Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bandhavgarh Jeep Safari

Recently tourism zones have been divided in Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve. Earlier Tala Gate was the main core where tourism was organized. Due to heavy rush of vehicles the park has been divided into four zone which is a wise move. The number of vehicle entry has also been restricted which is wise as well. 

All these practices will increase cost in the preserve and decrease tourism. Well a balance is required. I have never been to Panpatha zone for excursion and perhaps visited only some areas of Khitauli Zone.  On my next tour I will get a chance to explore new habitats in the amazingly beautiful tiger haven. 

I narrate here my experience of Tala Zone. The terrain is the roughest that one comes across most of the tiger reserves in India and most striking. In most of the confines of the park  an experienced driver acclimatised to  sudden steep climb and swift turns on hillocks is a must. The climb to Sesh Shaiyya is an example how steep upwards a jeep ride could be. In times of Maharaja four by four vehicle was required to reach the Fort about 2 km from Shesh Shaiyya.    

The jeep ride over Gufa No.10, Ghodha Demon and Ramgarh is a steep upward climb continuously. At places 4 by 4 is required but the spectacular scape makes these mountainous areas a must visit. The large tracts of grasslands are situated in the plains where the ride is easy but one needs to avoid the sand traps. Lot many vehicles get stalled in the sand filled paths of the forests.   

The high rise terrain on the hillocks accords greater privacy to tigers of the reserve. These inaccessible areas are excellent breeding grounds for the big cats. The difficult undulating terrain needs safari vehicles in expert hands. Most of the jeep drivers in the preserve are acclimatized to driving in the park. The top rated luxury hotels in Bandhavgarh use their own jeeps for tiger safari. They have on hire expert jeep safari guys who make excursions successful. Some of the drivers are expert naturalists as well.       

Since private vehicles are not allowed in the reserve you need to hire jeeps available for wildlife safaris. If you suspect your driver's skill ask him not to approach the steep climbs or mountainous terrain in the nature preserve. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Tiger by the River

It was 3 years back and I was leading a German bird watching group at Corbett. Birding is very time consuming and requires lot of concentration. The group wanted both birding as well as tiger sighting. The latter becomes difficult when you are in quest for birds. But nevertheless I was keeping an eye in the avian species as well as the tigers.  

It was early April but heat had picked up we were on five jeeps all scattered but on the same route. Somewhere around the Bank of Ranganga I heard one sambar alarm cry which was never repeated. Much to the chagrin of the jeep driver I asked him to stop. Within seconds the alarm cries were repeated on the other side of the river. These were spotted deer who were moving into the forest at frantic pace.    

This was enough to tell you that there is a predator in the vicinity. "Quite close by," I told my bewildered guests. This was the first experience for them of sounds of the jungle in India. We began to wait for the predator to emerge. Lot of time passes...the impatient driver and the guest now irate at losing precious birding time look at me with a bit of irritation. Lot more time had passed and nothing happened.

I had an inclination that the predator had heard the jeep sound and was hiding in the bush somewhere near. Their was a pin drop silence all the way now but the tiger as I presumed it to be was coolly lying down at peace with itself.           

Other jeeps with the rest of my guests in total fifteen had reached us by now and I told the jeep drivers to wait in total silence. I knew I was risking my job if the tiger did not emerge there would be a complaint. But I paid no heed to the drivers who were urging me to move on. 

As luck would have it a troop of macaque came across to my left. The macaques have a peculiar habit of going right near the predator and irritating it with raucous alarm cries. Hari Lamba the local birding guide on other jeep  also knew this. I asked my guests to watch the movement of the leader and eagerly they did. The leader went right up to the spot where the big cat was hiding. He began to cry frantically from the tree nearby, and within few moments a huge male emerged. I had asked my guests to keep the camera ready but none could photograph in that exciting moment. We could see the tiger moving besides us about 30 yards and vanish into the deep confines on the bushes on the bank. 

That was it I had tracked the tiger! The cheers that followed were heartening. But not for some guides and jeep drivers, the lot here have a peculiar habit of expressing their "no ledge" and very rudely at times. I have not experienced anything like this elsewhere. The staff respects the age and experience of old timers, not here.    

