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Wildlife Conservation Efforts in India

Introduction

The Indian subcontinent boasts of serving as the natural habitat of a large and variedwildlife. The sub-continent with its varied geographical spread from the Himalayas inthe north to the Cauvery basin in the south and the Kutch region in the west to theplains of Assam in East present a diverse range of environmental conditions for some of the most magnificent as well as the rarest wildlife species of the world in India to exist.

The beauty and variety we see in the jungles of India is difficult to be expressed inwords and I bring together the breadth through pictures in this project. However, thepast few decades have seen the greed and negligence of human beings working to the detriment of this rich wildlife. Large-scale poaching, habitat destruction and conflict withhumans have resulted in a rapid decline in the population of most of the wild animalsand birds. Some animals like the Indian cheetah due to this are now extinct.Conservation of Indian wildlife was not given the requisite importance for a long time.However, the government as well as the people slowly and gradually understood theirresponsibility in this context. Today, efforts are being made towards wildlife conservation in India, to preserve this natural wealth. Numerous wildlife conservation projects have been undertaken in India, both at the government as well as the individual level, to protect the rich wildlife of the subcontinent. The private sector has also startedstepping in as part of their corporate social responsibility to bring about this change andincrease peoples awareness, e.g. The Save the Tiger campaign by Aircel.

Importance of wildlife conservationDue to the growing impact of deforestation, continuous efforts are being made by someanxious animal lovers to protect the endangered species of wildlife as well as those thatare on the verge of extinction and thus save the world from running out its greenheritage. Wildlife is important for four main reasons:Beauty: Wild life provides aesthetic value to man. By their unique way ofexistence, wild creatures exaggerate the natural beauty of the earth.Economic value: The financial value of wild species is important to the economies of several nations, as it provides many valuable substances like wood and other plant products, fibers, meat and other foods, and skins and furs. Manywild plants provide useful substances like timber, paper, gums etc. And they alsohave wide applications in Ayurveda and other branches of medicine.Scientific value: Most important contribution of wild life for human progress is availability of large gene pool for the scientists to carry breeding programmes in agriculture, animal husbandry and fishery. By studying wildlife, scientists havegained valuable knowledge about various life processes and discovered important medical productsSurvival value: To maintain ecological 'balance of nature' and maintain foodchain and nature cycles. Wildlife helps in maintaining the balanced living systemsof earth, which consequently ensures survival of life.Wild life of a country is its cultural asset.

National Parks of IndiaThe topography of Indian subcontinent is so varied that it supports a wide variety of wildlife. There is a huge population of animals as well as birds living in the wild regions of the country. However, the threat of poaching, along with habitat loss, has led to a rapid decline in the population of wild animals. To reverse this trend, numerous nationalparks as well as wildlife sanctuaries have been set up in India. These parks and sanctuaries are serving as the natural abode of the majority of wildlife and helping in the augmentation of their population. In the following lines, I have covered some of the famous Indian national park and wildlife sanctuary in India and provided a list at thebottom of the others covering most of them:

Bandhavgarh National ParkBandhavgarh National Park is one of the popular national parks in India located in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh. Bandhavgarh was declared a national park in 1968, with an area of 105 km. The buffer is spread over the forest divisions of Umaria and Katni and totals 437 km. The park derives its name from the most prominent hillock of the area, which is said to be given by Hindu Lord Rama to his brother Lakshmana to keep a watch on Lanka (Ceylon), hence the name Bandhavgarh. This park has a large biodiversity. The density of the tiger population at Bandhavgarh is one of the highestknown in India. The park has a large breeding population of Leopards, and various species of deer.

Bandipur National ParkBandipur National Park is one of India's best known protected areas and is an importantProject Tiger reserve. It is located in the Chamarajanagar district of southern Karnatakain South India, The park stretches over 874 square kilometers (337 sq mi), protecting the wildlife of Karnataka. Together with the adjoining Nagarhole National Park (643 km2 (248 sq mi)), Mudumalai National Park (320 km2 (120 sq mi)) and Wynad Wildlife Sanctuary (344 km2 (133 sq mi)), it forms the largest protected area in Southern India,totaling 2,183 km2 (843 sq mi). It is notable as the home to around seventy Bengal tigers, over three thousand Indian elephants, Leopard, Sloth Bear, Chevrotain, Dhole and Hyena. Prey species of grazing Ungulates including Gaur, Sambar (deer), Chital, Wild boar, Barking deer and Four-horned Antelope.

