Wildlife sanctuaries can be defined as a wildlife refuge which provides protection to various wildlife species from hunting, predation or competition. Indian government has establishes numerous wildlife sanctuaries and national parks for the safeguard of various endangered species of India from extinction in their natural habitat. These wildlife sanctuaries are dotted in various distinct regions of the country which ranges from the majestic Himalayan peaks in the northern India to the moist Nilgiri hills in the south. These wild life sanctuaries are the most sought after tourist destination for wildlife enthusiasts.
Top ten wildlife sanctuaries of India are as follows:
Ranthambore National Park ( http://www.ecoindia.com/
1991 the tiger reserve was expanded to include Sawai Man Singh and Keladevi sanctuaries. Other than Tiger, this national park is also home to wide variety of wild animals such as leopards, nilgai, dhole, wild boar, sambar, hyena, sloth bear and chital. It has an endless collection of variety of trees, plants, birds and reptiles. Ranthambore is also famous for one of the largest banyan trees of India.
Jim Corbett National Park (http://www.ecoindia.com/
Bandhavgarh National Park ( http://www.ecoindia.com/
Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh: This park is located in the Banjar and Halon valleys in the Mandla / Balaghat districts of the state of Madhya Pradesh . Kanha was designated as a National park in the year 1955 and also declared as a Tiger reserve under the Project Tiger in 1974. The main attraction of the park are the Barasingha or swamp deer. It also provides shelter to the other species of mammals such as tigers, langur monkeys, spotted deer, sambhar deer, wild boar, jackals, blackbuck, crested serpent and many more. It has more than 300 species of birds, fishes and reptiles.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala: It is situated high in the mountains of Western ghats of Pathanamthitta and Idukki districts of Kerala near the border of the Tamil Nadu. It is one of the well known Tiger reserve project of South India. Periyar is famous for Asiatic elephants. It has near about 900 to 100 elephants. This wildlife sanctuary contains 62 types of mammals which includes gaur, sambar (horse deer), barking deer, mouse deer, Dholes (Indian wild dogs), mongoose, foxes and leopards and Nilgiri tahr, 27 types of amphibians, 45 types of reptiles, 320 types of birds, 38 types of fishes and 160 types of insects.
Bandipur Wildlife Sanctuary Karnataka: This national park is situated at the meeting point of the Deccan plateau and the Western ghats in the Chamarajanagar district in Karnataka. It was designated as a Tiger reserve under the Project Tiger in 1973. In 1974, the Bandipur wildlife sanctuary was declared as a National Park under the Wildlife Protection Act. It helps to protect the population of Tiger in the park. It is a home to the various kinds of wildlife species such as Asiatic Elephant, Gaur (Indian Bison), Leopard, Chital and Sambar. The avian population is represented by the Peafowl, Partridge, Quail, Hornbill and Ibis. Apart from these, Dhole (wild dog), Sambar, Barking Deer, Giant Squirrel, Sloth Bear and Nocturnal Porcupine are some of the exotic species found in the park.
Kaziranga National Park, Assam: It is located in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of Assam. It is a World Heritage Site and has two third population of world's one-horned great Indian rhinoceros. It was declared as a Tiger reserve in 2006 and has the highest number of Tiger population in world. It also provide shelter to elephants, wild water buffalo, swamp deer, Indian muntjac, wild boar, hog deer, gaur, sambhar, Assamese macque, capped and golden langur, hoolock gibbon and many more. It is also home to the various species of birds such as migratory birds, water birds, predators, scavengers, and game birds. Also to the Ganges Dolphin.
Gir National Park and Sanctuary, Sasangir, Gujarat: It is the only abode of Asiatic lion in th e world. Gir is situated in the south-west of Saurashtra peninsula in the Junagarh district of Gujrat . It also has a significant population of leopards and numerous number of chital, nilgai, chinkara, the four horned antelope and wild boar. This park is rich in birds. Some species of birds which are found here are black headed cuckoo shrike, pied woodpecker, Bonelli's eagle, crested serpant eagle, painted sandgrouse, bush quail and grey partridge.
Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan: Earlier this national park was named as Bharatpur wildlife sanctuary. It attained its national park status in the year 1981. It is a paradise for the ornithologist and bird watchers. This national park is situated in the Bharatpur district of Rajasthan. It is a World Heritage site. Every year during the winter season, thousands of migratory birds like Siberian cranes, Common Demoiselle, Hawks, Pelicans, Geese, Shanks, Ducks, Eagles, Warblers, Stints, Wagtails, Buntings, Wheatears, Flycatchers, Larks and Pipits comes here to rescue themselves from the cold of western countries. Beside birds , this park also has a good number of mammals namely Golden Jackal, Jungle Cat, Striped Hyena, Sambar, Fishing Cat, Nilgai, Blackbuck and wild Boar.
Pench National Park, Maharashtra: