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Fauna and flora in India

In addition to its rich cultural heritage, India has an exceptional natural heritage. A true melting pot of animals, the diversity of habitats is matched only by the diversity of the species they shelter.

From the lush mangrove swamps of the Sunderbans to the sandy desert of Rajasthan, from the sals forests of Madhya Pradesh to the rocky mountains of Ladakh, many species, large and small, make up one of the richest biodiversities in the world: around 400 species of mammals, 1250 species of birds, 460 varieties of reptiles, 240 types of amphibians and 2550 species of fish. Among the most emblematic are the elephant, the tiger, the Asiatic lion, the crocodile, the monkey, the leopard, the antelope, the one-horned rhinoceros, the cobra and, of course, the peacock, India's national emblem.  

Population growth is now a threat to India's wildlife, be it flora or fauna. However, the authorities are working hard to ensure the survival of this natural heritage and of all these species. More than 106 national parks exist today (Dec. 2021), covering an area of 44,372 km², i.e. 1.35% of the total area of the country.

These are the parks we invite you to visit, including those listed below. The safaris by jeep or elephant will take you to the heart of these protected areas, close to nature. 

Bandhavgarh
Fauna and flora in india

BANDHAVGARH National Park

Madhya Pradesh

It is one of the most popular parks because of its high biodiversity and because it has one of the highest tiger densities in the country.
Declared a national park in 1968, it now covers an area of 1,536 km², with a core area of 716 km². Until 1947, the park remained a favourite hunting destination for the maharajas and their guests. But since 1972 and the introduction of 'Project Tiger' and the Wildlife Protection Act, many measures have been taken to preserve the natural habitat, thus protecting the species.
With the tiger as the main 'attraction', the park is home to 37 species of mammals and, according to official sources, over 250 species of birds, about 80 species of butterflies and a number of reptiles. Among the rarest are the leopard and the lippu bear. Among the most seen are the spotted deer, sambar, Indian entelle (monkey), caracal (desert lynx), Indian fox, mongoose, Indian buffalo, nilgai (antelope), etc.....


The vegetation and flora of the park consists mainly of sal forests in the valleys and bamboo on the slopes. The vegetation along the streams and swamps is rich in birds, including crested eagles and storks. Among the most frequently encountered are the great spotted grebe, the white-eyed harrier, the bankiva rooster, the snake watch and the peacock, the emblem of India.
Finally, the reptilian fauna includes the cobra, the Indian bongar, the viper, the python, the Aesculapian snake and many varieties of lizards including the monitor.

Keoladeo National Park

KEOLADEO National Park

Bharatpur, Rajasthan

The Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is located between Jaipur and Agra. It was declared a national park in 1982. It is located on a former hunting estate developed and irrigated by the Maharaja of Bharatpur in the early 20th century and has been on the Unesco World Heritage List since 1985.

It was around 1900 that the ruler Kishan Singh developed the famous reserve. His duck-hunting events, which were very popular with the nobility, were sumptuous receptions during which fabulous carnage was made. The record of 4273 ducks killed in one day was achieved in 1938 by the Viceroy Lord Linlithgow and his court! The record of the great hunts is inscribed on a stele in the middle of the park. 

More than 2,800 hectares of 29 km² of woods and ponds are home to more than 360 varieties of birds, both resident and migratory, from countries as far away as Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, China and Siberia. 

 

The proliferation of aquatic plants in the ponds feeds fish, amphibians and insects, which in turn are the preferred food of bird colonies, including herons, marabou, white storks, bee-eaters, hornbills, etc. .... Rare species such as Siberian cranes can also be seen. 

Although the park remains open all year round, the best season is from October to February when migratory birds are present.

Bharatpur
Gir national Park

GIR National Park

Gujarat

Gir National Park, founded in 1965, covers a total area of 1,412 km² of which approximately 258 km² make up the fully protected.

It is the only park to shelter the Asiatic lion whose almost entire population was decimated at the end of the 19th century. Located on the former hunting grounds of the nabobs of Junagadh, the Asiatic lion population was reduced to 20 individuals. It was in 1900 that, faced with this drastic fall, the Nawab Sir Muhammad Rasul Khanji Babi declared Gir a "protected area". The last census, in May 2015, reported 523 individuals, including 109 males, 201 females and 213 young.