At the forests near the Dhikala accommodation we had heard alarm cries the evening before but could not locate the tiger hidden well inside. The jungles of India are full of surprises.  While returning to the rest house through the same road, we were still in trance with what had happened. Then what happens, the yesterdays tiger emerges from that very spot, crosses the road approaches us and vanishes into the vegetation across. This time my guests managed to photograph a tiger without head (behind a tree trunk at that moment) and other pic of its bum about 5/6 feet away from us. What a way to store eternal memories!           

Hey! I had no role play here except taking a weak chance, nevertheless it all boiled down to me. I could not understand German but the smiles told me a lot. 

Corbett - Incredible - Unforgettable

It is not on tiger safaris that I got to know this wildlife heaven better. I visited Corbet Tiger Reserve many years back and the destination surprised me no end. But I got to know the tiger heaven better on my birding trips in last few years.   

The keystone species are tiger, leopard, wild elephant and among the reptiles it is the endangered Gharial and Mugger. The latter two are easily sighted at crocodile pond but the foremost two are bit difficult to sight. I have sighted tigers on many occasions but the leopard none. Only leopard sighting I had was on way up to Sat Tal in Naini Tal District. 

Though tourism still has a free hand in this park with private vehicles creating the greatest nuisance. Nevertheless wildlife has increased in this National Park with a large number of tigers inhabiting the wonderful reserve. Of late the big cats are seen more and more than earlier. Another great attraction is the wild elephant whose numbers increase with the onset of summers.  Hundred of pachyderms gather around the the Kalagarh Dam and Dhikala Chaur the most coveted for accommodations, wildlife watching and birding.   
Other mammals seen here are leopard, spotted deer, barking deer, Goral, sambar deer, sloth bear,  rhesus macaque, Hanuman Langur, hog deer, yellow throated martins, otters, Himalayan Black Bear, jungle cat, leopard cat and fishing cat.

Birders know that for them this is a paradise with more than five hundred bird species inhabiting the reserve.  In Northern India this is the most coveted destination for bird watching besides Bharatpur and Sattal. The attractions are many: Great Hornbill, Great Slatyheaded Woodpecker, Siberian ruby throat, wall creeper, Ibisbill, red breasted parakeet, plum headed parakeet, Alexandrine Parakeet, Himalyan Bubul, White cheeked bulbul, Streak throated woodpecker, grey faced woodpecker, greater and lesser racket tailed drongo, white bellied drongo, white rumped shama. commom magpie  and Himalayan Flameback
At Corbett I have seen both Scarlet and Long Tailed Minivets besides Rosy Minivets and small minivet. Paradise flycatchers can be seen  with onset of summer. The list can go on and on. 
The park is one of the most picturesque thanks to the enchanting river Ramganga that flows through the finest forests within the reserve. The white sandstone on the banks and crystal clear blue waters are a mesmerizing spectacle to experience. The forest are most enchanting with exciting safaris to thrill you down to the bones. There are long trails of forests around the buffer zones but not intact. Places like Choti Haldwani and near by places where Jim Corbett used to hunt man eaters are bustling townships with very little natural land left. Only at Corbett National Park do you experience true wilderness.        

Best way to reach Corbett is via Ramnager which is about 11 km from the Dhangari Gate. In order to visit the Dhikala Zone one should be staying at accommodations or Rest House within the zone. Sarapduli and Dhikala are the preferred accommodations in terms of what they have to offer. Other entrances are the Aam Danda Gate, Durga Devi Gate and Kalagarh Gate (Jhirna).  

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bisons of Kanha

Bos Gaurus
The coarse grazer belonging to Family Bovidae is one of the most impressive mammals of Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh. The animal is found widespread in intact forest habitats where interference of man is minimal. Like the tiger bison or gaur as it is called in Hindi cannot tolerate human interference and usually becomes locally extinct due to disease carried by livestock of the settlers. Competition for food is another factor in the species loosing ground.   

This did not happen in Kanha, thanks to large area and mountainous region that gave these animals enough space. The Barasingha suffered the most with extensive loss of habitat. The bison is a local migratory animal and sticks to its forests in vicinity. 

The bisons are less seen during the winters in the plains and meadows of Kanha. The coarse grazers get enough to forage on the  table top mountains and are content to stay there in the dense confines. But as water levels decreases with passing off of winter, and leaf shedding begins these animals start migrating to lower areas. Herds can be seen in forest confines and the grassy meadows during the early morning hours and late evenings as the heat increases.   

