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India is one of the 17 mega diversity centres on earth exhibiting tremendous climatic, altitudinal and habitat diversity. The ecological habitats vary from humid tropical Western Ghats to hot deserts of Rajasthan and from cold deserts of Ladakh to warm coasts of Peninsular India and moist Eastern Himalayas to moderate climatic zones of central India. In these diverse habitats, diverse wildlife prosper. India is home of many majestic animals and endangered plants.

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Protected areas are those in which human occupation or at least the exploitation of resources is limited. The definition that has been widely accepted across regional and global frameworks has been provided by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in its categorization guidelines for protected areas. There are several kinds of protected areas, which vary by level of protection depending on the enabling laws of each country or the regulations of the international organizations involved.

Protected Areas in

Parliament of India enacted the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, for the protection of plants and animal species. The Act provides for the protection of wild animals, birds and plants; and for matters connected there with or ancillary or incidental thereto.

There are four categories of Protected areas in India Constituted under the provisions of Wildlife (Protection) ACT, 1972.

An area, whether within a sanctuary or not, can be notified by the state government to be constituted as a National Park, by reason of its ecological, faunal, floral, geomorphological, or zoological association or importance, needed to for the purpose of protecting & propagating or developing wildlife therein or its environment. No human activity is permitted inside the national park except for the ones permitted by the Chief Wildlife Warden of the state under the conditions given in CHAPTER IV, WPA 1972.

There are 104 existing national parks in India covering an area of 40501.13 km2, which is 1.23% of the geographical area of the country (National Wildlife Database, May, 2019).

Any area other than area comprised with any reserve forest or the territorial waters can be notified by the State Government to constitute as a sanctuary if such area is of adequate ecological, faunal, floral, geomorphological, natural. or zoological significance, for the purpose of protecting, propagating or developing wildlife or its environment. Some restricted human activities are allowed inside the Sanctuary area details of which are given in CHAPTER IV, WPA 1972.

There are 551 existing wildlife sanctuaries in India covering an area of 119775.80 km2, which is 3.64 % of the geographical area of the country (National Wildlife Database, May, 2019).

Conservation reserves and community reserves in India are terms denoting protected areas of India which typically act as buffer zones to or connectors and migration corridors between established national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and reserved and protected forests of India. Such areas are designated as conservation areas if they are uninhabited and completely owned by the Government of India but used for subsistence by communities and community areas if part of the lands are privately owned.

These protected area categories were first introduced in the Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Act of 2002 − the amendment to the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. These categories were added because of reduced protection in and around existing or proposed protected areas due to private ownership of land, and land use.

There are 88 existing Conservation Reserves in India covering 4356.49 km2, which is 0.13 % of the geographical area of the country (National Wildlife Database, July, 2019).

Conservation reserves and community reserves in India are terms denoting protected areas of India which typically act as buffer zones to or connectors and migration corridors between established national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and reserved and protected forests of India.
Such areas are designated as conservation areas if they are uninhabited and completely owned by the Government of India but used for subsistence by communities and community areas if part of the lands are privately owned.
These protected area categories were first introduced in the Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Act of 2002 − the amendment to the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.
These categories were added because of reduced protection in and around existing or proposed protected areas due to private ownership of land, and land use.
There are 127 existing Community Reserves in India covering 525.22 km2, which is 0.02 % of the geographical area of the country (National Wildlife Database, July, 2019).

The term “protected area” also includes Marine Protected Areas, the boundaries of which will include some area of ocean, and Transboundary Protected Areas that overlap multiple countries which remove the borders inside the area for conservation and economic purposes.

A marine protected area (MPA) is essentially a space in the ocean where human activities are more strictly regulated than the surrounding waters – similar to parks we have on land. These places are given special protections for natural or historic marine resources by local, state, territorial, native, regional, or national authorities. 

Nalbana Bird Sanctuary in Chilika lagoon; the paradise of waterbirds.

Chilika is Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon. The Nalabana is a seasonal island which submerges during the monsoon. It reemerges in the post monsoon period every year. It is a major island in the center of the Chilika lake. This island supports 60% of total migratory birds congregation each year. It is part of Chilika […]

Jaldapara National Park

Jaldapara National Park is located in Alipurduar district of West Bengal, India. The national park is situated on the bank of the Torsa River, at the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas. The area was designated as a wildlife sanctuary since 1941 for the conservation of its diverse flora and fauna. Vast grassland and riverine forest […]

Sundarbans National Park; Home of Royal Bengal tiger in Bengal

Sundarbans National Park is located in West Bengal state of India. National Park is situated on the deltaic region of the Ganges river.  In 1973, the region was declared as the Sundarbans Tiger Reserve and wildlife sanctuary in 1977.  On May 4, 1984, the core of the Sundarbans tiger reserve was declared as Sundarbans National […]

Singalila National Park

Singalila National Park is located in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, India. The national park is bordered with Sikkim state on the north and with neighbouring country Nepal on the west. The park is part of the Singalila Ridge of Eastern Himalaya, which runs from north to south. Sandakphu peak (3630 m) is the […]

Neora Valley National Park

Neora Valley National Park is located in Kalimpong district of West Bengal, India. The park is named after the Neora river flowing through it. This National Park is one of the richest biological zones in Eastern India in the folds of Kalimpong hills.  The park is close to the border of Indian state Sikkim and […]

Gorumara National Park

Gorumara National Park is located in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal India. The park is situated on the foothill of Himalaya representing Eastern Himalaya sub mountain Tarai belt ecoregion. This National Park in the significant watershed area between the Ganges and the Brahmaputra River system. Asiatic Elephant parade crossing the river @ Gorumara National Park […]

Buxa National Park

Buxa National Park is located in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal. This National Park is part of Buxa Tiger Reserve and  and Buxar wildlife sanctuary which were was  created in the year 1983 and 1986 respectively. Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary of Bhutan  situated on the north to this national park and the  Manas National park lies […]

Dachigam National Park

Dachigam National Park is located in Srinagar district of Jammu Kashmir union territory of India. National Park is named after in remembrance 10 villages which were relocated for its formation. The park area is well protected since the beginning of the nineteenth century by the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir ensuring clean drinking water supply […]