Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Project Cheetah

June 04, 2024 0

Project Cheetah UPSC (Cheetah Rehabilitation Project)

Project Cheetah is a pioneering conservation effort initiated by the Indian government. This project's primary objective is to reintroduce cheetahs into India, a species that had become extinct in the country in the 1950s. 

The Asiatic cheetah was once a native species to India, but due to hunting and habitat loss, it became extinct in the country in 1952. Project Cheetah involves the translocation of cheetahs from South Africa and Namibia to Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh, India.

The reintroduction of cheetahs is expected to benefit global cheetah conservation efforts and enhance ecosystem health in India. It can also promote ecotourism and improve protection in previously neglected areas.

As of the most recent information available, 20 cheetahs have been translocated to Kuno National Park, with plans to introduce more cheetahs from South Africa.

Project Cheetah

Table of Contents

  • What is Project Cheetah?
  • Cheetah Reintroduction
  • Name of Cheetah in Kuno National Park
  • Possible Reintroduction Sites for Cheetahs in India
  • What is the need of Project?
  • Challenges and Criticisms
  • Arguments in Support of the Project
  • Project Cheetah Cost
  • Project Cheetah UPSC Question

What is Project Cheetah?

Project Cheetah is an ambitious wildlife conservation initiative in India aimed at reintroducing the cheetah, a critically endangered big cat species, into the wild. The project seeks to reestablish a cheetah population in India after the species went extinct in the country nearly seven decades ago. It is the world’s first intercontinental large wild carnivore translocation project. 

The primary goal of Project Cheetah is to bring back cheetahs to India by importing them from other countries and releasing them into carefully selected protected areas. The cheetahs are expected to adapt and thrive in their new Indian habitats.

The project aims to establish a self-sustaining population of cheetahs in India. It plans to bring in 5-10 cheetahs every year for the next decade until a self-sustaining population is achieved.

The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), under the Ministry of Forest, Environment, and Climate Change, is the government body responsible for implementing Project Cheetah. The Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) is also assisting in the reintroduction efforts.

The project considered several potential reintroduction sites, with Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh being one of the chosen locations. It was selected due to its climatic conditions, vegetation, prey availability, and the absence of human settlements.

Project Cheetah is a complex and high-profile initiative that has generated both enthusiasm and controversy within the conservation community and the public. The success of the project depends on effectively addressing the various challenges and ensuring the long-term survival of the reintroduced cheetah population in India.

Cheetah Reintroduction

(1) Debate over Cheetah Reintroduction:

The debate over whether cheetah reintroduction was compatible with the stated aims of wildlife conservation began soon after the Asiatic cheetah's extinction was confirmed in India, dating back to the mid-1950s. The discussion revolved around the pros and cons of reintroducing cheetahs to India.

(2) Sourcing Cheetahs from Iran and Iran's Reluctance:

There were proposals to source cheetahs from Iran starting in the 1970s, but these plans faced obstacles due to political instability. In the 1970s, the Indian Department of Environment formally requested Asiatic cheetahs from Iran for reintroduction but faced challenges after the Iranian Revolution.

In August 2009, Jairam Ramesh, who was the Minister of Environment at the time, reopened discussions with Iran regarding the possibility of sourcing cheetahs for reintroduction to India. However, Iran was hesitant to commit to this idea due to the extremely low numbers of cheetahs in their country. During these negotiations, it was reported that Iran requested an Asiatic lion in exchange for providing cheetahs for India's reintroduction efforts. However, India was not willing to export any of its lions in exchange for cheetahs.

Despite these negotiations, the plan to source cheetahs from Iran was eventually dropped in 2010. The challenges and complexities of such an exchange likely played a role in the decision to abandon this particular approach to cheetah reintroduction in India.

(3) Sourcing from Africa:

Offers from African countries, such as Kenya, to send African cheetahs to India were made as early as the 1980s. In 2009, the Wildlife Institute of India recommended sourcing cheetahs from Africa.

Asiatic Cheetah

June 04, 2024 0

Asiatic Cheetah UPSC

The Asiatic cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus) is a critically endangered subspecies of cheetah that once inhabited various regions in Asia, particularly Iran. They are closely related to the African cheetah but have adapted to the unique environmental conditions of their habitat.

Historically, the Asiatic cheetah's range included parts of Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and even India. However, their numbers have drastically declined, and they are now primarily found in Iran.