They are sighted from February in larger numbers. The animal is a gregarious species which live in small heards to larger herds of 40 to 50 heads. The matriarchal system prevails with dominant males keeping to the fringes or away from the herd in non breeding period.  The herd consists of  young females, males and fawns. 

In winters mating occurs on hillside and the fawn are born during May onwards. The dominant males often engage in a tussle and various display of aggression before courtship to take control of the herd with female in estrous. 

The population increased substantially after trans location of villages in the core zone. The species suffered extensive loss after my visit in 1976. This was due to foot and mouth disease or rinderpest and many animals died during the prevalence. In recent times gaur can be seen in Kisli Range as well as in the buffer zone around Indri Camp. Herds now cross over at the road to Mukki near the villages in the periphery. These animals are always susceptible to disease prevalence among the live stock there.     

The conservation efforts as whole has paid of  for this species. The increasing number would need new grounds for  the gaur and these would be the buffer. The forest canopy is not dense here and the region  is open to man animal conflict.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wildlife in your backyard - Conservation & Photography

If you live in a small town or outskirts of major town than nature is all around you. You need not search for a mega fauna but small wildlife that spins its own ecosystem in your back yard. Birds, insects, small amphibians and even reptiles are part of your backyard.   

These life forms can form an interesting part of your study of nature. Photography especially macro photography is quite possible if you have the right equipment. You can capture bird nesting and breeding butterflies and other insects.  

Photography enthusiasts dream of filming mega fauna which can be a costly and time consuming exercise. If you do not have the necessary resources than backyard photography can also lead you to great photographs and articles. You must understand that wildlife photography is a serious profession and the glamor and glitter can be misleading.   

Photographing nesting birds in your garden is a wonderful opportunity to capture rare events. At the same time you come to understand the breeding biology of your subject. This can churn out and interesting piece of scientific literature that can find publisher in a nature magazine. 


Always preserve natural places in your compound and the neighborhood. Many life forms cannot find habitat in a manicured gardens and trees which are not endemic.  Hence even if you are not a wildlife enthusiast or nature photographer please preserve all small niches that are natural. This way you are saving many lives. 

Ask your neighbors, friends and relatives to preserve the small pockets of natural vegetation around them. Please forward this message.    

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Searching for tiger in Pench

Pench is a unique destination that has been popularized by Capt.Sleeman and the legendary writer Kipling. Capt Seelman wrote in his book "Rambles and Recollection" about Mowgli the Wolf Child first discovered by Lt. Moor of British Army in Central India. He found the child in the village of Sant Vavadi.

Kipling's account of Seoni Hills in "Jungle Book" is fiction that is based on reality.  The imagination has mesmerized readers all over the World. Actually it was not the book that did it but the film by Walt Disney Production that proselytized millions across the World. The film created love and respect for other life forms by presenting them in a highly loveable manner including Sher Khan. Yes Sher Khan too, the object of our reckless pursuit on tiger safari. The film is in my  view one of the greatest conservation work in history of mankind. Hyperbole not to be misunderstood.

The denizens of the wild still survive but in less numbers, the forest wealth has been diminished by loggers and the down slide continues.  Within the confines of Pench National Park the tigers have learned to thrive well while their brothers outside the protected area are totally at the mercy of humans. 

Tigers are shy animals and very difficult to see in dense thickets. They are by nature nocturnal animals hence active hunting takes place in the night. The tigers love to move in the cold of the night and prefer to lie in the shade whence the sun is high up. They are seen whence forced to move in the day time on paths frequented by humans. Or on the jungle roads inside the park. Thirst and hunger are two major factors which forces the big cat to cross path with humans. Through years of experience their instinctive avoidance of humans has come into picture and when the stress factor is not there it is very very difficult to see these animals. 

For the big cats the alarm cries are the biggest give away and so is there spoor. Some have come to realize that the tourists on jeep is harmless and dare to venture in full daylight in their presence. This has given the benign tourist extreme moments of delight, but at the same time made them realize the importance of nature conservation and respect for all life forms. Not till one sees the tiger does he or she realize the importance of ecosystems and the wonder creation of Mother Earth.  

Tourism does play an important role in creating awareness about nature and our environment. It persuades tourist to value and conserve whatever is left of  natural Earth.  Tiger safaris are vital if we have to keep educating the uninitiated. The tourism infrastructure, the hotels in Pench National Park in MP are foundation of conservation and responsible tourism. The sustenance of locals means greater help in conserving our inheritance.

