National Parks & Nature Reserves of India
India has over 600 national parks. With about 23% of the country being forested land, the subcontinent is home to over 200 species of endangered animals. Out of the numerous rare and magnificent fauna, the tiger is our national pride and they are found across 17 states in the country. However, the royal status of the tigers turned into a bane due to the increase in poaching and hunting of tigers leading to dwindling numbers.
Heavy deforestation took place in the decade after Indian independence, but the idea of conservation dawned with the advent of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act in 1972. “Project Tiger” soon followed, with 10 key national parks in India chosen as prime breeding grounds for the national animal. These parks were chosen considering the different ecosystems and habitats that the tigers occupied. Subsequently, India realized the importance of tiger conservation and started making Tiger Reserves in different states.
Tiger Parks and Reserves of India
Over the years since the Wildlife Preservation Act, India has seen a 22% increase in the tiger population. Conservation efforts made by the national parks have also given rise to interest in wildlife tourism. This prompted increased interest in the Golden Triangle Tourism zone, where tiger safari tours are frequented. Any park you choose for a wildlife tiger safari in India, you will receive a unique and all-around pleasant and uplifting experience. The tours in and around the parks are an explorer’s paradise, each enveloped in an incredibly biodiverse and consistent layer of evergreen forest landscapes.
If you enjoy a tour that takes you on a trip down the historical lane, Bandhavgarh is the place to go, thanks to its rich cultural significance and tales of the royal presence. Hoping for a quick weekend getaway? Panna is perfect. Despite its relatively small size, it offers so much to explore and is bustling with wildlife activity.
One of the biggest tiger reserves in India, the Corbett National park is a haven for ornithophiles. You’ll be glued to your binoculars trying to spot each of its 2000 species of birds. Care for a mix of urban-rural majesty? Go to Ranthambore and get immersed in its sheer elegance of form and function. For a family vacation, Kanha and Pench are perfect picks, as they each offer an experience pulled right out of a child’s fairytale book. No matter which park you pick, they all have one clear goal – to protect and preserve the beauty of nature. The conservation efforts taken up by the tiger national parks in India are only enhanced through consistent interests in wildlife safaris.
Significance of National Parks Conservation and Tourism
Destruction of habitat, poaching of tigers due to demand from certain parts of the world for the tiger parts, and lately the needs of the developing economy have been hurdles in the conservation story of India. But despite this, India has held on to all its key species. The only large mammal that India has lost in its 72 years of independence is the cheetah. There are efforts to rehabilitate the same though. Over the years, India has seen growth in the population of the Asiatic lions in Gir National Park, Asian elephants, snow leopards, one-horned rhinos, and several other species.
Wildlife Tourism in India has played a key role in the conservation of our flora and fauna. The flow of money to the local community due to tourism around the national parks has removed the dependence of the dwellers on the forests for biomass. Of the 50 tiger reserves, there are some which have become quite popular with regards to wildlife tourism. Parks like Ranthambhore, Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Tadoba, Jim Corbett, Kaziranga, Pench, Nagarhole, Gir, are giving unique experiences to wildlife enthusiasts from all over the world. The importance of wildlife tourism can be ascertained from the fact that the more the number of tourists in a particular park the more the number of tigers. The relation between the healthy population of tigers and tourism is yet to be ascertained.
When we protect the tiger, we protect other species as well for the tigers require prey, habitat, and water. So, in order to protect the tiger, you end up protecting the ecosystem. And everything is important, every species, every landscape, and every community. To protect one species we need to protect the entire ecosystem. Hence, all the national parks in India, all the wildlife sanctuaries, and all the tiger reserves have a role to play in the conservation of our flora and fauna.
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