The Pench Tiger Reserve is named after the Pench
river, which flows from north to south through the Reserve. The
Reserve is located in the southern reaches of the Satpura hill ranges in the Seoni and Chhindwara
districts in the Madhya Pradesh state of India. The terrain is undulating, with most of
the area covered by small hill ranges, steeply sloping on the sides.
The Reserve is situated in an area that holds a significant place
in the natural history of Central India. The description of its natural beauty, richness
in flora and fauna has appeared in numerous wildlife books dating back to 17th century.
Books written in the 19th and early 20th century by famous naturalists like Captain
J. Forsyth and Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book explicitly present
the detailed panorama of nature's abundance in this tract.
An extensive forest belt extends in three directions, north, east
and south, covering forest tracts of Seoni, Balaghat and Nagpur districts. The contiguous
forest on the southern side in the Maharashtra state of India, initially notified as
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru National Park has been recently included in the Project Tiger
network by the same name as this Reserve. A dam was constructed on the Pench river on
south-eastern boundary of the Reserve.
The area is criss-crossed by numerous seasonal streams and nalas.
The Pench river flowing through the central line of the Reserve is dry by the April-end
but a number of water pools locally known as dohs are found, which serve as waterholes for
wild animals. A few perennial springs also exist in this area. However, the water sources
are not suitably distributed, hence large area remains unutilized by the wild animals. The
Pench reservoir at the center of the Reserve is the only major water source during pinch
As the prey concentration is high along the Pench river, tigers
usually inhabit this belt. Leopards, though, generally operate in the peripheral areas but
are occasionally seen in deep forests also. Jungle cats are commonly seen. Leopard cats,
Small Indian Civets and Palm Civets are common but seen very rarely.
Wild dogs are commonly seen in packs of 12 to 15, near Chhedia,
Jamtara, Bodanala and Pyorthadi areas of the Reserve. Wild Boar is ubiquitous. Sloth bear
occupy hilly, rocky out crops and favour mahul bel infested forest. Chinkara is present in
very small number and is found in open areas around Turia, Telia, Dudhgaon villages.
Jackals are seen occasionally in near Tekadi, Alikatta and Chhindimatta villages