Wildlife Sanctuaries of India
The Indian forests team with
wildlife of a varied species. Most forests are protected national
parks, providing sanctuaries to several special or endangered species
of animals and in
some cases to migratory birds.
All across the country are wildlife
sanctuaries whose area extend over several thousand of square
kilometers, where wildlife can be observed in its natural surroundings.
Each sanctuary supports
several species of wildlife, but is usually well known for
one particular species. In some cases, these are rare or even endangered
Project Tiger, initiated in 1973, identified major areas inhabited by tigers.
These became area protected by the projects, enabling a significant increase of
the tiger population. Bandhavgarh and Kanha sanctuaries in Madhya Pradesh;
Sariska and Rabnthambore in Rajasthan and derbans in West Bengal are some of
the country's best known tiger reserves. Other species at these places
include panthers,a nd several species of deer and antelope the commonest of
which are axis deer and blue bull.
Bharatpur, a five-hour drive from
Delhi, has the largest bird sanctuary in Asia. Waterbirds that migrate from
other parts of the country include herons, ibis, pelican, painted storks,
spoonbills, agrets and openbilled strokes. Various species of ducks and geese
migrate from place in Russia. These include Brahminy ducks and the endangered
Siberian crane. Stretched over 29 sq. km of swamps and marshes, Bharatpur has
causeways which can be negotiated on foot, or bicycle, the best time for a
visit from October to March when the weather is relatively pleasant and when
the sanctuary teems with birdlife. July-August is the breeding seasons for the
October to March is the most pleasant time to visit
any sanctuary in the country, with the exception of Dachigam in Kasmir which is
best visited during summer. However, the chances of spotting wildlife are
better from March to June when the weather is hot, end the sun dries the dense
foliage which otherwise provides effective cover for the animals.
wildlife sanctuaries are accessible by car, and all have accommodation within
or near them. Many have specific visiting hours and provide forest rangers with
each party of visitors. The advantages is that with their intimate knowledge of
the forest and the habits of each animal, little time is wasted getting to a
spot where animals are most likely to be seen.
Rules and regulations
for wildlife sanctuaries are no more than those dictated by common sense: wear
clothes that blend rather than stand out in the forest; perfumes and cigarettes
should be avoided for animals have an extremely keen sense of smell,
Potentially dangerous animals should not be approached on foot.