Jim Corbett National ParkJim Corbett National Park is the oldest national park in India. The parknamed for thehunter and conservationist Jim Corbett who played a key role in its establishmentwasestablished in 1936 as Hailey National Park. Situated in Nainital district of Uttarakhandthe park acts as a protected area for the endangered Bengal tiger of India, the securesurvival of which is the main objective of Project Tiger, an Indian wildlife protectioninitiativeThe park has sub-Himalayan belt geographical and ecological characteristics. Anecotourism destination, it contains 488 different species of plants and a diverse varietyof fauna. The increase in tourist activities, among other problems, continues to presenta serious challenge to the park's ecological balance.The Jim Corbett National Park is a heaven for the adventure seekers and wildlifeadventure lovers alike. Corbett National Park is India's first national park whichcomprises 520.8 km2. area of hills, riverine belts, marshy depressions, grass lands andlarge lake. The elevation ranges from 1,300 feet (400 m) to 4,000 feet (1,200 m). Winternights in Corbett national park are cold but the days are bright and sunny. It rains fromJuly to September.Desert National ParkDesert National Park, Rajasthan, India, is situated in the west Indian state of Rajasthannear the town of Jaisalmer. This is one of the largest national parks, covering an area of3162 km. The Desert National Park is an excellent example of the ecosystem of theThar Desert. Sand dunes form around 20% of the Park. The major landform consists ofcraggy rocks and compact salt lake bottoms, intermedial areas and fixed dunes.Despite a fragile ecosystem there exists an abundance of birdlife. The region is a havenfor migratory and resident birds of the desert. Many eagles, harriers, falcons, buzzards,kestrel and vultures. Short-toed Eagles, Tawny Eagles, Spotted Eagles, Laggar Falconsand kestrels are the most common among these. Sand grouse are spotted near smallponds or lakes. The endangered Great Indian Bustard is a magnificent bird found inrelatively fair numbers. It migrates locally in different seasons. The most suitable time tovisit the area is between November and January. The Desert National Park has acollection of fossils of animals and plants of 180 million years old. Some fossils ofDinosaurs of 6 million years old have been found in the area.Kaziranga National ParkKaziranga National Park is a national park in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of thestate of Assam, India. A World Heritage Site, the park hosts two-thirds of the world'sGreat One-horned Rhinoceroses.[1] Kaziranga boasts the highest density of tigersamong protected areas in the world and was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006. Thepark is home to large breeding populations of elephants, wild water buffalo, and swampdeer.[2] Kaziranga is recognized as an Important Bird Area by Birdlife International forconservation of avifaunal species. Compared to other protected areas in India,Kaziranga has achieved notable success in wildlife conservation. Located on the edgeof the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot, the park combines high species diversityand visibility.Kaziranga is a vast expanse of tall elephant grass, marshland, and dense tropical moistbroadleaf forests, crisscrossed by four major rivers, including the Brahmaputra, and thepark includes numerous small bodies of water.Kaziranga contains significant breeding populations of 35 mammalian species, of which15 are threatened as per the IUCN Red List. The park has the distinction of being hometo the world's largest population of the Great Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros (1,855),Wild Asiatic Water Buffalo (1,666) and Eastern Swamp Deer (468). Significantpopulations of large herbivores include elephants (1,940), gaur (30) and sambar (58).Small herbivores include the Indian Muntjac, wild boar, and hog deer. Kaziranga has thelargest population of the Wild water buffalo anywhere accounting for about 57% of theworld population.Kaziranga is one of the few wild breeding areas outside Africa for multiple species oflarge cats, such as Indian Tigers and Leopards. Kaziranga was declared a TigerReserve in 2006 and has the highest density of tigers in the world (one per five km),with a population of 86, as per the 2000 census. Other felids include the Jungle Cat,Fishing Cat, and Leopard Cats. Small mammals include the rare Hispid Hare, IndianGray Mongoose, Small Indian Mongooses, Large Indian Civet, Small Indian Civets,Bengal Fox, Golden Jackal, Sloth Bear, Chinese Pangolin, Indian Pangolins, HogBadger, Chinese Ferret Badgers, and Particolored flying squirrelsGir National ParkGir National Park, is a forest and wildlife sanctuary in