy the forests along the Pench River and other sources of water, and migrate back to the hill forests during the monsoon.
Nilgai are found mostly in a few open areas, along forest roads, scrub jungles and fringe areas of the Reserve. Chowsingha are more localized to the greatly undulating areas of the Reserve. Barking deer are seen infrequently in moist riverine stretches. Chinkara (Gazella bennetti Sykes) are infrequently seen on the open areas bordering and outside the Buffer Zone of the Reserve (e.g. Turia, Telia, and Dudhgaon).
Currently there are no human settlements within the core zone (National Park) of the Tiger Reserve, with the last two forest villages, Alikatta and Chhendia, relocated out in 1992 and 1994 to Durgapur and Khairanji respectively. Villages, inhabited by people of the Gond tribe, small farmers, and labourers, surround the Reserve. The Gond tribals, being forest dwellers, hold great respect for the forest and its fauna, many of which are worshipped. Domestic livestock such as cattle, buffaloes and goats owned by these people frequent the areas adjacent to the Tiger Reserve, many a times falling prey to the wild carnivores of the region.
Peoples are very good. We con enter in the project from Sillari Village which is 8 km way from NH 6 (Pouni Gate) We Can get help of the local guide from the Silaari gate. Silari village in the project. Basic occupation of the Silari Villagers is Agriculture. Orange, jwary, Tuwar, Soyabin Paddy, are main Crops of Villagers and some young people are working as a guide. In this Project Fefadikund, Nagdeo Pahadi, Bodalkasa, Titaralmangi Totaldoh, Ambakhory these are the Main spot pls don't mis it.