National Parks & Wildlife Sanctuaries in India
It is an area to conserve the natural or historical objects of national importance and to conserve wildlife therein, in such a manner and by such means, as will leave them undisturbed for the enjoyment of future generations with the required modifications in accordance with necessary local demand and variable conditions. National Park is created by Central Legislation, therefore, it has a permanent status.
The place or area provided with some area, wild, indigenous mammals, birds, reptiles and any other form of wildlife in good numbers are considered to be in the need of protection together with their natural environment, is declared as wildlife sanctuary. The sanctuary is created by the State Forest Department by Gazette Notification. After some time if the state forest department feels that now there is no need for the protection of wild animals in particular sanctuary, it can be abolished in similar manners.
Corbett National Park :
It is situated in Uttarakhand and covers an area of 520 square km. There are 50 species of mammals and 585 species of birds in this park. An excellent scheme “Project Tiger’ for the multiplication and protection of tigers is functioning successfully where tigers are in better condition than the other jungles. The Project Tiger was started with 44 tigers which reached up to 90 in 1981. This park has limited space for tigers, so, many tigers are transferred to neighbouring jungles like Aam Pakhra, Amangadh, Aam Danda, Fanto, Mohan etc.
In 1935, after passing National Park Act, the forest reserve near Ramnagar in U.P. was declared as India’s First National Park named as Hailey National Park. In 1954 it was named Ramganga National Park and in 1956-57 State Government had declared it as Corbett National Park after Jim Corbett, the renowned big game hunter and wildlife authority.
Dudhawa National Park :
It is situated in the district of Lakhimpur-kheri in Uttar Pradesh. It covers an area of 490 square km. The main attraction of this park are barasingha and tiger. India is the only country where barasinghas are found. Out of 4,000 barasinghas in India about 200 are at Dudhawa. According to a census made in 1979 there were 50 tigers, 41 elephants, 76 bears in the park. Out of 9 species of deer found in India, 5 species like, barasingha, hog deer, sambhar, chital and barking deer are found here. There are 3 species of antelopes viz., black buck, nilgai and chowsinga. The chowsinga is the only 4 horned animal found in the world. The crocodiles and more than 400 species of birds are also inhabiting this park.
Kanha National Park :
The forest of Madhya Pradesh cover an area of about 1,62,390 square km which is 37% of total land area of M.P. Out of this forest area, 1,156 square kms have been acquired by Kanha National Park Bandhavgadh National Park and Shivapuri National Park. In 1974, Kanha National Park was brought under ‘Project Tiger’ scheme and acquired an area of about 945 square km. Now-a-days it is known to be the largest National Park of the country. The main attraction of this park are the tigers and barasingas.
Kaziranga National Park :
Assam is famous for its flora and fauna which attracted the naturalists and wild life lovers since long. The Kaziranga National Park and 7 other sanctuaries of Assam have about 1,900 wild elephants, 1,300 rhinoceroses, 300 tigers and 1,000 wild buffaloes. As per census of 1978 there were 773 elephants, 931 rhinos, 610 wild buffaloes in this park. Some other species of wild animals like barasinga-700, hog deer-7,032, wild boars-700, barking deer-300, tigers-50, otters-300, leopards-20 and bears-47 are also getting protection in this park.
Manas Wild Life Sanctuary :
It is situated in Kamrup district of Assam and acquires an area of about 54 km. This area includes nullahs, meadows, hillocks, water courses and water of river Manas. The Manas forest was managed into a sanctuary in 1928. This sanctuary is inhabited by tiger, rhinos, buffaloes, gours, black panthers, golden langur, leopards, Indian ottor, elephants etc. The fishing is the main attraction for the tourists in this sanctuary.
Keibul Lamjao National Park :
It is one of the unique parks in the world which floats in the vast Logatak Lake of the North-Eastern Indian State of Manipur. Hence is the only floating national park of the world. The rarest species of deer, i.e., ‘Thamin deer’ is the centre of attraction in the park for wildlife lovers.