Gujarat, India. Established in1965, with a total area of 1412 km (about 258 km for the fully protected area (thenational park) and 1153 km for the Sanctuary), the park is located 65 km to the southeastof Junagadh and 60 km to south west of Amreli.It is the sole home of the pure Asiatic Lions (Panthera leo persica) and is considered tobe one of the most important protected areas in Asia due to its supported species. Theecosystem of Gir, with its diverse flora and fauna, is protected as a result of the effortsof the government forest department, wildlife activists and NGOs. The forest area of Girand its lions were declared as "protected" in the early 1900s by the then Nawab of theprincely state of Junagadh. This initiative assisted in the conservation of the lions whosepopulation had plummeted to only 15 through slaughter for trophy hunting.The count of 2,375 distinct fauna species of Gir includes about 38 species of mammals,around 300 species of birds, 37 species of reptiles and more than 2,000 species ofinsects.The carnivores group mainly comprises Asiatic lions, Indian Leopards, Sloth bears,Indian Cobras, Jungle cats, Striped Hyenas, Golden Jackals, Indian Mongoose, IndianPalm Civets, and Ratels. Desert cats and Rusty-spotted cats exist but are rarely seen.The main herbivores of Gir are Chital, Nilgai (or Bluebull), Sambar, Four-hornedAntelope, Chinkara and Wild boar. Blackbucks from the surrounding area aresometimes seen in the sanctuary.Manas National ParkManas National Park is a Wildlife Sanctuary, UNESCO Natural World Heritage site, aProject Tiger Reserve, an Elephant Reserve and a Biosphere Reserve in Assam, India.Located in the Himalayan foothills, it is contiguous with the Royal Manas National parkin Bhutan. The park is known for its rare and endangered endemic wildlife such as theAssam Roofed Turtle, Hispid Hare, Golden Langur and Pygmy Hog.Manas is famousfor its population of the Wild water buffalo.Periyar National ParkPeriyar National Park is a protected area in the districts of Idukki and Pathanamthitta inKerala, south India. It is notable as an elephant reserve and a tiger reserve. Theprotected area covers an area of 925 km2 (357 sq mi). 350 km2 (140 sq mi) of the corezone was declared as the Periyar National Park in 1982.The Park is known for its elephants. Altogether 62 different kinds of mammals havebeen recorded in Periyar, including many threatened ones. Periyar is a highly protectedtiger reserve and elephant reserve. There are an estimated 53 tigers (2010) in thereserve. Tourists also come here to view the Indian elephants in the act of ablution andplayfulness by the Periyar lake. The elephant number around 900 to 1000 individuals.Other mammals found here include gaur, Bison, sambar (horse deer), barking deer,mouse deer, Dholes (Indian wild dogs), mongoose, foxes and leopards.Sariska National ParkThe Sariska Tiger Reserve is a national park is India locate in the Alwar district of thestate of Rajasthan. The topography of Sariska supports scrub-thorn arid forests, drydeciduous forests, rocks and grasses. This area was a hunting preserve of the erstwhileAlwar state and it was declared a wildlife reserve in 1955. In 1978, it was given thestatus of a tiger reserve making it a part of India's Project Tiger scheme. The presentarea of the park is 866 km. Some of the wildlife found in the Sariska Tiger Reserveinclude leopard, jungle cat, caracal, striped hyena, golden jackal, chital, sambhar, nilgai,chinkara, four-horned antelope 'chousingha' (extinct), wild boar, hare, hanuman langur,Rhesus monkeys, and plenty of bird species and reptiles. Birds include Peafowl, GreyPartridge, Bush Quail, Sand Grouse, Tree Pie, Golden backed Wood Pecker, CrestedSerpent Eagle and the Great Indian Horned Owl.Bharatpur Bird SanctuaryThe Keoladeo National Park or Keoladeo Ghana National Park formerly known as theBharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India is a famous avifauna sanctuarythat plays host to thousands of birds especially during the winter season. Over 230species of birds are known to have made the National Park their home. It is also a majortourist centre with scores of ornithologists arriving here in the hibernal season. It wasdeclared a protected sanctuary in 1971. It is also a declared World Heritage Site.Thesediverse habitats are home to 366 bird species, 379 floral species, 50 species of fish, 13species of snakes, 5 species of lizards, 7 amphibian species,7 turtle species, and avariety of other invertebrates.Sundarbans National ParkThe Sundarbans National Park is a National Park, Tiger Reserve, and a BiosphereReserve located in the Sundarbans delta in the Indian state of West Bengal. This regionis densely covered by mangrove forests, and is one of the largest reserves for theBengal tiger. It is also home to a variety of