The conservationists, tourists, wildlife photographers and nature lovers are the sentinel of wilderness. They are the voice that speaks for the tigers and other persecuted life forms.  It is the people who care to visit natural heavens that realize our inhertiance not those who never bother.  For you do not hear a golfer say" Help Save the Tiger".        

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tiger Safari on a budget

No Cheap Options from 20 Dec to 7th January, Diwali Festival and Holi festival ...avoid Saturdays and Sundays other holidays.   

The recent price hike in tiger tourism in Indian tiger reserves in  MP has a negative impact on economy that sustains many homes. A world reeling under an economic stress finds it difficult to spend so much on wildlife safaris. Nevertheless lot many people on Earth wish to see this wonder creature though they can only travel on a budget. This does not apply only to middle class Indians but to foreigners as well.   

The price hike may be a management issue aimed at regulating tourism in the Central Indian Parks. Hence those wishing to travel for tiger safaris and birding need to economize everywhere they can. The tour begins at Delhi for most.

Depending upon your flight you can avoid a stay at the Capital. There are direct flights for Jabalpur if time allows get on board straight. Booking flights in advance cuts the cost, last minute flights are costly. Another option is overnight train which are about 4 or 5. You should have booked your rail ticket in advance the cheaper options are 3 tier sleeper or 3 AC bit higher priced.  These are overnight options but will certainly save a stay in the hotel in New Delhi.    

Whence you reach Jabalpur you have an option to get bus for Kanha National Park via Mandla but this is in the early morning times. Taxi ride is costly hence if you have to stay overnight than there are many economy hotels in Jabalpur at Russel Chowk. Be cautious that you do not land in unsafe hotel. Some of the better hotels are Arihant Palace, Vardhman Hotel, Hotel Shikhar Palace which charge reasonably and you can bargain. 

There is a direct bus for Kanha from the bus station known as motor stand very close to Russel Chowk. You can walk down there about 10 minutes. You should reach around 5.45 am.I think there are two buses going to Kanha hence get the first worm. The ride is about 156 km to Mocha Village if you are putting up there or bit further to Khatia Gate.You have to travel to Khatia Gate..Kanha Kisli Side and not to the Mukki Gate (towards Raipur) which does not have budget options. Keep this in mind. Always ask for Khatia Gate at Kanha near Mochha Village.     

Stay: Bargain at hotels in Kanha ....motel chandan at Khatia Gate, and other lodges on main road to Khatia Gate they are safer.  Food is also cheap in these places else there are many road side dhabas for food. Avoid Non Veg which is costlier than vegetarian food. Always go for deep fried hot food in road side joints else eat boiled eggs bread and butter if you are extra sensitive to Indian Pathogens. See things cook right in your presence the hotter the better. The oil and spices your stomach will adjust to. Once you get hooked to Indian curry & roti there is none other food. Anyway carry antibiotics for your stomach as many do. Carry mineral water...branded one use that throughout your journey.

Remember India is a vast country so you cannot expect any homogeneity in services and offerings. There are World class restaurants and accommodations in the country but on budget tour forget it. Most of the budget restaurants are clean and neat. Avoid roadside joints if you come across some good eateries.      

There is a dormitory at Kisli in Kanha National Park operated by MP Tourism you should book in advance along with food it is a real cheap option. You could share the jeep safari if other inbound tourists are staying there. Since the dormitory is in the core area your movements will be restricted by Gate timings. Khatia Gate has a small rustic bazaar but not quaint at all...he!he!. This is where people begin there safari on Kanha side, the jeeps are available here. But if you connect in advance with your accommodation you might get a share ride and save money.     

Try to share jeep safaris with other foreigners this brings the cost down a lot. There is seperate pricing for Indian and inbound travelers which include NRI foriegn passport holders.  Visit any zone that is available since Kanha Zone is a premium zone and costs more. You can see as good wildlife any where. the same bus will fetch you back it leaves around one am from Khatia or Mocha Village. Gate Entry has to be booked in advance since the vehicle entries are limited.  

Do not buy beverages at your resort in the tiger reserves they are very costly. The local bazzar is the best bet, but liquor will cost more is not all these purchasing at Jabalpur or other major town.    

