India's National Parks
Little Rann of Kutch
Little Rann of Kutch, Gujarat situated in the Thar Desert was established in January 1972 as a sanctuary for the last population of Indian wild ass (khar). This extraordinary area gets partly inundated by about 2 feet of water in the monsoon months (July-September). Once below sea level, this area was raised by earth movements which cut it off from the Gulf of Kutch, and was broken up by later earth movements into the flat saline areas (where people can be seen making salt), and higher grounds with sandy, salt-free soil. The wild ass depends on the thorny scrub of the higher ground area for its feed. Also found in this park are chinkara gazelle, nilgai antelope, wolf, blackbuck antelope, hyena, desert fox, jackal, desert cat, and caracal.
Nagarhole National Park
This 247 square-mile park in Karnataka has an astonishing abundance of wildlife including large mammals such as tiger, leopard, wild elephant, dhole (Indian wild dog), and gaur (Indian bison). Other species present are chital spotted deer, muntjac (barking deer), mouse deer, four-horned antelope, wild boar, sloth bear, hyena, mongoose, civet, otter, and more. The landscape is one of gentle slopes and shallow valleys. Dry deciduous forest trees are leafless in the summer rather than in the winter. There are grassy swamps where the soil is clayey, perennially moist, and which support a luxuriant growth of green grass all year. The change in terrain throughout the park in refreshing and the river system provides a unique wildlife viewing experience.
Special thanks to Nina Rao of Rare Earth Explorations for contributions on India's parks.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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