National parks of India

This is a list of all national parks of India. India’s first national park (an IUCN category II protected area) was established in 1935 as Hailey National Park, now known as Jim Corbett National Park. By 1970, India only had five national parks. In 1972, India enacted the Wildlife Protection Act and Project Tiger to safeguard habitat; further federal legislation strengthening protections for wildlife was introduced in the 1980s. As of April 2007, there are 96 national parks. All national park lands encompass a combined 38,029.18 sq km, 1.16% of India’s total surface area.

A total of 166 national parks have been authorized. Plans are underway to establish the remaining scheduled parks. All of India’s national parks are listed below alongside their home state or territory and the date that they were established. For an overview of Indian protected areas in general, please see protected areas of India.

First National Parki in India, Jim Corbett National Park – Jim Corbett

National Park—named after the hunter and naturalist Jim Corbett who played a key role in its establishment – is the oldest national park in India. The park was established in 1936 as Hailey National Park. Situated in Nainital district of Uttarakhand, the park acts as a protected area for the critically endangered Bengal tiger of India, the secure survival of which is the main objective of Project Tiger, an Indian wildlife protection initiative.
The park has sub-Himalayan belt geographical and ecological characteristics. An ecotourism destination, it contains 488 different species of plants and a diverse variety of fauna.The increase in tourist activities, among other problems, continues to present a serious challenge to the park’s ecological balance.

The reserve, located partly along a valley between the Lesser Himalaya in the north and the Siwaliks in the south, has a sub-Himalayan belt structure. The upper tertiary rocks are exposed towards the base of the Siwalik range and hard sandstone units form broad ridges. Characteristic longitudinal valleys, geographically termed Doons, or Duns can be seen formed along the narrow tectonic zones between lineaments.

The weather in the park is temperate compared to most other protected areas of India. The temperature may vary from 5 °C (41 °F) to 30 °C (86 °F) during the winter and some mornings are foggy. Summer temperatures normally do not rise above 40 °C (104 °F).Rainfall ranges from light during
the dry season to heavy during the monsoons.

Flora – A total of 488 different species of plants have been recorded in the park. Tree density inside the reserve is higher in the areas of Sal forests and lowest in the Anogeissus-Acacia catechu forests. Total tree basal cover is greater in Sal dominated areas of woody vegetation. Healthy regeneration in sapling and seedling layers is occurring in the Mallotus philippensis, Jamun and Diospyros tomentosa communities, but in the Sal forests the regeneration of sapling and seedling is poor.

Over 585 species of resident and migratory birds have been categorized, including crested serpent eagles, blossom headed parakeet and the red jungle fowl – ancestor of all domestic fowl. 33 species of reptiles, 7 species of amphibians, 7 species of fish and 37 species of dragonflies have also been recorded.

Bengal tigers, although plentiful, are not easily spotted due to the abundance of camouflage in the reserve. Thick jungle, the Ramganga river, and plentiful prey make this reserve an ideal habitat for tigers who are opportunistic feeders and prey upon a range of animals. The tigers in the park have been known to kill much larger animals such as buffalo and even elephant for food. The tigers prey upon the larger animals in rare cases of food shortage, often in packs using the advantage of numerical superiority.

First Wildlife Sanctuary – Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary
Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary is located in one of the oldest mountain ranges of India, the Aravalli range. It was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1960. It spreads out into a plateau which is about 19 km in length and 6 km in breadth. In altitude, it varies from 300 meters at the foot to 1722 meters at Guru Shikhar, the highest peak in Rajasthan.

The rocks are igneous and due to the weathering effect of wind and water, large cavities are common in them.

Flora – It is very rich in floral bio-diversity starting from xenomorphic sub-tropical thorn forests in the foot hills to sub-tropical evergreen forests along water courses and valleys at higher altitudes.

There are about 112 plant families with 449 genera and 820 species. Of these, 663 species are dicots while 157 species are monocots.

Mount Abu is the only place in Rajasthan where one can observe a variety of orchids. The place is also rich in bryophytes and algae. Three species of wild roses and 16 species of feras some of which are quite rare have also been reported from here. The south-west part of the sanctuary is rich in bamboo forests.

About 81 species of trees, 89 species of shrubs, 28 species of climbers and 17 species of tuberous plants of medicinal importance have been identified in this sanctuary.

Fauna – A variety of fauna, including highly rare, threatened and endangered species are found in this sanctuary. The past history of Mount Abu indicates the presence of lion (last recorded in 1872) and tiger (last reported in 1970). Presently the leopard is the apex predator. Other animals found here are sambhar, jungle cat, small Indian civet, wolf, hyaena, jackal, Indian fox, common langoor, wild boar, pangolin, common mongoose, Indian hare, porcupine and hedgehog. The sanctuary provides an ideal habitat for the sloth bear too. It is unique in the sense that more than 250 species of birds are found here, but the speciality of the Abu sanctuary is the grey jungle fowl.

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