From Jabalpur you can buy a luxury bus ticket to Khwasa township ahead of Seoni town, the entry point to Pench National Park. Within a distance of ten km there are many resorts you can stay at Mowglis Den Resort which has a dormitory that could cost less. Except in the rush season you can bargain with the resorts for accommodations.

Pench is closer from Nagpur connected by luxury bus. In non holiday period the bus will not cost you the nose. There is a Jabalpur Nagpur railway connection as well.  

For Bandhavgarh there is a direct train Utkal Express from New Delhi leaving 3 pm apporx, it reaches Umaria Station early in the morning from here you have to walk down to the bus stand and catch a bus for Tala which is about 32 km. Most of the accommodations are in and near Tala and some are budget class. 

From Jabalpur you can travel by rail/bus to Katni and catch a bus for Umaria and so on. The best option is the Utkal Express which departs for The Capital around 9 pm approx. Please confirm all rail timings.

There is a long option for Khajuraho from here about 6/7 hours drive, from the temple town Panna National Park is about 45 km and so is Ken Gharial Sanctuary.  

The three tiger reserves are recommended for tiger safari on budget. If you can gather some more people from your country the sharing will certianly bring the individual cost down.

The views above are my own, please use your own discretion during the safari tours. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Best Options for tiger safari in Central India

The best options for tiger safari in the state of Madhya Pradesh are three. Obviously Kanha, Pench and Bandhavgarh. But what can you add more to your journey?

The best way to reach these tiger reserves is landing at Jabalpur Airport or Rail Head which is an overnight journey from New Delhi. The flight takes approximately 1.25 hrs to Jabalpur from New Delhi and nearly the same from Mumbai. Jabalpur is well connected from Mumbai by rail. It is well connected with Kolkutta and many other towns. But one fact remains... you have to book in advance or you do  not get reservations.   

Most inbound tourists drive straightway to the reserves from the airport of rail head. If you are going to spend the night at Jabalpur and have sufficient time then visit Marble Rocks for boating and sightseeing. It is about 21 km from the city and transportation is easily available. Another option is Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary which is about eighty km and a day trip can be made for birding and wildlife safari. Jabalpur has much to offer in sightseeing but that needs a few days off stay.

Kanha or KTR Khatia Gate is about 156 km from Jabalpur if you are staying at Mukki Gate then travel 30 to 40 km more.  From this reserve it is back to Jabalpur for flight/train unless you plan to stay here for an extension to Nauradehi WLS or Marble Rocks.

Those going straight to Bandhavgarh can visit Khajurhao Temples from there on. The temple town is connected by flights well. Panna Tiger Reserve is close by about 45 km and so is Ken Gharial Sanctuary these places are worth a visit.

Bandhavgarh is connected by overnight train with New Delhi from Umaria Station which is about 32 km from the Tala Gate. BTR is connected with KTR by 5 hrs drive and from here Pench is about 5hr drive.

Pench is connected with Nagpur (80KM) which is an Airport. Nagpur is connected to Jabalpur by rail and road. Pench, Kanha tour is an option for those wishing to visit two preserves. Nagpur is an effective gateway to Southern India.   

Pachmarhi Hill Resort and Satpura National Park are close to Jabalpur. By rail and then by road Pachmarhi is about 4 hours journey. Satpura is about two hours from Pachmarhi and one hour from Pipariya Station. The gate is situated at Madai Village. This is destination where in tourism infrastructure has come recently and is yet unexplored. It is part of extended conservation unit called Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve. Bori WLS and Pachmarhi WLS along with the tiger reserve encompass more than 4000 sq km to form this biosphere reserve which is a gold mine of diversity of all natural elements. 

Pachmarhi hill resort is an ideal summer holiday destination, utmost picturesque and cool. Natural formations, Hills and Valleys along with wonder spots form a spectacular pot pourri of scapes that enchant the visitor.  These are destinations where bird life is least explored.  

In order to visit these places tour operators of MP provide affordable tourism packages. For independent travelers making travel arrangements is a big hassle. Okay if done in advance. The hotels can help you with arrangements but  a package is anytime better.  

Useful Info: Winters are very cold hence adequate amount of warm clothing: mufflers, caps, gloves, jackets  should there in your baggage. In the interior areas many consumer products, medicines, wines, banking facilities may not be available so do your shopping in advance at Jabalpur or New Delhi.  

