Jim Corbett National Park is the oldest National Park of India and a part of the Corbett Tiger Reserve which is spread over 1300 sq kms area of hills, riverine belts, marshy depressions, grasslands and a large lake. It is located in Ramnagar (Nainital) of Uttarakhand and was named after Jim Corbett, a famous hunter, author and wildlife conservationist who played a key role in its establishment. The park was the first to come under the Project Tiger initiative.
The reserve, located partly along a valley between the Lesser Himalaya in the north and the Shivaliks in the south, has a sub-Himalayan belt structure. The upper tertiary rocks are exposed towards the base of the Shivalik range and hard sandstone units form broad ridges. Characteristic longitudinal valleys, geographically termed Doons or Duns can be seen formed along the narrow tectonic zones between lineaments.
The dense, moist and deciduous forest in the Corbett mainly consists of Sal, Haldu, Peepal, Rohini and Mango trees. Forest covers almost 73% of the park while 10% of the area consists of grasslands. It houses around 110 tree species, 50 species of mammals, 580 bird species and 25 reptile species. There are around 227 tigers currently residing in Corbett Tiger Reserve.
Thick jungle, the Ramganga river and plentiful prey make this reserve an ideal habitat for tigers who are opportunistic feeders and prey upon a range of animals. The tigers in the park have been known to kill much larger animals such as buffalo and even elephant for food.
The tigers prey upon the larger animals in rare cases of food shortage. There have been incidents of tigers attacking domestic animals in times of shortage of prey. Other animals include barking deer, sambar deer, hog deer and chital, sloth and Himalayan black bears, Indian grey mongoose, otters, yellow-throated martens, Himalayan goral, Indian pangolins, and langur and rhesus macaques. Owls and nightjars can be heard during the night.
The elevation ranges from 1,300 to 4,000 ft (400 to 1,220 m). Winter nights are cold but the days are bright and sunny. It rains from July to September.