The conservation of Asiatic cheetahs is a priority for wildlife conservation organizations and the government. Efforts have been made to protect their remaining habitats, establish protected areas, and monitor the population. There have also been attempts to reintroduce captive-bred cheetahs into the wild, but these efforts have faced various challenges.

The main threats to Asiatic cheetahs include habitat loss due to agricultural and industrial development, poaching, and a decline in their prey species. Human-wildlife conflict can also lead to cheetah deaths.

Asiatic Cheetah
Asiatic Cheetah

Table of Contents

  • Asiatic Cheetah Characteristics
  • Asiatic Cheetah vs African Cheetah
  • Asiatic Cheetah Population
  • Cheetah in Iran
  • Cheetah Extinction in India
  • Asiatic Cheetah IUCN
  • Asiatic Cheetah Conservation
  • Asiatic Cheetah Facts
  • Asiatic Cheetah UPSC Question

Asiatic Cheetah Characteristics

The Asiatic cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus) shares many characteristics with its African counterpart, but it has also developed some adaptations to suit its unique environment. Here are some key characteristics of the Asiatic cheetah:

(1) Classification:

The Asiatic cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus) belongs to the following taxonomic classification:

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Felidae
  • Genus: Acinonyx
  • Species: Acinonyx jubatus
  • Subspecies: Acinonyx jubatus venaticus

This classification places the Asiatic cheetah as a subspecies of the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), which is part of the family Felidae, making it a member of the big cat family along with other species like lions, tigers, leopards, and more. The specific epithet "venaticus" refers to its hunting behavior, as it is a skilled hunter.

(2) Scientific Name:

The scientific name of the Asiatic cheetah is "Acinonyx jubatus venaticus."

(3) Asiatic Cheetah Habitat:

The Asiatic cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus) is primarily found in Iran, and its habitat varies within this region. These cheetahs are adapted to live in a range of environments, including:

(i) Deserts: Asiatic cheetahs are often associated with arid desert regions, where they can be found in habitats characterized by sand dunes, rocky outcrops, and sparse vegetation.

(ii) Savannas: They are also known to inhabit savanna-like landscapes with a mix of grasslands, shrubs, and scattered trees. These areas provide some cover and can be suitable for hunting.

(iii) Mountainous Regions: In some parts of Iran, Asiatic cheetahs have been documented in mountainous terrain, where they navigate rocky and hilly landscapes.

(iv) Plateaus: Cheetahs can be found on plateaus and upland areas, especially those with low human disturbance.

However, it's important to note that these habitats are under threat due to human activities such as agriculture, infrastructure development, and mining. The encroachment of human settlements and associated habitat destruction are major concerns for the survival of the Asiatic cheetah. Conservation efforts are crucial to protect and restore their habitat and ensure their long-term survival.

(4) Physical Appearance:

(i) Coat: Asiatic cheetahs have a tan-colored coat with distinctive black spots. Their coat coloration helps them blend into the arid and rocky landscapes of their habitat.

(ii) Black "Tear Tracks": Like African cheetahs, Asiatic cheetahs have black "tear tracks" that run from the inner corners of their eyes down to the sides of their noses. These marks may help reduce glare from the sun and enhance their focus on prey.

(iii) Spot Patterns: The arrangement of spots on an Asiatic cheetah's coat is unique to each individual, and this can be used for identification.

(5) Large Nasal Openings:

Cheetahs, including the Asiatic cheetah, are known for their large nasal openings, which are a distinctive anatomical feature that plays a vital role in their ability to run at incredibly high speeds. Here's why these large nasal openings are significant:

(i) Enhanced Oxygen Intake: The cheetah's large nasal passages allow for increased oxygen intake. When a cheetah is in pursuit of prey and running at high speeds, it requires a significant amount of oxygen to support its muscles' oxygen needs. The large nasal openings help maximize the intake of oxygen-rich air.

(ii) Efficient Breathing: Cheetahs have a respiratory system that is adapted for rapid, efficient breathing. Their lungs are also relatively larger compared to their body size, which further aids in oxygen exchange during high-speed chases.

(iii) Cooling Mechanism: Running at high speeds generates a lot of heat, and cheetahs are at risk of overheating. Panting is a cooling mechanism for cheetahs, and their large nasal openings facilitate rapid panting, which helps dissipate excess heat during and after a sprint.

(iv) Reduction of Airway Resistance: The large nasal openings help reduce airway resistance during rapid inhalation and exhalation. This allows cheetahs to breathe more easily, which is crucial for maintaining their stamina during a chase.

