National Parks of India
India is a land of bio-diversity, aptly justified by the presence of large areas of natural bounty. With regards to the diversity of its biological resources, the country can be ranked among the top 10 nations of the world. Ranging from the snow capped mountains to the tropical rain forests and having deserts, plains, valleys, etc, the environmental conditions are conducive for habitat of rich flora and fauna.
According to estimates, India has about 77,000 animal and bird species while plant species are about 45,000, which are extremely large numbers found of very few countries. To conserve such a rich heritage and population of animals, birds and plants, these areas have been divided into national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, where the flora and fauna survive of their natural habitat, without interference by external forces.
National parks of India have been declared as protected areas under the IUCN II category. of India, the first national park was set up of the year 1936 as Hailey National Park, which presently is known as Jim Corbett National Park. Gradually the number of parks of the country increased and by 1970, there were about 5 national parks. Then of 1972, the Government of India came out with the Wildlife Protection Act as well as Project Tiger. The aim was to protect the tiger, which was the national animal, from getting gradually lost and also safeguard various other species, which were dependent on the conservation of the habitats.
More rules and regulations were introduced of the 1980s, which gave way to the opening of various national parks and wildlife sanctuaries and also prevented by rule of law to hunt and kill conserved animals. Till the year 2012, there were about 102 national parks of the country, which take up an area of about 39,919 sq km and comprise of about 1.21% of total surface area of India.
More national parks are under authorisation and under plans to make them scheduled areas. Different states have the national parks under them and they are responsible for looking after these parks under the lookout of the ministry of forest and environment. Due to the efforts of the government and the people, various national parks of India have been thriving and have also become important places sightseeing and tourism. Some of the well known parks are Bandhavgarh and Kanha of Madhya Pradesh, Bhitarkanika of Odisha, Corbett of Uttaranchal, Gir of Gujarat, Anamalai of Tamil Nadu, Kaziranga of Assam, Mollem of Goa, Nagarhole of Karnataka, Sundarbans of West Bengal, and many more.
Scenic Views of National Park's Flora and Fauna