Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Blackbuck National Park

Blackbuck National Park UPSC (Velavadar National Park UPSC)

Blackbuck National Park, also known as Velavadar National Park, is a wildlife sanctuary 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 covers an area of approximately 34 square kilometers (13 square miles) and 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. 


Table of Contents

  • Blackbuck National Park Location
  • Blackbuck National Park History
  • Blackbuck National Park Area
  • Bhal Region
  • Blackbuck National Park River
    • Parvalia River
    • Alang River
  • Blackbuck National Park Flora
    • Grass
    • Shrubs
  • Blackbuck National Park Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptile
  • Blackbuck
  • Things to do in Blackbuck National Park
  • Blackbuck National Park 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 History

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


The historical journey of Blackbuck National Park, from a hunting ground to a protected reserve forest, and eventually a wildlife sanctuary and national park, signifies the evolving perspectives on wildlife conservation and the recognition of the importance of preserving biodiversity. Today, the park stands as a testament to the successful efforts made to safeguard the blackbuck population and provide them with a secure and thriving environment.




Blackbuck National Park Area

Blackbuck National Park (Velavadar National Park) is spread over an area of approximately 34 square kilometers. It was declared a national park in 1976 with a initial protected area of about 18 sq km. In 1980, another 16 sq km were added to increase the total area to 34 sq km.




Bhal Region

Blackbuck National Park (Velavadar National Park) is located in the Bhal region of Saurashtra in Gujarat, India. This Park is the only grassland preserved in the Bhal area.


The Bhal region, also known as the Bhal Peninsula or Bhal region of Saurashtra, is a geographical area located in the western part of Gujarat, India. It is situated between the Gulf of Khambhat and the Kathiawar Peninsula. The Bhal region is known for its diverse landscapes, including grasslands, scrublands, saline plains, and coastal areas.


The Bhal region is renowned for its agricultural productivity, with fertile soil supporting the cultivation of various crops such as cotton, groundnuts, wheat, and millet. The region also has significant industrial activities, particularly in the city of Bhavnagar, which is an important center for trade and commerce.


The Bhal region's strategic location along the Arabian Sea has contributed to its historical importance as a trade hub and a center of maritime activities. It has a rich cultural heritage, with a blend of influences from the indigenous communities, as well as the Mughal, Maratha, and British colonial eras.




Blackbuck National Park River

Which river flows through Blackbuck National Park?

There are no major rivers flowing through the Blackbuck National Park. However, there are a few small streams and seasonal rivulets that flow through the park, which provide a vital source of water for the park's wildlife.


Parvalia and Alang river passes through Blackbuck National Park.


(1) Parvalia River:

Parvalia river passes through Blackbuck National Park. It drain into the Gulf of Cambay (Gulf of Khambhat). 


(2) Alang River:

Alang river passes through Blackbuck National Park and forms southern border of the park. It drain into the Gulf of Cambay (Gulf of Khambhat). 




Blackbuck National Park Flora

Blackbuck National Park is situated in the grasslands of Gujarat, India, and the park's flora is primarily composed of dry grasses (60%), shrubs (15%) and thorny bushes. The Park's ecosystem is adapted to the arid climate, and the vegetation is well-suited to survive the harsh weather conditions.


Here are some of the notable flora species found in the park:


(1) Grasses:

The park's grasslands are dominated by various species of grasses, including Cenchrus ciliaris (buffel grass), Pennisetum Pedicellatum and Aristida Adscensionis. These grasses provide essential grazing resources for the blackbucks and other herbivores.


(2) Shrubs and Scrubs:

The scrublands in the park are home to several shrubs and scrubs that are adapted to the arid conditions of the region. Species such as Ziziphus nummularia (ber), Acacia spp., Salvadora persica (toothbrush tree), Prosopis juliflora (mesquite), and Calligonum polygonoides (bluebush) are commonly found.




Blackbuck National Park Fauna (Blackbuck National Park Animals)

Blackbuck National Park, also known as Velavadar National Park, is home to a diverse range of fauna, including several mammal, bird, and reptile species. Here are some notable examples of the fauna found in the park:


Mammals:

  • Blackbucks
  • Wolves
  • Hyenas
  • Foxes
  • Bluebull (Nilgai)
  • Wild Boar
  • Jackals
  • Jungle Cats
  • Wild Pig
  • Hares


Birds:

  • Lesser Floricans
  • Macqueen’s Bustards
  • Houbara Bustard
  • White Stork
  • Harriers
  • Sarus cranes
  • Common Kestrel
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • Eurasian Hobby


Reptile:

  • Indian Cobra
  • Russell's Viper
  • Saw-scaled Viper




Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra)

The Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) is an antelope native to India and Nepal. It is locally extinct in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. 

Blackbuck is also known as the Indian antelope. It inhabits grassy plains and lightly forested areas with perennial water sources.




Things to do in Blackbuck National Park

Visiting Blackbuck National Park offers a range of activities for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers. Here are some things you can do in the park:


  • Wildlife Safari
  • Bird Watching
  • Nature Walk
  • Photography
  • Camping
  • Visit the Interpretation Centre
  • Visit the Velavadar Village
  • Stargazing




Blackbuck National Park UPSC Questions

Q. Where is Blackbuck National Park?/Blackbuck National Park is located in which state?

A. Blackbuck National Park is located at Velavadar in the Bhavnagar District of Gujarat, India.


Q. Blackbuck National Park is famous for which animal?

A. Blackbuck National Park is famous for Indian Blackbuck (Antelope Cervicapra).


Q. Blackbuck found in which national park?

A. Blackbuck found in Blackbuck National Park in Gujarat, India.


Q. Where is Velavadar National Park?

A. Velavadar National Park is in Bhavnagar District of Gujarat, India.


Blackbuck National Park

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