(6) Asiatic Cheetah Size and Weight:

The size of the Asiatic cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus) is generally similar to that of its African counterpart, but there can be some variations among individuals. Here are some typical size characteristics of the Asiatic cheetah:

(i) Body Length: Adult Asiatic cheetahs typically have a body length ranging from 110 to 135 centimeters (43 to 53 inches).

(ii) Tail Length: Their tails add an additional 60 to 80 centimeters (24 to 31 inches) to their overall length. The tail is long and muscular, aiding in balance and stability during high-speed chases.

(iii) Shoulder Height: These cheetahs stand about 70 to 90 centimeters (28 to 35 inches) tall at the shoulder.

(iv) Weight: Adult Asiatic cheetahs typically weigh between 35 to 60 kilograms (77 to 132 pounds), with males being larger and heavier than females. However, individual variation can be significant.

(v) Build: Asiatic cheetahs have a slender, streamlined body, characterized by a deep chest, long legs, and a small, rounded head. This body structure is adapted for high-speed pursuits.

It's important to note that these size ranges are general estimates, and there can be considerable individual variation in terms of size and weight. The size of an individual Asiatic cheetah can also be influenced by factors like age, sex, genetics, and the availability of prey in their habitat.

(7) Asiatic Cheetah Diet:

What does Asiatic Cheetah eat?

The Asiatic cheetah is a carnivorous predator with a diet primarily focused on hunting and consuming various species of ungulates, which are typically smaller to medium-sized herbivores. Their diet primarily consists of the following prey species:

  • Chinkara
  • Goitered gazelle
  • Wild Sheep
  • Wild Goat
  • Cape Hare

Before its extinction in the country, the cheetah fed on the 

  • Blackbuck
  • Chinkara
  • Chital
  • Nilgai

It's important to note that cheetahs rely on their incredible speed and agility to hunt. They stalk their prey, often using available cover to get as close as possible before launching a high-speed chase. They typically hunt during the day, taking advantage of their sharp vision to spot potential prey.

Asiatic cheetahs, like all cheetahs, are solitary hunters, and they need a successful hunt to sustain their energy levels due to the intense physical exertion involved in sprinting after prey. Their diet primarily consists of fresh kills, as they lack the physical strength to defend their prey against scavengers for an extended period. 

Conservation efforts are critical to preserving the cheetah's habitat and prey base, as habitat loss and a decline in prey species are major threats to their survival.

Royal Bengal Tiger

June 04, 2024 0

Royal Bengal Tiger UPSC

The Royal Bengal Tiger, scientifically known as Panthera tigris tigris, is the national animal of both India and Bangladesh. It's one of the most iconic and majestic big cats in the world. 

It is a subspecies of tiger primarily found in India and Bangladesh, although historically their range extended into other parts of South Asia.

Bengal tigers hold significant cultural and religious importance in the regions where they are found. They are revered as symbols of power, strength, and beauty in Indian mythology, folklore, and art.

The Royal Bengal Tiger is classified as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Threats to their survival include habitat loss, poaching for their skins and body parts (used in traditional medicine), human-tiger conflicts, and depletion of their prey base.

Various conservation organizations, governments, and local communities are working together to conserve Bengal tigers and their habitats. Initiatives include the establishment of protected areas such as national parks and wildlife reserves, anti-poaching measures, community-based conservation projects, and efforts to mitigate human-tiger conflicts.

Royal Bengal Tiger
Royal Bengal Tiger

Table of Contents

  • Royal Bengal Tiger Characteristics
    • Classification
    • Scientific Name
    • Eight Sub-species
    • Habitat
    • Size and Weight
    • Coat Color and Stripes
    • White Spots
    • Diet
    • Behavior
    • Sensory Abilities
    • Agility and Swimming Ability
    • Reproduction
    • Lifespan
    • Cultural Significance
  • Why is it called Royal Bengal Tiger?
  • White Royal Bengal Tiger
  • Black Tiger
  • Sundarban Bengal Tiger
  • Tiger vs Royal Bengal Tiger
  • Royal Bengal Tiger vs Siberian Tiger
  • Protection Status
  • Tiger Conservation in India
  • Largest Critical Tiger Habitat
  • Royal Bengal Tiger Population
  • Tiger Census in India
  • International Initiative
  • Tiger Range Countries
  • Facts
  • Royal Bengal Tiger UPSC Questions
  • Photos

Royal Bengal Tiger Characteristics

The Royal Bengal Tiger, a subspecies of tiger, possesses several distinctive characteristics that make it unique and well-adapted to its environment. Here are some key characteristics of the Royal Bengal Tiger:

1. Classification:

The Royal Bengal Tiger is a subspecies of tiger. In the Linnaean taxonomy system, it is classified as follows:

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Felidae
  • Genus: Panthera
  • Species: Panthera tigris
  • Subspecies: Panthera tigris tigris

The classification "Panthera tigris tigris" distinguishes the Royal Bengal Tiger as a specific subspecies of the tiger, Panthera tigris. Each subspecies of tiger has its own unique characteristics, distribution, and range. 

