Wild Life of GujaratGir 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.
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.
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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