Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is the largest national park of Maharashtra, got its name from the Tadoba National Park and Andhari Wildlife Sanctuary located in Chandrapur district. The park has teak and crocodile bark as the predominant tree species along with thick Bamboo forest and home to wide variety of big animals, mammals, reptiles, birds and raptors.
The Big 5 of Tadoba national park are also the keystone species of the reserve and known as Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, sloth bear, gaur and dhole. Aside from the Big 5 wild animals of Tadoba, The park is also home to other wild mammals such as sambar, barking deer, chital, wild boar, honey badger and marsh crocodile.
As per the last counting, there are 88 Bengal tigers in the reserve and the park has three main range of Tadoba, Mohrli and Kolara. The Bengal tiger is the biggest wild cat found in Tadoba followed by Indian Leopard and also knonw to roam around the villages around the boundary of the tiger reserve.
Indian leopard is the second largest cat in Tadoba and share the habitat with tiger, sloth bear and dhole dogs. The park has occasional sightings of the leopards in the forest and a black panther was spotted in Tadoba in 2018 by tourist, However it is a very rare sight as the black panthers only found in evergreen forest of South India.
Dhole wild dog is part of the big five of Tadoba, living in packs and a highly social animal of the park. The dhole are diurnal pack hunters and competes with tiger and leopard in the reserve and prey upon different deer species of Tadoba.
Sloth bear species is native to the Indian subcontinent, listed as Vulnerable and a very dangerous and most aggressive animal in India. The Bengal tigers of Tadoba occasionally prey on sloth bears and are the nocturnal but also seen active in daytime or late evening.
The gaur also known as Indian bison is a large bovine and also the largest species of the wild cattle found in India. Indian bison listed as Vulnerable, occurred throughout the park and Tadoba tigers are mostly prey on the Gaur, Tiger Sisters of Telia documentary was showing the killing of Gaur by Soanm and sisters.
Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve has a total area of 625.4 square kilometres and some wetland areas such as Tadoba Lake, Telia Lake, Kolsa Lake and the Andhari River. The reserved forest offers a good habitat for deer species and lakes of Tadoba are also home to Muggar crocodiles.
Sambar deer is the largest species of deer found in Tadoba and also the most common wild animal of the park along with spotted deer and wild boar. The appearance and the size of Sambar deer vary across the different range, are the most favourite prey of tigers in Tadoba.
Axis deer also known as Chital in India are the most common species of deer found in the Indian subcontinent. The spotted deer are active throughout the day, found in large numbers in open grasslands and the predators includes leopard,crocodiles, tigers and dhole dogs.
Chousingha is a small species of antelope found in Tadoba, also common throughout deciduous forests in central India. Four-horned antelope is classified as Vulnerable and most of the global populations are found in India.
Nilgai or blue bull is the biggest antelope found in India, The sole member of its genus are very common in buffer area of Tadoba. The nilgai is diurnal and commonly eat woody plants, Males are much bigger than domestic cows around 5 feet tall and weight is 308 kilogram.
Indian Muntjac are known as barking deer in India, among the smallest species of deer that also feed on carrion. The barking deer is short grayish brown terrestrial mammal, makes bark-like sound as an alarm when frightened by a predator.
Tadoba Lake, Kolsa Lake and Telia Lake of the park offers best wetland habitat for all the wild animals of the reserve, Muggar crocodiles are also found in all the lakes of Tadoba also the apex predator of the wild waters.