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Gujarat boasts of a rich flora and fauna. It has varied landforms, ranging from dry deciduous forests to majestic grasslands, wetlands, marine ecosystems and rich moist deciduous forests. This has made the state suitable as the habitat of rare wildlife species. Asiatic Lion, Wild Ass, Black Buck, Four-horned Antelope and Great Indian Bustard are some of the rare species preserved by the various wildlife sanctuaries in Gujarat. These rare animals constitute the wildlife heritage of India. Therefore, the national parks in Gujarat are trying their best to save these creatures from the threat of extinction.

It is easy to notice the sheer variety of colour, pattern and a cacophony of sounds that these birds use for recognition and courtship. They can be seen using the same devices for threats and aggression as they vie with each other for nesting and feeding space. There just cannot be anyplace where one can see so much wildlife in a single day! A pair of binoculars and a person well versed in local bird life will surely make this one of the best outings.

Black Buck National Park

Black Buck National Park is situated at Velavadar, at a distance of 72 km from Bhavnagar airport of Gujarat. It was established in the year 1976 in the Bhal region of Saurashtra and spreads over an area of 34.08 sq. km and has appropriate grasslands ecosystem. A visit to Velavadar Blackbuck Sanctuary, India, offers information about the wildlife wealth of the Gujarat which was a private grassland of the princely state of Bhavnagar. Velavadar , has saline lands, high tidal mudflats and prosopis shrubland along with simple dense and sparse grasslands. The sanctuary, is, populated by blackbucks, Blue Bull, antelope, Wolf, Jackal, Hyena, Wild boars, jungle cat and a variety of birds.

Gir National Park

Gir today is the only place in the world, outside Africa, where the lion can be seen in its natural habitat.From Biblical times till a hundred years ago, the Asiatic lion roamed over a vast area ranging from Greece through West Asia to Bengal and Bihar.The last lion seen outside Gir was in 1884, and the king of the jungle has taken his final refuge in Gir.Even in Gir the number of lions had dwindled to as low as just 15 around 1910. Serious and timely protection measures have raised their numbers to just over 300.Gir National Park has a sprawling area of 1412 sq. km. It was established in the year 1965 and is located about 65 km to the south-east of the Junagadh city of Gujarat. The forest area of Gir was initially protected by the Nawab of the princely state of Junagadh.

Marine National Park

Marine National Park is situated in the Gulf of Kutch, which falls under the Junagadh District of Gujarat. It was established in the year 1982 and covers an archipelago of 42 islands in the Gulf of Kutch which comes under the protected area. 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 km. from Jamnagar . Here corals create fantasies in stone and are the master builders of the Park. Their limestone fortresses – those found near the Pirotan Islands and the rich moist deciduous forests like those found in the dense forests of the Danes. One of the most threatened birds, the great Indian bustard finds a refuge in certain pockets of protected areas.

Wild Ass Sanctuary

Wild Ass Sanctuary is situated in the Rann of Kutch area of Gujarat. It was established in the year 1972 and falls under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1973. The sanctuary is also known as the Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary and covers an area of 4953 sq. km.

Gujarat has some outstanding places for viewing birds of the wetlands. Just 80 km. from ahmedabad is Nalsarovar, and Thol wildlife Sanctuary is also just 40 km. from Ahmedabad.10 km. from Jamnagar is Khijadia Bird Sanctuary. Within the Porbandar city itself is the Porbandar Bird Sanctuary. The sheer variety that can be seen at such places is rewarding by any standards.Here you will see kingfishers, egrets, darters, storks and cormorants spear or catch fish with their dagger shaped beaks. You will also get to see jacanas, moorehens, coots, grebes and ducks feeding mainly on plants, straining water from their specially designed beaks and keeping the food in. You will see the flamingos using their long necks and legs to probe the waters and snipes and godwits probing into mud for food with their long bills.

Nalsarovar is a seasonal lake spread over an area of 115 sp.km. It is known to harbour more than 250 species of birds. In winter the migratory birds descend on the Nal in their thousands. Visitors are ferried in small boats and to experience a sunrise or a sunset while gliding gently through the silent waters.