National Parks in India
The Wild Life (Protection) Act (WPA) of 1972 provided for the declaration of National Parks by the State Government in addition to the declaration of wildlife sanctuaries.
National Parks are declared in areas that are considered to be of adequate ecological, geomorphological and natural signifcance although within the law, the diﬀerence in conservation value of a National Park from that of a sanctuary is not specifed in the WPA 1972.
Diﬀerence between the two:
- National Parks enjoy a greater degree of protection than sanctuaries.
- Certain activities which are regulated in sanctuaries, such as grazing of livestock, are prohibited in National Parks.
- Wildlife sanctuary can be created for a particular species (for e.g. grizzled giant squirrel w.l.s in srivalliputhur) whereas the national park is not primarily focused on a particular species.
- The Central Government may also declare, Wild Life Sanctuary and National Park under certain conditions.
Important Facts for Prelims
- Jim Corbett National Park is the first National Park of india earlier known as Hailey National Park (1936).
- Hemis National Park in the eastern Ladakh is the largest National Park of India with the area of 4,400 square km. It is also National Park located at highest altitude.
- South Button National Park in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is the smallest National Park of India with the area of 2 square mile.
- Madhya Pradesh has the maximum numbers of national parks (10) followed by Andaman and Nicobar (9).