The Neora Valley National Park, a compact patch of virgin forest, is a unique area of rich bio-diversity. This park spread over 88 Sq. Km, is one of the last remaining pristine ecosystems of the Eastern Himalayas with its amazing Bio-diversity, and is home to many rare and endangered plants, animals and birds. It exhibits a rich variety of habitat as the area comprises the catchment and watershed of the Neora River with its tributaries. Neora Valley National Park lies in the civil district of Darjeeling, West Bengal. It is contiguous with Sikkim and Bhutan at its northern and north-eastern boundaries respectively. The southern boundaries of the park are adjoining to Jalpaiguri district. The altitude varies from 183 m to 3200 m, the highest point being near Sikkim border in the North.
It was declared as a National Park finally in 1992. The land of the cute Red Panda in its pristine undisturbed natural habitat with rugged inaccessible hilly terrain and rich diverse flora and fauna together make the Park an important wilderness zone.
The forest in Neora Valley has such luxurious growth that even sunlight finds it difficult to touch the ground. Inaccessibility of the National Park made it an adventurous place for the nature lovers/ trekkers. Untouched impenetrable forests, dense bamboo groves, colourful canopy of Rhododendrons, Ruby green valley, swirling rivers and streams with snowcapped mountains in the backdrop make the landscape unforgettable.
Flora and Fauna:
Neora Valley National park is a unique ecosystem where tropical, sub-tropical, sub-temperate, and temperate forests together created the ideal sanctuary for some of the rarest animal and bird species of the world. Since the park altitude varies a great extent from south to north, it helps to sustain the forest like rhododendron, bamboo, oak, ferns, sal, etc. The park is also famous for numerous species of orchids. Some of the Orchids recorded in the Neora Valley National Park, belong to the genus Bulbophyllum, Cymbidium, Celogyne, Dendrobium, Eira, Gastrochilus and Pleione.
Significance of Neora Valley National Park in the international context lies in the fact that it provides shelter and protection to various species of Wildlife included in the Red Data Book (R.D.B.) of IUCN . The Park harbors more than 31 species of mammals, which include the ever elusive Red Panda and Clouded Leopard. Other prime mammal species found in this park are Wild Dog, Himalayan Black Bear, Leopard, Leopard Cat, 5 species of Civet, Wild Boar, Barking Deer, Sambar, Himalayan Thar, Serow and Ghoral. The park is also home to the endangered Royal Bengal Tiger. The dense nature of the forest bars the easy sighting of animals.
Neora Valley National Park is extra ordinarily rich in avi-fauna. Due to its change in altitude at places, various species of birds make the park a paradise for bird watchers. Lava, northern entry point of the Neora Valley National Park is birders' paradise.
Some of India's most sought-after birds are found here in this Park. The semi-evergreen forests between 1600 m and 2700 m is the home to more than 300 species if feathered rarities like Satyr Tragopan, Crimson-breasted Woodpecker, Darjeeling Woodpecker, Hodgson's Hawk Cuckoo, Lesser Cuckoo, Brown Wood Owl, Jerdon's Baza, Black Eagle, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Ashy Wood Pigeon, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Dark-throated Thrush, Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher, White-browed Bush Robin, White-tailed Robin, Yellow-browed Tit, Striated Bulbul, Chestnut-headed Tesia, Chestnut-crowned Warbler, Black-faced Warbler, Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush, Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler, Scaly-breasted Wren-Babbler, Pygmy Wren-Babbler, Rufous-fronted Babbler, Black-headed Shrike Babbler, White-browed Shrike Babbler, Rusty-fronted Barwing, Rufous-winged Fulvetta, Brown Parrotbill, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Fire-tailed Sunbird, Maroon-backed Accentor, Dark-breasted Rosefinch, Red-headed Bullfinch, Gold-napped Finch and many other flying beauties.