Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, Corbett Tiger Reserve lies mainly in the districts of Nainital, Almora and Pauri Garhwal. The reserve, extending over the Terai and Bhabar tracts in Uttarakhand, coveres a total area of 1218.54 sq km and consitutes of Corbett National Park (520.82 sq km), Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary (301.18 sq km) and Kalagarh Reserve Forest (496.54 sq km).
This erstwhile hunting ground was first protected by Major Ramsey in 1858. He banned farming and cattle grazing in the lower Patlidun Valley, which now forms a large portion of the Corbett Tiger Reserve. Finally, in 1936, Governor Malcolm Hailey declared it as a National Park, which was India's first and the world's third National Park. Hailey National Park, as it was then known, covered around 325 sq km, and Major James E. Corbett (popularly known as Jim Corbett) was one of the key consultants in defining its boundaries. Jim Corbett, the legendary hunter-turned-conservationist, was highly instumental in preservation of its unique wildlife and dense forests. In his honour, the park was renamed as Corbett National Park in 1957, two years after Jim Corbett's death. In 1973, the Government of India launched the Project Tiger and Corbett National Park was one of the first to be included under the project.
The terrain of the park is hilly, ranging from 600-1100 m above the sea level, and consisting of mixed deciduous forests of Sal (Shorea robusta) and Sheesham (Dalbergia sp) and open grassy patches known as chaurs. The park is famous for its amazing biodiversity consisting of 580+ sp of birds, around 50 sp of mammals, at least 25 sp of reptiles in addition to hundreds of species of insects and plants.
Some of its famous fauna include: (Mammals) Tiger, Elephant, Leopard, Sloth Bear, Goral, Chital, Sambar, Barking Deer, Hog Deer, Porcupine, Yellow-throated Marten, Hanuman Langur, (Reptiles) Mugger Crocodile, Gharial Crocodile, King Cobra, Rock Python, (Birds) Kingfishers, Wagtails, Forktails, Pheasants, Hornbills, Eagles, Vultures, migratory waterfowls, etc.