The forests are a part of Central Indian Highlands which James Forsyth has written about so much. The tracts that extended to more than five thousand sq.km. are now fragmented. Wildlife conservation efforts have helped in saving these precious jewels that we have inherited.
Pench is a wonderful tiger reserve with unique wildlife and is situated at “Seoni Hills” in the district of Seoni in Madhya Pradesh. These Hills also find reference in the book “The Highlands of Central India” written by Capt: James Forsyth.
Tiger is the keystone species here and other wild mammals, reptiles and insects are as exciting to see during the tiger safari in the park. The bird life at Pench has yet to be explored and no check list has been made so far. Large number of wetland species can be seen in winters at Totlah Doh Dam built on the River Pench which is the lifeline of the habitat.
The tiger reserve is now very famous for wildlife watching and birding tourism. A tiger safari offers sightings of Indian Tiger, Bison, Leopard, Sloth Bear, Sambar Deer, Nilgai, Spotted Deer, Wild Dogs, Barking Deer, Wild Boars and Langurs. Indian wolf is often seen in the periphery of the tiger reserve. There are many nocturnal creatures like the mongoose, porcupine, Indian civets, ratel and many birds like night jars and some owls like mottled wood owl. These can be seen in night safaris outside the park as they are not allowed within the park confines.
For management purpose the reserve has been divided into ranges. These are Karmajhiri, Kurai and Gumtara. These ranges are subject to extensive patrolling by the forest staff in order to prevent poaching and wood logging. Adjoining the National Park lies the Mowgli Wildlife Sanctuary which adds to the forest cover.
The park is divided into Core and Buffer zones each of which receive varied degree of protection. Core is completely inviolate zone while buffer is subject to minimal activity. The tourism takes place in the core area on limited jungle roads. Only jeep safaris are allowed in the park and trekking on foot is prohibited.