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, 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.
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 gathering firewood and other forest products is prohibited. Animals are better protected as a result of their separation from human touch. However, it’s important to remember that national parks aren’t intended for any certain species. Rather, they foster and protect the diversity of forest life.
In India, the first national park was formed 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, the situation altered dramatically. We now have 103 national parks in the country, spanning a total area of 40,500 square kilometers.
Some of the famous National Parks in India are-
- Corbett National Park
- Bandhavgarh National Park
- Ranthambore National Park
- Kanha National Park
- Pench National Park
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 animal sanctuaries, only very limited human activity is permitted. Animal hunting and poaching are severely 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.
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 territory that is formed by the governing bodies to preserve wildlife and evolve them.||The wildlife sanctuary is a natural habitat that is run by the governing bodies or private organizations that protect certain species of animals and birds.|
|A national park preserves fauna, flora, species, historic objects, landscape, etc.||Wildlife sanctuary preserves birds, animals, insects, reptiles, 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.||Restrictions are relatively less and it is open to people.|
|Official permission is required. Boundaries are fixed by the administration.||Official permission is not required. Boundaries are not fixed.|
Also Read: How to Reach the National Parks of India.
Tiger Reserve is a legally declared protected area dedicated to the conservation of striped big cats. A tiger reserve, on the other hand, 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. One such tiger reserve is Tadoba Andhari.
There are now 52 tiger reserves in India that are managed by Project Tiger. The National Tiger Conservation Authority manages and looks after these reserves (NTCA). Tiger reserves have played a critical role in India’s current status as home to 70% of the world’s tiger population.
Some of India’s Tiger Reserve are-
- Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve
- Bandipur Tiger Reserve
- Nagarhole Tiger Reserve
- Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve
- Sariska Tiger Reserve