Among the 2,375 animal species recorded, Gir has about 38 species of mammals, more than 300 species of birds, 37 species of reptiles and more than 2000 species of insects.

Among the carnivores, in addition to the Asiatic lion, are the leopard, the Indian cobra, various felines, hyenas and jackals. Deer, antelope and wild boar make up the majority of herbivores.

The wet parts of the sanctuary are inhabited by reptiles, such as crocodiles, turtles and monitor lizards, while pythons are sometimes visible on the banks of waterways.

Finally, among the 300 species of birds, mostly resident, there are 6 species of vultures recorded, the most common species remaining the eagle, the owl and the egret.

Gir
Kanha national Park

KANHA National Park

Madhya Pradesh

Kanha National Park is the largest in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Declared a national park in 1955, it now covers an area of 950 km². It was the sal and bamboo forests, rolling grasslands and ravines of the park that inspired Rudyard Kipling to write his "Jungle Book".

If the local attraction for most visitors of Kanha is the tiger, many other species, visible in the green meadows will be appreciated by amateurs and nature lovers. Among these: the deer, the Indian bison, bear, antelope, fox, jackal, hyena, python, mongoose or leopard.

Also contributing to the rich wildlife, a wide variety of exotic birds make Kanha Park a paradise for birdwatchers. Among the 175 species recorded, we can mention storks, peacocks, hoopoes, kingfishers and other finches.

Forests and grasslands form the park and heavy rainfall allows sal, a deciduous tree unique to North and Central India to grow over large areas.

The meadows, on the other hand, are an integral part of the park. They are home to the herbivorous animal population.

Kanha
Kaziranga
Kaziranga national Park

KAZIRANGA National Park

Assam

The Kaziranga Sanctuary, located in the state of Assam in the floodplains of the southern bank of the Brahmaputra River, was listed as a Unesco World Heritage site in 1985 for its unique natural environment.

​Originally established as a reserved forest in 1905 to protect endangered rhinoceros species, the park became the "Kaziranga Game Sanctuary" in 1916, then the "Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary" in 1950 to finally be declared a national park in 1974.

​The park covers an area of 430 km² and occupies a vast valley in a setting of hills covered with forests. Shallow shores and lakes, beyond the reach of the river's annual floods, merge into marshes and tall grass-covered plains, where rhinos, deer and herds of wild buffalo graze nonchalantly.

 

The many bird species are represented in particular by egrets, herons, storks, fish-eating eagles and a colony of gray pelicans. Few routes penetrate this sea of wild grass where wild elephants rarely venture, preferring to stay in the forests, while the hundred tigers listed are practically invisible.

The main attraction of Kaziranga remains the one-horned rhinoceros, of which two-thirds of the 3,500 individuals recorded in 2015 in India and Nepal, reside in the park.

Ranthambhore
Ranthambhore national Park

RANTHAMBHORE National Park

Rajasthan

The "Sawai Madhopur National Park" is the largest and most interesting park in Rajasthan, whether for the beauty of its landscapes or the fauna it shelters.

Located in a verdant area, Ranthambhore Park as it is commonly called, is fed by several rivers on which dams have been installed to form lakes. It is dotted with decrepit Rajput pavilions and palaces. The fort, conquered by Akbar in 1569 and listed as a Unesco World Heritage site in 2013, was a glorious citadel, founded in the 5th century. It is one of the largest and oldest in Rajasthan, of which isolated fortifications remain on a rocky outcrop.

Ranthambhore has almost always been controlled by the Rajputs and was the privileged ground of the great royal hunts of the Maharajas of Jaipur. Shortly after India's independence, the area was declared a sanctuary before becoming a full-fledged national park under "Project Tiger" in 1972.

Over time the park became world famous for being home to "friendly tigers" but poaching in the 1980s was so severe that the population dwindled to just a few individuals. Since then, rigorous monitoring of the park and various regulations have allowed a constant increase in the number of felines.

However, Ranthambhore is much busier than most other national parks in the country. For those looking for tranquility, away from tourists, the parks of Madhya Pradesh will be more advisable.

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