India is unique in the richness and diversity of its vegetation and wildlife. Almost 350 mammal species, over a thousand and two hundred species of birds in nearly 2100 forms and more than 30,000 species of insects - provide evidence to the wealthiness of wildlife in India Besides, there are a number of species of fish, amphibians and reptiles. With over 4.5% its geographical area covered by more than 75 national parks and 425 sanctuaries, the range and diversity of India's wildlife heritage matches the grandeur and magnificence of her civilization.
India's national parks and wild life sanctuaries (including bird sanctuaries) from Laddakh in Himalayas to Souther tip of Tamil Nadu. These parks, reserves, sanctuaries and forests are vital to the conservation of endangered species, such as Bengal tiger, the Asiatic Elephant, Lion, the Snow Leopard and Siberian Crane. India's first national park, the Corbett was established in the foothills of Himalayas. It supports a great variety of mammals and over 585 species of birds. The Wild Elephant population is on the increase and both tiger and leopard are regularly seen.
Kanha National Park is the largest of the original tiger reserves. The park is noted for its local herd of swamp deer. Also in Kaziranga is found a species of the swamp deer found in Kanha A third subspecies (and the largest population) of swamp deer is at the Dudhwa National Park in the northeastern UP.
The magnificent bird sanctuary at Bharatpur Provides a vast breeding area for the native water birds. During the winters (November-March) migratory birds arrive in large numbers, including the Siberian Crane. In the Indian deserts, the most discussed bird is the Great Indian bustard. In western Himalayas, one can see birds like Himalayan monal pheasant, western tragopan, koklass, white crested khalij cheer pleasant, griffon vultures, lammergiers, choughs, ravens. In the Andaman and Nicobar region, about 250 species and sub species of birds are found, such as rare Narcondum hornbill, Nicobar pigeon and megapode. Here are also other birds like white-bellied sea eagle, white breasted swiftlet and several fruit pigeons. All these could be observed in Andaman's 6 national parks and over ninety wildlife sanctuaries.
The Himalayas (foothills) are known for big mammals like elephant, sambar, swamp, deer, cheetal, wild boar tiger, panther, hyena, black bear and sloth bear, porcupine, Great Indian one horned rhinoceros, wild buffalo, gagetic gharial, golden langur. Wild ass, sheep, deers, smaller mammals, snow leopards, wolf, cats and brown beers are in plenty in the western Himalayas. While the national park and sanctuaries of northern and central India are better known, there are quite a few parks and sanctuaries in South India, too, e.g. , Madumalai in Tamil Nadu and Bandipur Tiger Reserve and Nagahole National Park in Karnataka.
A tour of Indian wildlife sanctuaries and national parks is a fabulous travelmasti. Contrary to the experiences of African Safari, the vegetation and terrain in India is such that wild animals are often solitary or in small herds, elusive and shy. The thick forest and dense grassland with openings for streams and rivers, provide the cover for Indian wildlife.
Unlike the situation prevailing over a decade or two ago, Wildlife Safari in India now facilitates seeing a tiger, a rhinoceros or a herd of wild elephant. Ranges of Safari Packages are an offer, courtsey the tourism departments of states as well as tour and travel agencies. These Safari / Safari Packages are unique and unparalleled. The kind of diversity. Indian wildlife can boast off is not available anywhere else in the world. The great Himalayan Mountains, forests, national parks, sanctuaries.