Wild Life of Gujarat

Gir National Park & Sanctuary

 Located in the south west of the Saurashtra peninsula, the Gir National Park is a haven to about 300 Asiatic lions. There are teak, ber, and flame of the forest and banyan trees. Streams run through the deep ravines. The lions, a smaller more compact version of their African cousins, are best viewed at dawn or dusk when they are on the move. Gir also has nearly 210 leopards and numerous chital, nilgai, chinkara, the four homed antelope and wild boar. Marsh crocodiles are often seen along its rivers. The forest is rich in bird life and the paradise flycatcher black headed cuckoo shrike woodpecker, Bonelli's eagle, crested serpent eagle, painted sand grouse, bush quail and grey partridge are among the variety that is found here.
 

Wild Ass Sanctuary ( Little Rann of Kutch)

The Wild Ass Sanctuary is located in the Little Rann of Kutch of the Gujarat State in India. The Sanctuary is named after a sub species of wild ass (Equus hemionus khur), the last population of which it harbours. The Rann is one of the most remarkable and unique landscapes of its kind in the entire world. It is a vast desiccated, unbroken bare surface of dark silt, encrusted with salts which transforms into a spectacular coastal wetland after the rains. 253 flowering plant species have been listed, out of which the number of species of trees was 18, shrubs-23, climbers/twiners-18, herbs-157 and grasses-37. Bets and fringe area of extensive marine saline flats of the Little Rann of Kutch mainly support a variety of indigenous plants like Suaeda spp., Salvadora persica, Capparis decidua, Capparis deciduas, Calotropis procera, Tamarix sp., Aeluropus lagopoides, Cressa cretica, Sporobolus spp., Prosopis Cineraria, etc. The dominant families representing more than 10 species are Fabaceae, Asteraceae, Cyperaceae and Poaceae. Herbaceous taxa are predominant over shrubs and trees. 107 species of algae are present in the water bodies of the area.

The Sanctuary is habitat to about 93 species of invertebrates, including 25 species of zooplanktons, 1 species of annelid, 4 crustaceans, 24 insects, 12 molluscs and 27 spiders. Totally 4 species of amphibians (frogs and toads) and 29 species of reptiles (2 species of turtles, 14 species of lizards, 12 snakes and 1 crocodile) occur. According to an estimate about 70,000-75,000 birds nests in an area spread over 250 acres. Nine mammalian orders with 33 species/subspecies have been reported from the Little Rann of Kutch, including the world’s last population of the khur sub-species of the wild ass.

Blackbuck National Park

 

Blackbuck N.P., Velavadar in the Bhal region of Saurashtra is a unique grassland ecosystem that has attracted fame for the successful conservation of the blackbuck, the wolf and the lesser florican.  It has ringed horns that have a spiral twist of three to four turns and are up to 70 cm long. The body’s upper parts are black and the underparts and a ring around the eyes are white. The light brown female is usually hornless. The wolf and the jackals are the main predators in the park. It is also very rich in birdlife as well.

Marine National Park

Gujarat has the distinction of creating the country’s first Marine National Park spread over an area of nearly 458 sq.kms. in the Gulf of Kutch, 30 km. from Jamnagar. Here corals create fantasies in stone and are the master builders of the Park. One of the most threatened birds, the great Indian bustard finds a refuge in certain pockets of protected areas. Turtles, shrimp, sponge, eels, sea urchin lurk among the corals and huge schools of fish create a brilliance of colors that are unknown, unseen and unimaginable to us.

Vansda National park

The Vansda national Park established in 1979 in Navsari district, Gujarat got its name Vansda as the area was privately owned by the Maharaja of Vansda. Even though the park is small, it is extremely dense and has a wide variety of flora and fauna. Some parts of the park are dark even during daytime. pangolin, rusty-spotted cats, Jungle Cat, Civets, Mongooses, Macaques, Barking Deer, giant squirrels, Hyenas and a wide species of birds like Great Black Woodpecker, Malabar Trogon, Shama and Emerald Dove, Grey Hornbill, Racket-Tailed Drongo, Paradise Flycatcher, Leaf birds, Thrushes, Sunbirds, peafowls etc.

Nal Sarovar Sanctuary

Nal Sarovar is the largest wetland bird sanctuary in Gujarat and one of the largest in India. Nal Sarovar harbours a variety of flora and fauna. Thousands of migratory waterfowls flock to Nal just after the monsoon. The shallow area and ponds on the outer fringes of the lake attract the wading birds that feed in the shallow waters. The area supports more than 210 species of birds besides a few mammalian species including the endangered wild ass and the blackbuck. Development of an eco tourism project conserving the eco systems is planned at Nal Sarovar. Apart from providing an exclusive destination for eco tourism, the developed eco systems would serve as a demonstration centre for ecology conservation and for promoting awareness among people about nature and natural systems.

   
 
 
 

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