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Indian Cheetah

What was Indian Cheetah Like?

Captain Forsyth has described the Cheetah in India. According to him the animal lived in outskirts of  was capable of chase but preferred to ambush from behind the rocks. There is a hypothesis that speaks of Cheetah being brought to India by the Mughals.  

Last of these was shot in Korea District of Chhattishgarh State in India. The closest species is the Iranian Cheetah with marked similarity. I have been searching for records or write up on this carnivore in India without success.

One reason I can make out for its extinction is the loss of habitat due to colonization and expanding agriculture. Perhaps it was a greater menace on live stock and hence shot down. Cheetah and Leopard both seem to have confused locals as being the same animals, these misunderstandings exists till date although the former is absent. This confusion prevails even between Leopard and Panther, Tendua & Gulbaag, which are names of the same animal.    

Unlike leopard, the cheetah appears to be very fragile with greater dependency on niche habitat and specific prey base.Growing human presence could also be the reason. The carnivore could as well have been brought from outside by the Mughals to hunt black buck. 

During the tectonic plate movement  animals like leopard and lions where on board. But this animal appears to be endemic since in absence of large savannah grasslands the African Cheetah would have found difficult to survive. Anyway most of the grassland ecosystems in India are small and had been taken over by man centuries back.

Could it be possible that some of these animals still survive in our forest peripheries? People even if they see this animal may be mistaking it for the leopard. There still remain unexplored regions which may one day spring surprise like the tiger did in Nauradehi. With the entry of the tiger, Cheetah could have gone nocturnal and elusive like its cousin.

Keep a lookout when you drive through natural places!         

Big Cat Surprise

Death is saddening but does it augur hope? On this instance it does? A local daily has recently reported of a tigress found dead in Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary. Naurdehi WLS is about 80 km from my home town Jabalpur in MP, India.The recently in news regarding relocation of Cheetah. 

The sanctuary is large with the forest cover of about 3000 sq km. The area of the reserve is around 1000 plus sq km. Rich in prey base the place was seen as devoid of tigers and leopard. On my visits I have not heard or seen any evidence of tigers or leopards. The WLS is well known for frequent wolf sighting at Cheola Lake in Mohali Range where the carcass of the tigress was discovered. 

The forest has good prey base within the protected area but the big cats where presumed to be locally extinct due extensive hunting in days whence it was legal.   I have seen large herds of Sambar, Nil Gai, Spotted Deer, Langur and Wild Boars. The park has substantial population of Black Buck which prefer more grassy and open area.  

The big cat's presence is heartening, the forensic analysis is suggestive of natural death probably due to old age. The tigress was about fourteen years at time of death. These predators live to about 14, 15 years in the wild. Although a forest personal had reported seeing a tigress with two cubs few years back no further evidence to collaborate the findings was found later. Now it is confirmed, and presence of more tigers in the area would not come as a surprise. The large sanctuary has many inaccessible hill ranges where these creatures could still be surviving. A counting is being planned but I am not sure about it.

The natural death is suggestive of very little poaching taking place in the sanctuary. On my visits I could make out the sanctuary is well protected in spite of large number of villages inside. But the forest cover is under stress due to biotic pressure. The tiger cubs that where reportedly seen would be around 3/4 years now and capable of mating. 

The discovery also justifies that the place is capable of harboring big carnivores is. Within the sanctum sanctorum more big cats should be discovered..night patrolling is one way of discovering these nocturnal creatures. Cheetah relocation will further boost conservation of habitat. Due to diverse habitat preference there will be little conflict with the tigers present in these forests.

The WLS has interesting wildlife with species that are not seen easily in other tiger reserves. The forest type differs from Kanha and Bandhavgarh and more dry mixed forest type. The open grassy areas support black buck and are preferred by Nil Gai as well. They are ideal for Cheetah which is an open country savannah dwelling predator unlike the tiger which prefers dense cover.   

I have visited the sanctuary few times with Avinash Pathak who knows the ways of the wild. More trips are being planned for bird surveys.

During a day safari at Nauradehi one can see chinkara, wolf, fox and animals mentioned above. I have seen the fox here near the Cheola Lake in day time along with chinkara antelope which is fast loosing habitat in MP and many have been poached. Bird surveys will certainly yield some surprises.