Pench Tiger Reserve Becomes India’s First Dark Sky Park

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Pench Tiger Reserve Becomes India's First Dark Sky Park

he reserve has inaugurated a night observatory with the district planning committee

The Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Maharashtra has become India’s first Dark Sky park and is the fifth in Asia. The park earned the title for protecting the night sky and preventing light pollution, making the facility ideal for astronomy enthusiasts.

Recognising the intrinsic value of the night sky as a natural, cultural, and historical resource, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) emphasises the importance of preserving natural darkness for the sake of nature conservation, ecological integrity in protected areas, and the well-being of communities in healthy cities, said Prabhu Nath Shukla, deputy director of PTR Maharashtra.

The escalating global threat of light pollution poses a substantial risk to this invaluable resource, he stated in a release.

The Dark and Quiet Skies for Science and Society Working Group, led by the International Astronomical Union, has recommended the establishment of ‘Dark Sky Oases’ by national and local governments, Mr Shukla said.

He said the Dark Sky Place certification focuses on lighting policy, dark sky-friendly retrofits, outreach and education, and monitoring the night sky.

The reserve has inaugurated a night observatory with the district planning committee (DPC) fund, the official said, adding that the area near Bagholi has been earmarked for stargazing.

As part of the measures, more than 100 street and community lights in Wagholi, Sillari, Pipariya and Khapa villages of the Paoni UC Range buffer area have been replaced with lights facing the ground to mitigate light pollution, he said. 

Pench Tiger Reserve is one of India’s top reserves housing the population of the Bengal tigers and is often acknowledged for its management and efficiency practices. The reserve is located covering the two states of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh and is managed jointly by them.

 

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