Environment protection is one of the most crucial areas of importance in the present scenario. Rising sea levels, melting glaciers, exterminating species, ozone depletion, water scarcity, agricultural irregularities and many such dangerous phenomenon have raised alarm and it’s time the world starts taking it seriously. Industrialization has emancipated economy but to make it sustainable, it has to be carried out in accordance with the nature. This article is about national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and biosphere reserves which are ecologically sensitive.
1. Corbett National Park
Situated in Nainital, Uttarakhand, this park is known for richness in the presence of majestic tigers. This is the landscape where Project Tiger was enunciated to protect these endangered species in 1973. It is a home to several splendid animal species who live within an extent of 520 sq. km. The Safari packages of Corbett National Park are among the best of the country, and attracts heavy tourism.
2. Hemis National Park- This high-altitude park is named so after the famous Buddhist monastery Hemis gompa situated 40 kn southeast of Leh. It is popular for the rare endemic species of snow leopard and bharal. The climate here is extreme with low precipitation, freezing temperature and harsh winters. Often visited by trekkers, it has no accommodation facilities, however tents can be used for short stay.
3. Ranthambore National Park: Situated in the Sawai Madhopur district of southeastern Rajasthan, it is considered to be Northern India’s biggest and most popular national park. A hunting ground for maharajas in ancient times, it is spread over an area of 392 sq.km. and is neighbour to the Mansingh Sanctuary and the Kaila Devi Sanctuary. It has several famous tiger stories and constitutes exquisite presence of birds and other fauna.
4. Keoladeo Ghana National Park: Also called Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, this zone is located between Agra and Jaipur or specifically northwestern Rajasthan. Resident to some rare migrating birds such as Common, Demoiselle and the rare Siberian Cranes, it houses some 380 species of birds. Animals like Golden Jackal, Striped Hyenas, Fishing Cat, Jungle Cat, Nilgai, Sambar, Blackbuck and wild Boar can be seen here and is only 29 sq. km. in area.
5. Blackbuck National Park: Situated in Bhavnagar District of Gujarat, this park was established in 1976. It is a semi-arid bio-geographical zone. With a unique grassland ecosystem, the ongoing projects for conservation are for the Blackbuck, the Wolf and the Lesser Florican (a bustard). Other wildlife of this area consist of Macqueen’s bustard, Hyenas and Lesser Floricans, with foxes, jackals and Jungle Cats.
6. Kaziranga National Park: This national park is within two districts in the Indian state of Assam -the Nagaon district and the Golaghat district. It is a huge fertile land owing to the silt deposition by Brahmaputra. It is known to be a biodiversity hotspot. This park is home to Greater One-horned rhinoceros, which is a vulnerable species. Their population has reduced drastically and is confined to 3000 , 2000 of which resides in Kaziranga. Also innumerable bird species are found here. It is popularly known as ‘Big Five’ for constituting the huge Rhino, Elephant, Tiger, Swamp Deer, and Wild Buffalo.
7. Dachigam Wildlife Sanctuary: This sanctuary is located near Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir. It is placed at the Zabarwan Range of the western Himalayas. It has coniferous forests, grasslands and meadows. This sanctuary is specifically famous for the hangul, or the Kashmir stag. Other animals are Musk deer, Leopard Himalayan serow, Leopard cat, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan brown bear, Jackal, Hill fox, Himalayan weasel, Yellow-throated marten, Jungle cat, Long-tailed marmot.
8. Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary: The Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park is situated in the Anamalai Hills of Tamil Nadu in southern India. It was declared a Project Tiger Reserve in 2008, and is under consideration by UNESCO to be named the Western Ghats World Heritage Site. The area is 958 sq. km. This region is a home to some threatened and endangered animals such as Bengal tiger, Indian elephant, Nilgiri tahr and lion-tailed macaque, brown mongoose, gaur, Malabar spiny dormouse, Nilgiri langur, rusty-spotted cat, sambar deer, sloth bear and smooth-coated otter.
9. Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve: This west Himalayan Valley of Flowers is an outstanding and breath-taking beauty. The spectacular biodiversity is dominated by Nanda Devi Hills, India’s second highest mountain. It is a habitat of some endangered animals such as the snow leopard, Himalayan musk deer and bharal. The place is also abundant in species of flora and fauna. Nanda Devi adjoining national park is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
10. Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve: It is in the Satpura Range of Madhya Pradesh state, in central India and designated as Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2009. Also, this is a home to three wildlife conservation units Bori Sanctuary, Pachmarhi Sanctuary and Satpura National Park. The rich forests are dominated by teak, sal, and many crucial vegetation. The important fauna consist of tiger, leopard, wild boar, Gaur, Chital deer, Muntjac deer, Sambar Deer, and Rhesus macaques, chinkara, nilgai, barking deer, cheetal, leopards, wild dogs, the Indian Wolf, bison, Indian giant squirrels, and flying squirrels.