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Wildlife in North India
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There are vast variations in geography, climate and vegetation in India. As a result, there is exciting diversity in habitats, animals and birds. The Himalayas, the highest mountains in the world, offers a wide range of landscapes and wildlife. The northern plains, the course of the holy rivers Ganga and the Yamuna, the Great Thar Desert in the west, the Sundarbans Delta of the Ganga and the Brahmaputra in the east, the ancient volcanic rock of the Deccan Plateau and the Western Ghats with their dense, luxuriant forest

Wildlife in North India

provides fascinating variations in habitats. In India, the total area covered by wildlife is approximately 90,000 sq km and constitutes 3 per cent of the country’s land area.

India has a long tradition of protecting and preserving wildlife. The need for conservation of the environment and the forests was felt by the Indian rulers from the ancient times. In the 3rd century BC, the Emperor Ashoka issued edicts to protect forests and natural wealth. Later during the reign of the Emperor Chandragupta Maurya, “forests free from fear” were identified and protected. In more recent times, the administrators and princely rulers demarcated and reserved forests as private preserves. Today many of these form the nucleus of India’s wildlife sanctuaries and parks. Indian literature also has references for concern for earth as well as for forests and its inhabitants. Earlier, British rulers and the Indian Maharajas hunted various wildlife animals, but later the Government of India took certain steps to protect these animals. Since 1970, wildlife has been protected by the Central and the State Government through legislation. Various Indian leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi also took a keen interest in the protection of wildlife. Due to their efforts only, the species which were on the verge of extinction have survived. The emphasis has been not only on protecting wildlife in reserved forests, but also on creating the harmony between man and animal. The demands of a rapidly increasing population continue to put pressure on surviving forests in India. Vast herds of black buck, that roamed the northern and western plains 50 years ago, are now found only in sanctuaries and around the villages of the Bishnoi tribes, who protected them. The project Tiger was started in 1973. but, today it is a massive attempt towards the conservation of the tiger and its environment. It covers 23 National Parks and Sanctuaries and its success can be judged from the fact that the number of tigers in India has gone up significantly since the project was launched.

There are about 80 National Parks and 441 Sanctuaries in India. Several national parks and sanctuaries of India are conveniently accessible by car and also have good accommodation. More than 350 mammals and 1,200 species of birds and reptiles are found in India, some of which are unique to this subcontinent. Some of these unique wild animals and birds are the white tiger, the royal Bengal tiger, the snow leopard, the Asiatic lion, the lion-tailed macaque, the Himalayan Tahr, one horned rhinoceros, the Andaman teal, the great Indian bustard and the Monal pheasant. Sighting of animals in India has a thrill of its own. Various animals like deer and elephants can be seen in small herds in dense forests and in isolated places, except the tiger. You can view the animals by either having an elephant safari, jeep safari or canter safari. Elephant safari is the best way to view these animals as everything which moves can be noticed from the height and if you are lucky, you might see a rare animal.

 

National Parks & Wildlife Sanctuaries in North India (Statewise)

Following are some of the famous wildlife sanctuaries and national parks of North India:

Name of National Park / Sanctuary

Best time to Visit

Animals & Species found

Madhya Pradesh

Kanha National Park March - June

Tiger, panther, gaur, barasingha, chital, samber, blackbuck, four-horned antelope, barking deer, mouse deer, nilgai, wild dog, boar

Bandhavgarh National Park November - June

Tiger, panther, gaur, chital, sambar, nilgai, chinkara, barking deer, bear, wild boar and a variety of upland birds.

Punjab

Harike Headworks Sanctuary

October - March

Duck, pochard, teal, coot, waterhen, geese, nilgai and wild boar

Uttar Pradesh

Corbett National Park
(Tiger Reserve)

November - May

Elephant, tiger, panther, sloth bear, nilgai, sambar, chital, wild boar, porcupine, peafowl, red jungle fowl, partridge, both species of Indian inland crocodiles, goral and four-horned antelope.

Dudhwa National Park

November – May

Tiger, panther, sloth bear, sambar, swamp deer, barking deer, nilgai, peafowl, junglefowl, partidge, etc.


 
 
 

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