bird, reptile and invertebrate species,including the salt-water crocodile. The present Sundarbans National Park was declaredas the core area of Sundarbans Tiger Reserve in 1973 and a wildlife sanctuary in 1977.On May 4, 1984 it was declared a National Park.The Sundarbans forest is home to more than 400 tigers. The Royal Bengal Tigers havedeveloped a unique characteristic of swimming in the saline waters, and are famous fortheir man-eating tendencies. Tigers can be seen on the river banks sunbathing betweenNovember and February. Apart from the Royal Bengal Tiger; Fishing Cats, LeopardCats, Macaques, Wild Boar, Indian Grey Mongoose, Fox, Jungle Cat, Flying Fox,Pangolin, Chital, are also found in abundance in the Sundarbans.Threats to WildlifeThe major threats being faced by the wildlife in India are:The problem of overcrowding is one of the major reasons for the depletingpopulation of wild animals in India. The wildlife sanctuaries of India have becomeovercrowded and their capacity has decreased to quite an extent.Tourism in the national parks of the country is increasing day by day. One of thereasons for this is a rise in the popularity of eco-tourism and adventure tourism.This has led to a growth in vehicle pollution and wildlife road fatalities, apart fromleading to a damage of the natural habitat of birds and animals.With the increase in tourism, the parks have witnessed an increase in wildfiresalso. Innocent campfires started by visitors have, more often than not, led tomenacing wildfires. These fires not only kill animals, but also destroy their naturalhabitat.The wildlife of coastal areas is constantly disturbed by personal watercrafts, likejet skis or wave runners. These personal watercrafts enter shallow waters andexpel nesting birds from their roosts. Such activities are disturbing the matingpattern of birds.Releasing of chemicals and other toxic effluents into the water bodies has led topoisoning of the water. The animals and birds drinking such water face a fatalthreat. Even the population of fish, living in such water bodies, is declining at afast pace.The climate changes taking place in the world today, are affecting not onlyhumans, but also the wildlife. The natural habitat as well as migration patterns ofthe animals and birds is experiencing disturbances.Last but not the least, the threat of poaching has been haunting the wildlife ofIndia since ages. Even after the establishment of wildlife sanctuaries and nationalparks, the threat of poaching has not been totally eliminated.Wildlife conservation projects andprogramsTo promote wildlife awareness among the people, the Indian government has startedvarious natural projects and programs such as Project Tiger, Nature Camps and JungleLodges. These projects not only help to preserve our natural heritage, but encourageeco-tourism as well.Project Tiger was formed in 1972 and launched on the 1st April 1973 at CorbettNational Park. Till date, the project has been the most successful one in preserving thetiger population at Tiger Reserves in Bandhavgarh, Corbett, Pench, Ranthambhore,Kanha, Bandipur, Panna, Dudhwa, Sunderbans, Manas and Sariska. All these reservesact as Conservation Centers for tigers in India.Besides, there is the Gir National Park, the only habitat for Asiatic lions in India. TheKaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary is Assam is renowned for protecting the endangered onehornedRhinoceros. There's also Dachigam National Park, which conserves the Hangulor Kashmiri Stag.Project Elephant, a centrally sponsored scheme, was launched in February 1992 toprovide financial and technical support to major elephant bearing states in India forprotection of elephants, their habitats and corridors. The Project, involving 25 ElephantReserves across the country, is being implemented in 13 States and Union Territories inIndia, namely, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Jharkhand, Karnataka,Kerala, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh andWest Bengal.The NGOsThere are also various NGOs working on wildlife conservation in India such as WildlifeSociety of Orissa (Orissa), Rhino Foundation for Nature (Assam), Friends of Forests(Maharashtra), North Eastern Society for Preservation of Nature and Wildlife (WestBengal), Nature's Beckon (Assam), Nature Conservation Society Amravati(Maharashtra), The Friends of the Doon (Uttaranchal) and Bali Nature and Wild LifeConservation Society (West Bengal).Summarization of the WildlifeConservation work done by theWildlife Protection Society of India(WPSI)WPSI collaborates with state governments to monitor the illegal wildlife trade andprovide them with hands-on training and support to combat poaching and the illegalwildlife trade.They conduct Wildlife Law Enforcement Workshops for enforcement agencies. More