Indian Wildlife Safaris
India is amongst the top
twelve countries in the world in terms of wildlife and forests
depicting 'Mega Diversity'. Remote mountains icy plateaus, moist
evergreen foothills, rainforests and dry scrub, deserts, saline
flatlands, mangrove swamps, lush mountain forests, grassy meadows,
shaded pools of water; tall feathery bamboo all collectively supports
an amazing variety of wildlife. Since centuries ago animals have been
worshipped in India for instance elephants are seen as Lord Ganesha
and monkeys as Hanumana.
A very large number national parks and sanctuaries have now been
established in India to provide natural habitat to animals. "TIGER" is
National Animal & "PEACOCK" is National Bird Of India. This is only
place in the world where one can see the majestic beauty of Tiger in a
single visit of Bandhavgarh, Kanha or Ranthambore National Park. Tiger
is now become a Prime animal of India.
Corbett national park -India’s oldest national park and Periyar
Reserve hosts the home of the Asian Elephants. The Kaziranga in Assam
is the homeland of one horned Rhino. Gir forest of Gujrat is now the
only place in entire Asia for Asiatic Lion. The world’s heritage
Keoladeo Ghana National Park, a smattering of wetland attracts some of
the greatest congregations of migratory waterfowl.
Its flora comprises 15000 flowering plants that are 6% of the world’s
total. India’s faunal diversity is also high, with its 1178 bird
species representing 14% of the world’s total. Similarly there are
Over 500 species of mammals, 30,000 insects and over 400 varieties of
reptiles. In short this sub-continent is a paradise for those who love
to observe the grace and beauty of the flora and fauna and for those
who want to capture it on film.
With an amazing variety of flora and fauna it is unfortunate to know
that around 250 animals are endangered and in need of immediate
protection. A few of them like Cheetah have already been extinct and
many more are there in the queue surviving woefully on its last legs
for instance Tiger, Golden Langur a few varieties of deers and monkeys
and certainly some of the birds.
There had been several efforts made by the Indian Government to
protect and perverse this rich wildlife and splendid nature. One of
the success stories is that of the “Project Tiger” the most
spectacular one and the one, which has saved many forests under its
wide umbrella. Project Tiger succeeded mainly through the strong,
evocative symbol of the tiger itself, in rallying public opinion not
in India but worldwide.
The major cause of vanishing animals in India is poaching as well as
shrinking forest cover. The cause is deforestation, because of
population as well as industrialization growth. Inspite of, many
efforts made to stop poaching there had been no radical reforms taking
place, mainly because the laws are not effectively enforced.
In 1972 India declared a number of animals and birds as completely
protected and started “project tiger", declaring 11 sanctuaries,
reserved forests and national parks for tigers exclusively in the
Indian subcontinent. Measures to preserve wildlife taken since
independence have been fruitful to some extent. Now we have over 200
sanctuaries, national parks and reserve forests spread all over the
country. Some of these are as big as 780 sq. km and the smaller ones
around 26 sq.km in area. The majority of these are well connected by
road and rail and some even by air. Furnished rooms, dormitories, rest
house of the Forest Department and private hotels with all amenities
are available. In most of the sanctuaries and national parks, roads
are good. In some places there are watchtowers near water holes.
Common animals found in abundance.
India has a great wildlife but it is not properly exposed. The major
reason is that photography in India is not as easy as in the vast open
grasslands of Africa. Lighting’s condition is generally poor. Most of
the animals are very shy & alert. The forests are very dense with
thick undergrowth thereby making the forests a bit inaccessible. But
it is very true that India has a very large scope for wildlife
photography if it is explored properly.
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