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How many wildlife sanctuaries are there in India?

Discussion in 'Wildlife and National Parks' started by Wildlife Lover, Sep 14, 2016.

  1. Wildlife Lover

    Wildlife Lover New Member

    I am a wildlife lover (as it states in my username) from France, and India is a place I would like to visit very soon especially for the wildlife sanctuaries, and there are a few questions which I have which are posted below.

    1. How many wildlife sanctuaries are there in India?

    2. What are the names of some of the famous wildlife sanctuaries and what location are they in? Please also do mention if there is anything in particular to see in the wildlife sanctuaries listed.

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello there, welcome to the forum!

    A wildlife sanctuary is supposed to be an area meant for the protection of wild animals. These wildlife sanctuaries are home to a variety of wild animals, especially endangered ones. These sanctuaries are also meant to protect the habitat of these animals, which is crucial for them to live accordingly. As of August 2015, there are 540 wildlife sanctuaries in India. These are the number of sanctuaries per state:
    • Andhra Pradesh (21), Arunachal Pradesh (11), Assam (18), Bihar (12), Chhatisgarh (11), Goa (6), Gujarat (23), Haryana (8), Himachal Pradesh (28), Jammu & Kashmir (15), Jharkhand (11), Karnataka (27), Kerala (17), Madhya Pradesh (25), Maharashtra (41), Manipur (1), Meghalaya (3), Mizoram (8), Nagaland (3), Odisha (18), Punjab (13), Rajasthan (25), Sikkim (7), Tamil Nadu (26), Telengana (9), Tripura (4), Uttar Pradesh (24), Uttarakhand (7), West Bengal (15), Andaman & Nicobar Islands (96), Chandigarh (2), Dadra & Nagar (1), Daman & Diu (1), Delhi (1), Lakshadweep (1) and Puducherry (1).
    For me, here are the top wildlife sanctuaries in India:

    1. Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary - This is located in Thekkady in Kerala and is one of the tiger reserves of India. Trekking is allowed in this wildlife sanctuary, as long as you have a naturalist or guide with you. You can also opt for a jeep safari. Sighting animals here can be a bit tricky and it's best to go during the summer for higher chances of seeing the main animals like tigers, Indian elephants and leopards. The trek is about 10 kilometres long and if you're lucky, you might be able to spot the animals mentioned. The trek also involves boating in the lake within the sanctuary premises. In this boating experience, you can see birds like the Asian open bill, black stork, cattle egret, blue-winged parakeet and black baza. Some of the other animals you might be able to see are gaurs, lion-tailed macaques, sloth bears and jungle cats. Reptiles in the sanctuary are king cobras, Russell's vipers and Indian starred tortoises.

    2. Mundanthurai Wildlife Sanctuary - This sanctuary covers both the districts of Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu. I would suggest staying at the Government Forest Rest House located within the sanctuary. The sanctuary itself is fairly small but it does have a diverse number of wildlife. The main attraction is of course the tiger, which is rarely spotted. Other animals in the sanctuary are mouse deers, leopards, sambars, Nilgiri langurs and bonnet macaques. The natural sceneries in the sanctuary are also teeming, with waterfalls and streams. Even if you don't get to see any wild animals, the habitat itself is worth visiting.

    3. Annamalai Wildlife Sanctuary - This is located in the Coimbatore and Tirupur districts of Tamil Nadu. You have an option of taking an elephant safari, jeep safari or even trekking through the forests. The Parambikulam Tiger Reserve is also located within the Annamali Wildlife Sanctuary. Tiger sightings though are still very rare here. You would probably spot Malabar squirrels, black langurs, lion-tailed macaques, gaurs and Nilgiri tahrs. Bird species are also abundant here like Malabar whistling thrush, parakeet, barbet and Malabar grey hornbill. There are numerous accommodation options inside the sanctuary as well like tree top lodges and bamboo houses.

    4. Dibru Saikhowa Wildlife Sanctuary - This is located in Tinsukia in Assam. This is probably one of the most underrated and unknown sanctuaries in India. However, that adds to the charm of the sanctuary. It is a birdwatcher's paradise, with over 300 species of both resident and migratory birds. The sanctuary was mainly created to preserve the white-winged wood duck. But you can spot many species of birds here like the purple herons, night herons, greater spotted eagles, Bengal floricans and great pied hornbills. There are also other mammals such as tigers, clouded leopards, sloth bears and Indian civets in the sanctuary. The sanctuary is also gaining popularity due to the gangetic dolphins within its premises. For this, you need to ride a boat to see the great gangetic dolphin. There are also houseboat accommodations within the river of the sanctuary.

    5. Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary - This is located in Gir which is in the state of Gujarat. This is a very popular sanctuary in the country, owing to the fact that the majestic Asiatic lions reside in here. This is the only national park/sanctuary that the Asiatic lions reside in. There are about 523 Asiatic lions in the different areas of the sanctuary. Seeing the Asiatic lions can be quite rare though some visitors were lucky and saw them even in just one visit. Don't worry though as other animals that you can spot here are Indian gazelles, wild boars, jackals, striped hyenas and leopards.

    6. Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary - This is located in Kutch in Gujarat as well. It's best to camp overnight in the desert area of Kutch and then go for a safari in the morning. The sanctuary has over 4,800 of the wild ass population and this is the only place where you can spot the majestic creatures. The sanctuary is also home to many bird species like bustards, falcons and babblers. Other mammals here are the jackals, desert cats, blackbucks and striped hyenas.

    There you go. Let me know if you need more information!