2. Scientific Name:

The scientific name of the Royal Bengal Tiger is "Panthera tigris tigris."

3. Eight Sub-species:

Historically, there were eight recognized subspecies of tigers. These subspecies differed in terms of their physical characteristics and geographic ranges. The traditional eight subspecies of tigers include:

(i) Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris):

Found primarily in the Indian subcontinent, including India and Bangladesh. This is the Royal Bengal Tiger.

(ii) Indochinese Tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti):

Inhabits regions of Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and Myanmar.

(iii) Malayan Tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni):

Occurs in the Malay Peninsula and parts of southern Thailand.

(iv) Siberian Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica):

Also known as the Amur Tiger, it inhabits the Russian Far East, northeastern China, and North Korea.

Siberian Tiger
Siberian Tiger

(v) South China Tiger (Panthera tigris amoyensis):

Historically found in southern China, but it is considered critically endangered, and there may be no longer any viable wild populations.

(vi) Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae):

Indigenous to the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

Sumatran Tiger
Sumatran Tiger

(vii) Javan Tiger (Panthera tigris sondaica):

Once inhabited the Indonesian island of Java but is believed to be extinct.

(viii) Caspian Tiger (Panthera tigris virgata):

Historically roamed through parts of Central Asia, including Iran, but it is considered extinct, with the last confirmed sightings dating back several decades.

4. Habitat:

The Royal Bengal Tiger is primarily found in the Indian subcontinent, including India and Bangladesh, and it is one of the most iconic and well-known tiger subspecies.

They primarily inhabit the diverse ecosystems of the Indian subcontinent, including grasslands, mangrove swamps, and mixed grassland-forests. They are adapted to various types of environments.

5. Size and Weight:

Size and Strength: Adult male Bengal Tigers are among the largest of all tiger subspecies. They can weigh between 180 to 260 kilograms and measure around 9 to 10 feet (2.7 to 3 meters) in length, not including their tail, which can add another 3 feet (1 meter). Females measure 240 to 265 cm (94 to 104 in) on average.

6. Coat Color and Stripes: 

The Royal Bengal Tiger is renowned for its striking reddish-orange coat with black or dark brown stripes. The coat helps camouflage the tiger in its natural habitat and varies slightly in shade among individuals. Each tiger has over 100 stripes on its body but no two tiger have the same stripe pattern.

7. White Spots:

Royal Bengal Tigers often have white spots on the back of their ears. These spots serve as false eyes and may help deter potential predators or threats approaching from behind.

8. Diet:

They are carnivorous predators and primarily hunt large ungulates such as deer, wild boar, and water buffalo. They are also known to prey on smaller animals when larger prey is scarce.

9. Behavior: 

Bengal Tigers are solitary and territorial animals. They establish and fiercely defend their territories, which can range from a few square miles to larger areas, depending on the availability of prey.

10. Sensory Abilities: 

Tigers have excellent senses. Their vision is adapted for low light, enabling them to hunt effectively during dawn and dusk. They also have a keen sense of hearing and an acute sense of smell.

11. Agility and Swimming Ability: 

Bengal Tigers are known for their agility and athleticism. They can leap great distances and are skilled swimmers, often traversing bodies of water to hunt or cool off.

12. Reproduction:

Female tigers, called "tigresses," typically give birth to litters of 2 to 4 cubs after a gestation period of about 3.5 months. The cubs are raised by their mother and learn important hunting and survival skills from her. A newborn cub remains completely blind for the first week of its birth.

13. Lifespan:

The average lifespan of a Royal Bengal Tiger in the wild is typically around 10 to 15 years. However, their actual lifespan can vary depending on a variety of factors, including the availability of food, competition for territory, and human-related threats.

14. Cultural Significance: 

The Royal Bengal Tiger holds cultural and religious significance in India and is the national animal of India. It appears in various mythological stories and is often seen as a symbol of strength and power.

