The show stopper of Panna National Park remains the Royal Bengal Tiger. Panna is also the habitat for predators like the leopard and the jungle cat and scavengers like the striped hyena. Jackals, sloth bear are also found in these forests. Herds of chinkara’s (mountain gazelle), solidatary barking deers as well as porcupines can easily be seen here.
In this park, the nilgai ( Blue Bull ) in winters and sambar (in summer) are the most significant herbivores comprising the prey base. The chital is an important prey during the monsoons. Smaller species like the wild boar and Chousingha are also fairly common in the reserve. Dhole, wolf, Indian fox, mongoose, ratel and wild pigs are other species that you may come across in Panna. The caracal, a relative of the extinct cheetah, may be sighted here on very rare occasions.
HABITAT & TOPOGRAPHY
The prime attraction of wildlife in Panna National Park are the Gharial and Mugger crocodiles which are found in the Ken river which runs in the core area of the forest.
Additionally, there is a rich and diverse variety of birds in this park as in any other tiger reserve. Around 200 species of birds are found here, including winter migrants from the Himalayas and Central Asia. The Common Peafowl, also known as the peacock,India’s National Bird is frequently encountered in the park.
The park is situated in the Vindhyan Ranges of north-central Madhya Pradesh where the landscape is mildly undulating with hills ranging from 200 – 500 m. The park area is mainly plateau, with the flatlands punctuated with hills, deep valleys and gorges. The terrain is largely rocky and uneven covered with scrub and grass. The Talegaon plateau that lies to the east in the Panna range is the highest. At an intermediate altitude is the Hinouta plateau sandwiched between Panna and Madla at a lower altitude. The Madla range lies in a narrow stretch along the south bank of the Ken river.