than4000 forest and police officers have received training in more than 63 workshopswhich have been held in 16 states across India. They have also given specialistpresentations to the National Police Academy, the Indian Institute of Criminology,the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP),Customs and Excise, the Wildlife Institute of India, tiger reserve authorities, andenforcement training centres.The Wildlife Crime Database built by them has details of over 19,100 wildlife cases andis continuously updated with inputs from their countrywide network ofinvestigators. This information plays a critical role in the development of newstrategies to protect Indian wildlife.o WPSI was the first organisation to expose the workings of the shahtooshtrade and its links with the trade in tiger parts. They uncovered this tradein the mid-1990s, while investigating the smuggling of tiger bones, andproduced a path-breaking report on the subject in 1997 - Fashioned forExtinction: An Expose of the Shahtoosh Trade.Over the years, they have assisted in the arrests of over 375 wildlife criminalsand seizures of massive amounts of illegal wildlife products, particularly tigerparts. Their Legal Program supported the prosecution of over 151 wildlife court casesin 13 Indian states. These include poaching and trade cases that involve tigerand other endangered species. They also file petitions on important wildlifeconservation issues, including encroachments in protected areas.They support Conservation Projects for species as varied as the tiger, otter and seaturtle in the States of Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh,Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and West Bengal.They have now broadened the scope of their activities to deal with other criticalissues such as human-animal conflict involving tigers, leopards and elephants.They also support research projects on issues as diverse as tiger censustechniques, the ecological impact of forest resource extraction, and the plight ofthe snow leopard.The most important aspect of the job now is in constantly liaising with policymakers and international conservation agencies, particularly on issuesconcerning poaching and the illegal wildlife trade.WPSI has been in the forefront of media campaigns to highlight the importanceof wildlife protection.In 2005 and 2006, WPSI and the UK- based Environmental Protection Agency(EIA) carried out a joint investigation into the tiger and leopard skin trade in theTibet Autonomous Region and other provinces in China. Their findings revealeda hitherto unknown scale of trade in Asian big cat skins that were being tradedand worn as status symbols in Tibet. Our investigations were compiled in a report Skinning the Cat: Crime and Politics of the Big Cat Skin Trade, published in2006. The results of the investigation and condemnation of the trade by the DalaiLama have since sparked a massive movement by Tibetans to end the use ofwild animal skinsAnnexureSampling of the wildlife of IndiaIndian subcontinent has a rich and varied biodiversity to boast of. In fact, the country ishome to some of the most rare and magnificent wild animals. Most of the wild animalsof India are being protected from poaching as well as habitat loss through the numerousnational parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Indian culture preaches respect for each andevery form of life, including wildlife. Still, greedy individuals as well as the everincreasingpopulation are putting pressure on the peaceful existence of Indian wildanimals. There are also a large number of resident birds in India, some native and someintroduced. However, all of them today beautifully reflect the rich natural life of thecountry. One can also find some of the rarest wild bird species in the subcontinent.Numerous bird sanctuaries have been set up in the country to provide the birds with anatural habitat and augment their population.Of the 1,228 species of birds found in India, approximately 82 species have been listedas threatened in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals (IUCN 2006).In this section, I have provided information on some of the wild animals and birds fromIndia:Indian Asiatic LionAsiatic Lions once used to roam around the area, stretching from northern Greece,across Southwest Asia, to central India. However, today the natural habitat of themajestic animal has been reduced to the Gir forests of India only, making the AsiaticLion almost synonymous with the Indian Lion.Bengal TigerBengal tiger is a subspecies of tiger, which is found in the Bengal region of the Indiansubcontinent. One of the most common tiger subspecies, it is also found in a number ofother Asian countries, like Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Tibet, etc.Indian Black BuckIndian