Asiatic Lion

June 04, 2024 0

Asiatic Lion UPSC

The Asiatic Lion, also known as the Persian Lion or Indian Lion, is a majestic and critically endangered big cat native to the Indian subcontinent. Unlike the African lion, which is found in various countries across Africa, the Asiatic lion's natural habitat is restricted to the Gir Forest National Park in the state of Gujarat, India. This subspecies of lion is one of the most endangered big cats in the world.

Asiatic lions are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). They face several threats, including habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict, and a limited gene pool due to their isolated population.

The Indian government and various conservation organizations have been working to protect and conserve the Asiatic lion population. Efforts include habitat preservation, anti-poaching measures, and the relocation of some lions to establish new populations.

The Asiatic Lion holds a special place in the rich biodiversity of India. However, it teeters on the brink of extinction, primarily due to habitat loss and poaching. Efforts to conserve and protect this magnificent species are ongoing, and while the situation remains precarious, recent population increases in the Gir forest region offer a glimmer of hope.

Asiatic Lion
Asiatic Lion

Table of Contents

  • Asiatic Lion Characteristics
    • Classification
    • Scientific Name
    • Habitat
    • Endemic Species
    • Diet
    • Size and Weight
    • Mane
    • Belly Fold
    • Coloration
    • Behavior
    • Social Structure
    • Vocalizations
    • Reproduction
    • Lifespan
  • Asiatic Lion vs African Lion Size
  • White Asiatic Lion
  • Population in India
  • IUCN Status
  • Endangered Reasons
  • WWF
  • Conservation
  • Conservation Status
  • Project Lion
  • Asiatic Lion Reintroduction Project
  • Second Home of Asiatic Lion
  • Asiatic Lion vs African Lion
  • Asiatic Lion vs Bengal Tiger
  • Asiatic Lion Facts
  • Asiatic Lion UPSC Questions
  • Photos

Asiatic Lion Characteristics

The Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica) is a subspecies of the lion that is native to the Indian subcontinent. It is distinct from the African lion in several ways, and it has its own unique characteristics. Here are some of the key characteristics of the Asiatic lion:

1. Asiatic Lion Classification:

The classification of the Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica) is as follows:

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Felidae
  • Genus: Panthera
  • Species: Panthera leo
  • Subspecies: Panthera leo persica

2. Asiatic Lion Scientific Name:

The scientific name of the Asiatic lion is Panthera leo persica. This subspecies of lion is native to the Indian subcontinent and is found primarily in the Gir Forest of Gujarat, India. It is distinct from the African lion and is classified under the Panthera leo species, with "persica" denoting its geographical origin.

3. Asiatic Lion Habitat:

Historically, the Asiatic Lion had a much wider distribution that spanned West Asia and the Middle East, including regions like Arabia, Palestine, and present-day Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Iran. However, due to extensive hunting and habitat loss, the species became extinct in these areas.

Today, the only known habitat of the Asiatic Lion is the Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat, India. This sanctuary, with its diverse flora and fauna, provides a crucial refuge for these magnificent creatures.

4. Asiatic Lion Endemic Species:

The Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica) is an endemic species, meaning it is native to a specific geographic region and found nowhere else in the wild. The Asiatic lion's natural habitat is the Gir Forest and surrounding areas in the western Indian state of Gujarat. This makes it an endemic species to the Indian subcontinent.

5. Asiatic Lion Diet:

The primary diet of Asiatic lions consists of large herbivores, such as chital deer, sambar deer, and nilgai. They may also prey on smaller mammals and livestock in the absence of natural prey.

6. Asiatic Lion Size and Weight:

Asiatic lions are generally smaller than their African counterparts. Adult males typically weigh between 160 to 190 kilograms and have a length of around 7 to 8 feet (2.2 to 2.5 meters). Adult females are smaller, weighing between 120 to 180 kilograms. Males have skulls measuring 330 to 340 mm, and females have skulls ranging from 292 to 302 mm.

7. Asiatic Lion Mane:

Male Asiatic lions have smaller and less-developed manes compared to African lions. Their manes are typically shorter and sparser, often covering just the head and neck. This allows their ears to be visible and distinguishes them from their African relatives. The mane is less prominent around the cheeks and throat.

8. Distinctive Belly Fold:

One of the most defining characteristics of the Asiatic Lion is the presence of a longitudinal fold of skin along its belly. This feature is a rarity among lions and is rarely observed in African lions. The exact purpose of this belly fold remains a subject of study, but it adds to the distinct appearance of the Asiatic Lion.

