Gujarat is a unique state that
has many kinds of habitats. These varied landforms include dry deciduous
forests, majestic grasslands, wetlands, marine ecosystems and rich moist
deciduous forests. These habitats are home to some extremely rare
wildlife. The Asiatic Lion is found only in Gir. The Wild Ass in the Rann
of Kutch, the rare great Indian bustard in the bird reserves, the world's
only four-horned antelope and the Black Buck are some other valued species
protected in Gujarat. The dugong and the rare boralia species also find a
safe haven here.
Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary
65 kms. Southwest of Ahmedabad, is the delightful bird sanctuary of
Nalsarovar nestling around the Nal Lake, extending over 11,500 hectares.
Established in 1969 A.D., it is known to harbour over 250 species of
wetland birds. Nalsarovar sees winter migrants from the north that
includes Rosy Pelicans, Flamingoes, White Storks, Brahminy Ducks and
A pair of binoculars and a person well-versed in the local bird life will
surely make it one of your best outings. Visitors are ferried in small
boats to experience a sunrise or sunset while gliding gently through the
Thol Wildlife Sanctuary
The sanctuary is in the Mehsana district,
40kms. from Ahmedabad. Occupying an area of approximately 7sq. kms. It is
home to a rich variety of wildfowl, flamingos, gray pelicans, black ibis
and other wetland birds.
Velavadar Black Buck Sanctuary
This is the home of the Indian black
buck.Velavadar in the Bhal region of Saurashtra is a unique grassland
ecosystem that has attracted fame for the successful conservation of the
black buck - the fastest of the Indian antelopes, the wolf and the lesser
Once found in open plains throughout the country and the state of Gujarat,
its largest population at present occurs in Velvadar National Park. This
exclusively Indian animal is perhaps the most graceful and beautiful of
its kind. It has ringed horns that have a spiral twist of three to four
turns and are upto 70 cm long. The body's upper parts are black and the
underparts and a ring around the eyes are white. The female, light brown
in colour is usually hornless.
The fastest of the Indian antelopes, they move off in a series of amazing
leaps and bounds when threatened and then break into a lightening run.
A word of praise would not be out of place for the Kathi community who
like the Bishnoi community have protected the black buck with vigour and
zeal as it is associated with their past history of valour and religious
Marine National Park
Gujarat has the distinction of creating the
country's first Marine National Park spread over an area of nearly 458 sq
kms in the Gulf of Kutch, 30 kms. from Jamnagar. Here corals create
fantasies in stone and are the master builders of the Park. Their
limestone fortresses - each one the work of a colony of countless tiny
animals - come in an amazing variety of shapes and sizes, from the
convoluted brain coral to corals that look like horns.
Turtles, shrimp, sponge, eels, sea urchin lurk among the corals and huge
schools of fish create a brilliance of colours that are unknown, unseen
and unimaginable. Here you can see dolphins and octopuses.
Dugong, a marine mammal, which resembles a seal and the rare Boralia
species are found in these protected areas.
The park has dense mangrove growth, which provides scores of birds with
nesting and roosting sites.