The sunderbans cover an area of 10,000 square km across the delta of the Ganga and Brahmaputra, of which about 6,000 square km are in Bangladesh. After a census in 1971 there were 195 tigers in India and 300 in Bangladesh part of Sundarbans which was highest number of tigers in the sub-continent. There are numerous ‘Sundari trees‘ (Heritiera fomes) which are of great economic importance for villagers of the area. It is also known as ‘Sundar trees’ and because of their large number, the area is called as Sundarbans.
The area of tiger reserve is 2,585 km in Sundarbans. It is under planning to develop five of its 15 sub-divisions into a National Park covering an area of about 1,310 square km. In association with the Project Tiger of Sundarbans the World Wildlife Fund has provided wireless sets, fast jet boats, long range fire arms for the effective protection of tigers.
Gir Sanctuary :
It is a dense forest of 70 km length and 40 km width, situated in Gujarat. This forest is divided into 9 sub-divisions namely- deers, Shingavado, Shingavadi, Raval, Dhatervadi, Malan, Machhundari, Papatidi and Shattunji. The climate is hot and humid. The lions are the main attraction of the forest. The Gujarat Government is very keen for the protection of lion. Thus, the Gir sanctuary was extended over both vegetational zones and open area of about 140 square km in 1973 which was upgraded into a National Park in 1975. A long live hedge wall of 468 km has been maintained to protect the living area of lions in this forest.
Periyar Wild Life Sanctuary :
The Periyar Wild Life Sanctuary is situated in the State of Kerala. The construction of a dam across the river Periyar has created a number of lake which are the centres of attraction of this sanctuary. Such lakes acquire an area of about 26 square km. The natural beauty of the lake attracts the tourists. A number of wild animals like tigers, wild elephants, deer, wild boars, wild dogs, gaurs and sambars are found in this sanctuary. The best time for the tourists is from February to May when wild animals come out to take water at the lake because of change in season. There is complete ban on hunting in this area so the animals are free from fear in the sanctuary. The elephants of Periyar enjoy swimming in the lake which looks very interesting.
Bandipur Wild Life Sanctuary :
It is situated in Karnataka and covers an area of 690 square km. These are degraded forests of inferior quality teak, sandal and other species of trees. The area of this sanctuary was shooting ground of Maharaja Mysore famous as an experienced hunter, nature lover, scholar and wildlife photographer. After independence he was nominated as the Chairman of newly formed ‘Wild Life Board’ by the Government of India. According to the census of 1980, there were 3,000 elephants in the southern forests of which 1,400 were in Bandipur wild life sanctuary. There were also 1,800 chitals, 800 wild boar, 140 leopards and 36 tigers in this sanctuary. The roads of Bandipur have been named after the wild animals as an expression of closeness to wild animals.
Bird Paradise Bharatpur (Keoladeo national park) :
It is also known as Ghana sanctuary. In 1981 it was declared as ‘Keoladeo National Park‘. Earlier Maharaja uses to invite his guests for bird shooting at this spot. In free India, it was declared as protected area under the provisions of the ‘Rajasthan Wild Animals and Bird Protection Act 1951’.
This park has an area of about 29 square km of which 500 hectares of land has been transformed into a vast natural lake which is divided into smaller sectors by bunds, roads etc. The shrubs and trees growing on the bunds and in the water look very attractive. Across the rivers Banganga and Gambhir, the Kohni and Ajan dams respectively have been constructed which divert the flow of water into the lake.
About 3,00,000-3,50,000 birds of 331 species arrive at Bharatpur every year. It is a good breeding ground of about 103 species of birds. The water birds, from remote places in India, migrate here from July-October for nesting and breeding which are termed as local migrants. About 102 species of migratory birds migrate to this spot from Middle East, China, Siberia, Central Asia etc. Where winters are covered with snow.
It is because of the presence of aquatic vegetation, fish, frog, insects, molluscs and plankton in the lakes of Bharatpur, that it is regarded as a very good breeding ground particularly for the birds. The variety of fishes serves as food for the millions of birds that stay at this park during monsoon and winter.
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