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Difference between National Park vs Wildlife Sanctuary vs Tiger Reserve

national park vs wildlife sanctuary vs tiger reserve

National Park vs Wildlife Sanctuary vs Tiger Reserve

All around the world, wildlife is the major natural habitat. Wildlife faces extinction as a result of deforestation, as well as relentless industrialization and urbanization. As a result protected areas like national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and tiger reserves, among others, have been established to maintain and conserve the natural lifestyle of the country’s wildlife. In this blog, we will be covering how a national park, tiger reserve, and wildlife sanctuary differ from each other.


National Park

According to the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests, a national park is “[a]n area, whether within a sanctuary or not, [that] can be notified by the state government to be constituted as a National Park, for the purpose of protecting & propagating or developing wildlife therein or its environment.” No human activity is authorized inside the national park unless it is approved by the state’s Chief Wildlife Warden under the terms of Chapter IV of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.”

Grazing, habitation, and other human activities are strictly restricted within a national park. Even collection of firewood and other forest products is prohibited. Animals are better protected as a result of less human impact. However, it’s important to remember that national parks may or may not be focus on any particular species, but the idea behind is to protect the whole ecosystem so that every organism gets benefitted from the protection, conservation in its natural habitat.

In India, the first national park was created in 1936. It was Uttarakhand’s Hailey National Park. Jim Corbett National Park is the name given to it today. Only five national parks existed in 1970.

When India passed the Wildlife Protection Act in 1972 and launched the now-famous Project Tiger in year 1973, the situation altered dramatically. We now have 106 national parks in the country, spanning a total area of 44,402.95 square kilometers.


corbett national park


Some of the famous National Parks in India are-

Wildlife Sanctuary

A wildlife sanctuary is a place where animals can be moved to live and remain safe for the rest of their lives. Wildlife sanctuaries, unlike animal shelters, do not seek to place animals with groups or individuals. Instead, they tend to keep every animal alive until it dies naturally. Furthermore, wildlife sanctuaries safeguard a variety of animals and birds, including the Great Indian Bustard, Musk Deer, and Black Buck.

In wildlife sanctuaries, only very limited human activity is permitted. Animal hunting and poaching are strictly prohibited, and trees and plants may not be cut down for agriculture or any other purpose. Wildlife sanctuaries allow visitors to walk through them for educational, recreational, or research purposes.


chinnar wildlife sanctuary


Some of the Famous Wildlife Sanctuaries-

  • Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary (Karnataka):

Sambar, porcupine, muntjac, bison, and gaur.

  • Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary (Kerala):

Nilgiri Tahr, spotted leopard, panther, and Indian elephant.

  • Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary (Karnataka):

Flying squirrel, black panther, crocodiles, and tiger.


The difference between a National Park and a Wildlife Sanctuary-


National Park Wildlife Sanctuary
The national park is a protected area that is declared by the government to preserve wildlife and the whole ecosystem. The wildlife sanctuary is a natural habitat that is run by the government to protect the species of animals and birds.
A national park preserves fauna, flora, species, historic objects, landscape, etc. Wildlife sanctuary preserves flora & fauna including natural habitat etc.
The aim of national parks is to protect historic and natural objects as well as the wildlife of the territory. The aim of wildlife sanctuaries is to ensure that the population of the wildlife and their respective habitats are sustained.
The national park is highly restricted and people cannot randomly access it. No forest product collection is permitted. Restrictions are relatively less and it is open to people and to some extent forest product collection.
Official permission is required. Boundaries are fixed by the administration. Official permission is required for outsiders, local villagers can go. Boundaries are fixed.

Also Read: How to Reach the National Parks of India.

Tiger Reserve

Tiger Reserve is a legally declared protected area dedicated to the conservation of striped big cats in its natural environment. A tiger reserve,  could be a national park or wildlife sanctuary. The Sariska Tiger Reserve, for example, is also a national park. Because the area was first established as a national park and then dedicated to tiger conservation, this is the case.

This isn’t to argue that every tiger reserve has to be a national park or a sanctuary. Some of them only exist as tiger reserves because they were founded specifically for the conservation and protection of tigers.

There are now 54 tiger reserves in India that are managed by Project Tiger. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) manages and looks after these reserves with state forest departments. Tiger reserves have played a critical role in India’s current status as home to more than 70% of the world’s tiger population.


bandhavgarh tiger reserve


Some of India’s Tiger Reserve are-

  • Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve
  • Bandipur Tiger Reserve
  • Nagarhole Tiger Reserve
  • Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve
  • Sariska Tiger Reserve

1 thought on “Difference between National Park vs Wildlife Sanctuary vs Tiger Reserve”

  1. As a citizen of Goa India would pray to God for enlightening the human species to preserve wildlife especially tigers for future generations
    To understand the value of these magnificent creatures of the wild in controlling other species populations in the forests and maintaining the balance in nature. Providing man the best possible footage of game hunting by the tiger and its magnificent beauty

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