black buck is also known by a number of other names like Kala Hiran, Sasin,Iralai Maan and Krishna Jinka. The scientific name of the black buck antelope isAntilope cervicapra and it natural habitat is the Indian subcontinent.Indian Clouded LeopardClouded leopards belong to the Neofelis genus and have the scientific name of Neofelisnebulosa. The average lifespan of a clouded leopard is 11 years in the wild. However, incases of captivity, it may go upto 17 years.Indian ElephantIndian elephant, known with the scientific name of 'Elephas maximus indicus', is asubspecies of the Asian Elephant. It is mainly found in the Indian subcontinent that to inthe scrub forested areas.Indian LeopardIndian leopard is one of the 8-9 valid leopard subspecies found throughout the world.Known by the scientific name of Panthera pardus, it is the fourth largest of the four 'bigcats' of the Panthera genus.Indian RhinocerosIndian Rhinoceros holds the distinction of being the fourth largest animal, after the threeelephant species. Known by the scientific name of Rhinoceros unicornis, the animal isfound in only two places in the world, Assam (India) and Nepal.Indian Snow LeopardSnow leopard is a native animal of mountain ranges of central and southern Asia,including India. It is also known as Ounce and has a scientific name of "Pantherauncia". Snow leopards can live for a maximum of 18 years in then wild.PeacockBlue peacock is regarded as one of the most beautiful birds throughout the world. It isalso the National Bird of the Indian subcontinent. Peacock is the name given to a malepeafowl, while the female is known as Peahen. Scientifically known as Pavo cristatus(Linnaeus), the Peafowl of India is a swan-sized bird, with a long and slender neck.Crested Serpent EagleIndian Crested Serpent Eagle, a member of Accipitridae family, is scientifically knownas Spilornis cheela. It is a specialist reptile eater, which mainly hunts snakes andlizards.Greylag GooseGreylag goose, Anser anser, is one of the Old World species of birds and was known inthe pre-Linnean times as Wild Goose. It has ancestral relations with the domesticatedgeese of Europe and North America. Gray Lag Goose is a very frequent winter visitor tothe north regions of the Indian subcontinent.Great Indian HornbillGreater Indian Hornbill is considered to be the largest member of the hornbill family.Scientifically known as Buceros bicornis, it is usually found inhabiting the forests ofIndian subcontinent, the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra, Indonesia. The averagelifespan of the Great Pied Hornbill of India exceeds 35 years and may go upto 50 yearsin captivity.HeronIndian heron belongs is a member of the large wading bird family, known as Ardeidae. Itis found mostly inhabiting the tropical and sub-tropical areas. However, Indian heronscan also be seen in temperate areas. There is one major characteristic thatdistinguishes herons from the other birds.Jungle Bush QuailJungle bush quail bird is one of the species of quails found in South Asia. The bird isusually seen in small coveys and is quite shy by nature. One can get a glimpse of theJungle bush quails of India mainly when they burst out into flight from under thevegetation.StorkIndian stork is one of the 17 different species of storks found throughout the world. Theonly continent where storks are not found is that of Antarctica. The natural habitat of thestorks comprises of Indian fields, savannas and marshesListing of the balance nationalparks in the country:Dachigam National ParkDachigam National Park is located 22 kilometers from Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir. Itcovers an area of 141 square kilometers. The name of the park literally stands for "tenvillages" which could be in memory of the ten villages that were relocated for itsformation.The park has been a protected area since 1910, first under the care of the Maharaja ofJammu and Kashmir and later under the observation of the concerned governmentauthorities. It was initially created to ensure clean drinking water supply for the city ofSrinagar. It was finally upgraded and declared a National Park in the year 1981. Themain animal species that Dachigam is most famous for is the Hangul, or the KashmirStag.Kanha National ParkKanha National Park is a national park and a Tiger Reserve in the Mandla and Balaghatdistricts of Madhya Pradesh, India. In the 1930s, Kanha area was divided into twosanctuaries, Hallon and Banjar, of 250 and 300 km . Kanha National Park was createdon 1 June 1955. Today it stretches over an area of 940 km in the two districts Mandlaand Balaghat. Together with a surrounding buffer zone of 1,067 km and theneighboring 110 km Phen Sanctuary it forms the Kanha Tiger Reserve. This makes itthe largest National Park in Central India.The park has