9. Coloration:

The fur of the Asiatic Lion varies in color, ranging from ruddy-tawny with heavy black speckles to sandy or buff-grey, occasionally with a silvery sheen in certain lighting conditions.

10. Behavior:

Asiatic lions are known for their more solitary behavior compared to African lions. They tend to form smaller prides and often break away from larger groups to hunt alone or in smaller units.

11. Social Structure:

Like African lions, Asiatic lions are social animals and live in prides. A typical pride may consist of several lionesses, their cubs, and a dominant male.

12. Vocalizations:

Like all lions, Asiatic lions are known for their various vocalizations, including roars, grunts, and growls, which are used for communication within prides and to establish territory.

13. Reproduction:

Asiatic lions do not have a specific breeding season, and cubs can be born throughout the year. Females give birth to 1 to 4 cubs after a gestation period of about 100 to 119 days.

14. Asiatic Lion Lifespan:

The lifespan of an Asiatic lion, like that of any lion, can vary based on various factors, including the availability of food, environmental conditions, and protection from threats. In the wild, the average lifespan of an Asiatic lion is generally between 12 to 16 years for females and around 8 to 12 years for males. However, many lions do not reach their full potential lifespan due to various challenges they face in the wild, including predation, territorial disputes, and limited access to resources.

In captivity, where lions receive regular meals, veterinary care, and protection from most natural threats, they tend to live longer. In some cases, Asiatic lions in captivity have been known to live into their late teens and even into their early twenties.

Vansda National Park

June 04, 2024 0

Vansda National Park UPSC

Vansda National Park, also known as Bansda National Park, is located in the state of Gujarat, India. It is known for its rich biodiversity and dense forest cover. 

The park is home to various species of flora and fauna, including several endangered and endemic species. The dominant vegetation consists of moist deciduous forest and bamboo forests.

Table of Contents

  • Location
  • History
  • Area
  • River
  • Tribes
  • Flora
  • Fauna
  • UPSC Questions

Vansda National Park Location

Vansda National Park is located in the Vansda tehsil, Navsari District of Gujarat state, India. It is situated in the western part of the state.

Vansda National Park Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to Vansda National Park is Surat Airport (also known as Surat International Airport), which is located approximately 100 kilometers (62 miles) away. Surat Airport is well-connected to major cities in India and serves as the primary airport for the region.

Vansda National Park Nearest Railway Station:

As for the nearest railway station, the Navsari Railway Station is the closest option. It is situated around 35 kilometers from Vansda National Park. 
Vansda National Park

Vansda National Park History

Vansda National Park has a rich history that dates back to the pre-independence era of India. 

1. Pre-Independence Era: Vansda National Park has a rich history that dates back to the pre-independence era of India. The area where the park is located was once under the control of the King of Vansda, who utilized it for various activities, including hunting.

2. Declaration as Reserved Forest: In 1942, recognizing the ecological significance of the region, the area was declared as a reserved forest under the British government's Forest Act. This marked an important step towards the protection and conservation of the natural resources in the area.

3. Declaration as Wildlife Sanctuary: In 1959, further measures were taken to safeguard the wildlife and their habitats when the area was declared a wildlife sanctuary under the Wildlife Protection Act of India. This legal protection helped in preserving the diverse flora and fauna found within the sanctuary boundaries.

4. Establishment of Vansda National Park: The culmination of efforts to protect the region's biodiversity led to the establishment of Vansda National Park in 1979. With the official designation as a national park, the area gained enhanced recognition and became a stronghold for conservation efforts.

Vansda National Park Area

Vansda National Park is spread over an area of approximately 24 square kilometers. Despite being relatively small in size compared to other national parks, Vansda National Park is known for its dense forest cover and rich biodiversity. 

The compact size of the park allows for easy exploration and close encounters with wildlife and nature.

Vansda National Park River

The Ambika River flows through the park, providing a water source and creating a diverse habitat for various flora and fauna species.

Ambika River:

  • Ambika is one of the major river in Gujarat, India. 
  • It is a seasonal river and receives most of its water from the monsoon rains. 
  • Its origins in Saputara Hill ranges in the Nasik district of Maharashtra. 
  • Ambika has a drainage area of 2715 km2.
  • Ambika river is 136 km long.
  • Ambika river flows through the Navsari and Surat districts of Gujarat before emptying into the Arabian Sea.
  • Gira Waterfall is on the Ambika river.
  • Ambika river is home to many varieties of orchids.

