Manas is a large wildlife habitat located in the North eastern part of India. The area of this habitat spreads across the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts of Assam, a key state of India’s North East.
Manas has a very interesting conservation history which dates back to 1905 AD with the creation of a Proposed Reserve Forest called The North Kamrup Reserve Forest.
The Manas National Park is part of the core area of the Manas Tiger Reserve (1973), Manas Biosphere Reserve (1989) and the Chirang- Ripu Elephant Reserve (2003). The chronicle of conservation history dates back to 1905 with the creation of a Proposed Reserve Forest called the North Kamrup Reserve Forest. Thereafter Manas Reserve Forest came into being in 1907, which was declared a protected area closed to hunting and killing of wildlife in 1908. Further in 1917 the North Kamrup and eastern part of Manas Reserve Forest were notified as a “Protected Region” and hunting, shooting and trapping of animals were prohibited, except fishing for sport. In 1924 the area of the Protected Region was increased to 360 sq kms and subsequently this area was declared as “Manas Wildlife Sanctuary” in 1928. Through further additions to its area in 1951 and 1955 the geographical area of the Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (Manas Game Sanctuary) became 391 sq. kms.
Manas Tiger Reserve, one of the first batch of nine Tiger Reserves declared on 1st April, 1973 under the aegis of “Project Tiger” had a core area of 391 sq. km. with legal status as sanctuary declared in 1928. The erstwhile Manas Wildlife Sanctuary encompassed part of Monas RF (120.00 sq. km.) and North Kamrup RF including 1st addition to NKRF (271.02 sq. km). Subsequently the area was extended to 500.00 sq. km. by inclusion of three more Reserved Forests contiguous to the core area and declared as Manas National Park vide Govt. notification no. FRW.55/86/64, dated 7th September, 1990.
In 1985, Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (391 sq. kms.) was inscribed in the list of World Heritage Site (UNESCO), a site of outstanding universal value, under the criteria: N (ii), (iii) and (iv). In 1992 the UNESCO-IUCN reviews the status of the Site and decides to tag “in danger”, that is the “World Heritage Site in Danger” due to damages occurred to Park infrastructure and other properties during Bodo agitation since 1988. However, in June, 2011, Manas regained its original status of “World Heritage Site” as result of collective efforts of state government, the Bodoland Territorial Council, Park authorities, NGOs and local communities.
Manas (2837.10 sq. km.) was the 6th Biosphere Reserve to be declared by Govt. of India in 1989 (first in Assam). Manas Wildlife Sanctuary was subsequently upgraded to National Park status with an area of 500 sq. kms. on 7th September, 1990, by inclusion of Panbari RF (16.30 sq. kms.), Kokilabari RF (15.11 sq. kms.) and Kahitama RF (77.59 sq. kms.) in the eastern sector. In 2003, the Manas National Park became a part of Chirang–Ripu Elephant Reserve (2600 sq. km.) under the umbrella of ‘Project Elephant’.
- 1989:- Declared as Biosphere Reserve (2837.12 sq.km.).
- 1905:- Proposed Reserve Forest.
- 1907:- Manas Reserve Forest.
- 1928:- Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, (360 sq. km.).
- 1973:- Declared as Tiger Reserve (2837 sq.km.).
- 1985:- Declared as World Heritage Site (Natural) for outstanding universal conservation value.
- 1990:- Declared as Manas National Park (Core area-500 sq.km.)
- 2003:- Declared as Chirang-Ripu Elephant Reserve (2600 sq.km.).
- 2006: Rhino reintroduction begins under Indian Rhino Vision-2020
- 2008: Critical Tiger Habitat of Manas Tiger Reserve enhanced to 840.04 sq.km
- 2011: Reinstated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of conservation effort including signs of recovery of the natural heritage values
- 2014: Tiger Source Site for Conservation
- 2016: Declared as Manas National Park 1st Addition to 350.00 sq.km