a significant population of Royal Bengal Tiger, leopards, the sloth bear,Barasingha and Indian wild dog. The lush sal and bamboo forests, grassy meadowsand ravines of Kanha provided inspiration to Rudyard Kipling for his famous novel"Jungle Book "Nagarhole National ParkNagarhole National Park also known as "Rajiv Gandhi National Park", is a national parklocated in Kodagu district and Mysore district in Karnataka state in South India.This park was declared the thirty seventh Project Tiger tiger reserve in 1999. It is part ofthe Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The Western Ghats Nilgiri Sub-Cluster of 6,000 km2(2,300 sq mi), including all of Nagarhole National Park, is under consideration by theUNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site.The park has rich forest cover, small streams, hills, valleys and waterfalls. The park hasa healthy tiger-predator ratio, with many tigers, Indian bison and elephants. is situatedat the southern tip of Karnataka. Sharing its boundary with Bandipur National Park, thepark covers an area of approximately 643 km.Nanda Devi National ParkThe Nanda Devi National Park is a national park situated around the peak of NandaDevi, 7,817 m (25,646 ft) in the state of Uttarakhand in northern India that wasestablished in 1982. Along with the adjoining Valley of Flowers National Park to thenorthwest, it was inscribed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988.Nanda Devi National Park covers an area of 630.33 km2 (243.37 sq mi) and togetherwith Valley of Flowers National Park is encompassed in the Nanda Devi BiosphereReserve totaling a protected area of 2,236.74 km2 (863.61 sq mi), which is surroundedby a buffer zone of 5,148.57 km2 (1,987.87 sq mi).This Reserve is part of the UNESCOWorld Network of Biosphere Reserves since 2004.The park encompasses the Nanda Devi Sanctuary, a glacial basin surrounded by a ringof peaks between 6,000 metres (19,700 ft) and 7,500 m (24,600 ft) high, and drained bythe Rishi Ganga through the Rishi Ganga Gorge, a steep, almost impassable defile. Theentire park lies at an elevation of more than 3,500 m (11,500 ft) above mean sea level.Rajaji National ParkRajaji National Park is an Indian national park that encompasses the Shivaliks, near thefoothills of the Himalayas. It is spread over 820 km.,[1] and three districts ofUttarakhand: Haridwar, Dehradun and Pauri Garhwal. In 1983, three wildlife sanctuariesin the area namely, Chilla, Motichur and Rajaji sanctuaries were merged into one.The Park is predominantly formed from dense green jungles, and this environmentforms a habitat for a number of animals. The Park is at the northwestern limit ofdistribution for both elephants and tigers in India, and has the largest population ofelephants in Uttarakhand.Ranthambore National ParkRanthambore National Park is one of the largest national parks in northern India. It issituated in Sawai Madhopur district of southeastern Rajasthan, about 110 km north eastof Kota and 180 km south east of Jaipur, which is also the nearest airport. The nearesttown and railway station is at Sawai Madhopur, about 11 km away and Kota is theanother convenient Station as all the train stops at Kota which is 110 km fromRanthambore. RIDCOR operates a mega highway between Kota to Ranthambore.Ranthambore was established as the Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary in 1955 by theGovernment of India, and was declared one of the Project Tiger reserves in 1973.Ranthambore became a national park in 1980. In 1984, the adjacent forests weredeclared the Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary and Keladevi Sanctuary, and in 1991 the tigerreserve was enlarged to include Sawai Man Singh and Keladevi sanctuaries.Ranthambore wildlife sanctuary is known for its tigers and is one of the best places inIndia to see these majestic predators in the jungle. Tigers can be easily spotted evenduring the day time. A good time to visit Ranthambore National Park is in Novemberand May when the nature of the dry deciduous forests makes sightings common. Itsdeciduous forests were once a part of the magnificent jungles of Central India.The park lies at the edge of a plateau, and is bounded to the north by the Banas Riverand to the south by the Chambal River. There are several lakes in the park. It is namedfor the historic Ranthambhore fortress, which lies within the national park. The parkcovers an area of 392 km, and is known for its tiger population, and is one of India'sProject Tiger reserves. Other major wild animals include leopard, nilgai, wild boar,sambar, hyena, sloth bear and chital. It is also home to wide variety of trees, plants,birds and reptiles. Ranthambore is also the site for one of the largest banyan trees inIndia.

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