Vansda National Park Tribes

There are various adivasi settlements in Vansda from the Dangi tribes, which are made up of the Bhils, Kunbi, Warli, Chowdry, Gamit, Bhoi, and Kukna.

Dangi Tribe:

The Vansda National Park is home to several tribal communities, with the Dangi tribe being the most prominent. The Dangi tribe has been living in the area for centuries and has a unique culture and way of life. The Dangi tribe is primarily engaged in agriculture and forest-based activities such as gathering forest produce, hunting, and fishing. 

The Dangi tribe is known for their unique dance forms and music, which reflect their close relationship with nature. Visitors to the park can experience these cultural performances during their visit and learn more about the rich cultural heritage of the tribal communities living in the area.

Vansda National Park Flora

The Vansda National Park is known for its rich and diverse flora. The park is primarily covered with teak and bamboo forests, but it also has a variety of other plant species. 

The Vansda National Park also has a variety of flowering plants and shrubs, which provide a colorful display during the flowering season. There is a variety of colourful orchids at Ambika river in Vansda National Park.

Here is the Flora of Vansda National Park:

  • Teak 
  • Sadad
  • Bamboo
  • Dudhlo
  • Kakad
  • Khakhro
  • Buto
  • Timru
  • Umbh 
  • Kalam
  • Modad
  • Haldu
  • Sisam
  • Chopadi bondaro
  • Kusum
  • Tanach
  • Asan
  • Mahudo
  • Behda
  • Umaro
  • Shimlo
  • Ambla

Vansda National Park Fauna (Vansda National Park Animals/Vansda National Park Wildlife)

Vansda National Park is famous for which animal?

The Vansda National Park is home to a rich and diverse range of wildlife, including several species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians.


  • Leopard
  • Rhesus Macaque
  • Wild Boar
  • Hanuman Langur
  • Common Palm Civet
  • Small Indian Civet
  • Indian Porcupine
  • Four-horned Antelope
  • Barking Deer
  • Hyena
  • Jungle Cat
  • Flying Squirrel
Leopard in Vansda National Park
Leopard in Vansda National Park


  • Indian Great Black Woodpecker
  • Yellow Back Sunbird
  • Pompodour Pigeon
  • Malabar Trogon 
  • Shama
  • Common Grey Hornbill
  • Jungle Babbler
  • Forest Spotted Owlet


  • Russell's Viper
  • Saw-scaled Viper
  • Common Krait

Vansda National Park UPSC Questions

Q. Where is Vansda National Park located?/Vansda National Park in which district?/Vansda National Park is located in which state of India?

A. Vansda National Park is located in the Vansda tehsil, Navsari District of Gujarat state, India.

Q. Which river flows through Vansda National Park?

A. Ambika river flows through Vansda National Park.

Q. Why is Vansda National Park famous?

A. Vansda National Park is famous for several reasons, which contribute to its popularity and recognition:

  • Biodiversity Hotspot
  • Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Avian Paradise
  • Scenic Beauty
  • Cultural Significance
  • Eco-Tourism Destination

Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park

June 04, 2024 0

Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park UPSC (Marine National Park in Gujarat UPSC)

The Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park is a protected marine area located in the Gulf of Kutch, along the western coast of India. It is the first Marine National Park in India. It is known for its diverse marine ecosystem and rich biodiversity. 

The park is home to a wide range of marine life, including corals, sponges, jellyfish, sea anemones, mollusks, crustaceans, and a variety of fish species. It also serves as an important nesting and breeding site for various marine turtles.

One of the main attractions of the Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park is the presence of the endangered dugong, also known as the sea cow. The park provides a crucial habitat for these gentle creatures, and efforts are being made to protect and conserve their population.

Visitors to the Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park can explore its diverse marine life through activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, and boat rides. The park offers opportunities for nature enthusiasts, researchers, and tourists to observe and study the unique marine ecosystem.

Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park

Table of Contents

  • Location
  • History
  • Area
  • River
  • Flora
  • Fauna
  • Kharai Camel
  • UPSC Questions

Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park Location

The Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park is located in the Gulf of Kutch, along the western coast of India. It is situated in the state of Gujarat, specifically in the Jamnagar district. It is situated on the southern shore of the Gulf of Kutch. The nearest major city to the park is Jamnagar, which is approximately 45 kilometers away.

The Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park is located in the intertidal zone. The intertidal zone is the area above water level at low tide and underwater at high tide. Intertidal zone is also known as the foreshore.

Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to the Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park is the Jamnagar Airport. It is located in Jamnagar, Gujarat, which is approximately 7 kilometers away from the park. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a private vehicle to reach the marine park.

Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park Nearest Railway Station:

The nearest railway station to the Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park is the Jamnagar Railway Station, which is about 7 kilometers away from the park. From the railway station, you can hire a taxi or take a local bus to reach the marine park.
Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park

Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park History

The Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park has a rich history and significance in the conservation and protection of marine biodiversity. Here's a brief overview of its history:

1. Establishment as a Marine Sanctuary: In 1980, recognizing the ecological significance of the Gulf of Kutch, an area of 270 square kilometers from Okha to Jodiya was designated as a Marine Sanctuary. This initial step marked the beginning of conservation efforts to protect the marine ecosystem in the region.

2. Declaration as a Marine National Park: In 1982, a core area of 110 square kilometers within the Marine Sanctuary was further designated as the Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park. It is the first Marine National Park in India. This declaration was made under the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 of India. The establishment of the Marine National Park aimed to provide enhanced protection to the unique marine biodiversity found in the Gulf of Kutch.

3. Conservation Objectives: The primary objective of establishing the Marine National Park was to safeguard the diverse marine ecosystem of the Gulf of Kutch. By designating it as a protected area, efforts were made to conserve and preserve the rich biodiversity, including corals, marine fauna, and their habitats within the park's boundaries.

Blackbuck National Park

June 04, 2024 0

Blackbuck National Park UPSC (Velavadar National Park UPSC)

Blackbuck National Park, also known as Velavadar National Park, is a wildlife sanctuary and national park, located in the state of Gujarat, India. It is situated near the town of Velavadar in the Bhal region of Saurashtra. 

The park was established in 1976 with the primary aim of conserving the blackbuck, a species of antelope native to the Indian subcontinent.

The park is characterized by grasslands, scrublands, and saline plains. It provides a suitable habitat for blackbucks, which are known for their distinctive black and white coat and spiraled horns. 

Blackbuck in Blackbuck National Park
Blackbuck in Blackbuck National Park

Blackbuck National Park

Table of Contents

  • Location
  • History
  • Area
  • Bhal Region
  • River
  • Flora
  • Fauna
  • UPSC Questions

Blackbuck National Park Location

Blackbuck National Park (Velavadar National Park) is located at Velavadar in the Bhavnagar District of Gujarat, India. It is situated near the Velavadar village, which is approximately 42 kilometers from Bhavnagar city. 

Blackbuck National Park is surrounded by wastelands and agriculture fields on the northern side. The Blackbuck National Park's southern region, which borders the Gulf of Khambhat, lies in the high tide zone of the gulf and is prone to periodic inundation by water.

Blackbuck National Park Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to Blackbuck National Park is Bhavnagar Airport, located in Bhavnagar, Gujarat. It is approximately 72 kilometers (45 miles) away from the park.

Blackbuck National Park Nearest Railway Station:

The nearest railway station to Blackbuck National Park is The closest railway station is at the town of Dhola, which is about 50 km from the park.

Blackbuck National Park

Blackbuck National Park

Blackbuck National Park

Blackbuck National Park History

Blackbuck National Park has a significant history tied to its establishment and conservation efforts. Here's a brief overview of its history:

1. Hunting Ground of the Maharaja: During the earlier period, the area now known as Blackbuck National Park, or Velavadar National Park, served as a "vidi" (grassland) that belonged to the maharaja of the princely state of Bhavnagar in Gujarat. The maharaja utilized this grassland as a hunting ground, where he would pursue blackbucks with the assistance of his famous hunting cheetahs.

2. Declaration as a Reserve Forest: In the early 20th century, recognizing the need to protect the blackbuck population from excessive hunting and habitat destruction, the area was declared a reserve forest. This step aimed to preserve the blackbucks and their natural habitat, ensuring their long-term survival.

3. Wildlife Sanctuary Status: As awareness and concerns for wildlife conservation grew, the significance of the area as a crucial habitat for blackbucks became more evident. In 1972, it was officially designated as a wildlife sanctuary, providing enhanced protection for the blackbuck species. This declaration marked an important milestone in the park's history and demonstrated a commitment to preserve its unique ecosystem.

4. Establishment as Blackbuck National Park: Building upon its status as a wildlife sanctuary, in 1976, the area was formally established as Blackbuck National Park. This step solidified its position as a dedicated conservation area exclusively focused on the preservation and welfare of blackbucks. The establishment of the national park facilitated more comprehensive management, conservation efforts, and research dedicated to the blackbuck population.