Hoollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary, Bokakhat
About Hoollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary
The Hoollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary derives from a patch of forest once part of the Hollongapar Reserve Forest in the civil district of Jorhat in Assam, India. Set aside as a "Reserve Forest" (RF) on 27 August 1881, it was named after its dominant tree species, Hollong or Dipterocarpus macrocarpus. At the time, it was considered an "integral part" of the foothill forests of the Patkai mountain range.Although the sanctuary is currently completely surrounded by tea gardens and a few small villages, it used to connect to a large forest tract that ran to the state of Nagaland. The protected area started with 206 ha (0.80 sq mi) and then shrank in 1896 as sections were de-reserved. As tea gardens began to emerge between 1880 and 1920, and villages were established during the 1960s to rehabilitate people from Majuli and adjoining areas who had lost their lands to floods, the forest became fragmented and the reserve became isolated from the foothills.Historically, sporadic evergreen trees covered the area along with Bojal bamboos (Pseudodactylum sp.). In 1924, artificial regeneration was introduced in an attempt to develop well-stocked, even-aged forest. These plantations along with the natural vegetation subsequently created a forest stocked with a rich variety of flora and fauna (biodiversity). During the 1900s, forest areas were added to the reserve, eventually totaling 2,098.62 ha (8.1 sq mi) by 1997. However, the sanctuary remains fragmented into five distinct segments.On 30 July 1997, in notification no. FRS 37/97/31, the sanctuary was constituted under the civil district of Jorhat and named it the "Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary" after the only apes found in India: the hoolock gibbons (genus Hoolock). It is the only sanctuary in India named after a gibbon due to its distinction for containing the densest gibbon populations in Assam. On 25 May 2004, the Assam Government renamed it as the "Hoollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary" through notification no. FRP 37/97/20.