Decision : CONF 204 IV.B.33
Kaziranga National Park (India)
This site supports the largest population of the greater Indian one-horned rhinoceros; a 1993 census revealed 1164 animals in the Park. Other important species in the Park include the swamp deer, the tiger, the elephant and the water buffalo. Record rainfall in mid-1998 resulted in exceptional flooding of the Brahmaputra River and parts of the Park were under 6 metres of water. More than a square kilometre area of the floodplain was lost and the Director of the Park informed IUCN that an estimated 652 animals, including 42 rhinoceroses, were lost due to the flood. During the floods, WWF-India provided material assistance and the Indian army constructed ten islands on high ground for wildlife to take refuge. The rain had delayed the beginning of the construction of the five upland wildlife refuges using the financial assistance approved by the Committee in December 1997. A staff member from UNESCO Office in New Delhi, India, visited Kaziranga from 7 to 9 March 1999 and reported that work on the construction of the five upland refuges and other aspects of the World Heritage funded project had begun and are progressing satisfactorily. IUCN has noted that 44 km2 of new land had been added to the Park, which now covers a total area of 470 km2.
The Bureau recognised the support provided by WWF-India and the Indian Army for wildlife protection during the 1998 floods. The Bureau invited the State Party to provide a detailed report on wildlife censuses that may have been undertaken after the 1998 floods and on long-term measures which are currently being implemented to mitigate future flood damage to Kaziranga. The Bureau requested the State Party to clarify whether it intends to propose the inclusion of the recent extension (44 sq. km2) of the Park into the World Heritage site.