One of the fines tiger landscapes of the country, the Kanha landscape has been renowned internationally for its rich flora and fauna, including, of course, the iconic tiger. Whole the Kanha landscape is not notified/legally declared as such, evidently, it is named after the famous Kanha tiger reserve, part of the landscape. And in the Kanha tiger reserve lies the source of the geneology of most tigers spread over this landscape. Speaking generally, this landscape of around 3500 sq.km, for immediate pratical purposes, currently incorporates the Kanha core, the Kanha buffer, the Phen wildlife sanctuary, parts of ecological corridors (Kanha-Pench, Kanha-Achanakmar, and Kanha-Nawegaon-Nagzira), and areas under different forest divisions contiguous to the Kanha tiger reserve.
Consequently, the landscape supported a wide range of wildlife species, including carnivores herbivores and birds. Naturally, tigers too were abundant, and made the area famous for hunting, for sport or otherwise. These forest tracts were regarded as some of the finest and hitherto untouched wilderness areas in the country. Many widely-traveled Indian and British conservationists were in awe of this region.
Currently, while the tiger reserve is regarded as one of the best managed tiger forest, the rest of the landscape is still struggling with effective conservation initiatives, and is faced with typical Indian conditions of biotic and developmental pressures coupled with highly prioritized production forestry goals and objectives.
Situated in the Mandla and Balaghat districts of Madhya Pradesh, the Kanha tiger reserve in regarded as one of the finest wildlife protected areas in India. The tiger reserve (2074 sq.km,) consists of two conservation entities, namely, the core zone (917.43 sp.km.) and the technically still a national park, is occupied by villages. The core or the critical tiger habitat is almost completely surrounded by the buffer zone barring part of the eastern boundary running along the Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh interstate border.
The Halon and Banjar valleys, forming the eastern and the western parts, two ecological units, of the core zone respectively, are connected by a narrow ridge/ corridor known as the “chicken’s neck”. The Phen wildlife sanctuary, a satellite micro-core, of 110.74 sq.km., is also under the tiger reserve management Legally, however, the sanctuary has its own status as a protected area.