National Parks in India
National parks are protected areas that have been established by the government to conserve and protect natural resources such as forests, wildlife, flora, and fauna. These parks are usually managed by the government, and their primary purpose is to preserve the biodiversity of a specific region or ecosystem. In India, national parks are managed by the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change, and they are established under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.
In this blog, we will explore the importance of national parks, their conservation efforts, and their significance for the UPSC exam.
There are 106 existing national parks in India covering an area of 44,402.95 km2, which is 1.35% of the geographical area of the country (National Wildlife Database, Jan. 2023).
- In India, the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 provides the legal framework for the protection of wildlife and their habitats. The act established a network of protected areas, including national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and biosphere reserves, to conserve India’s rich biodiversity.
- India’s national parks fall under IUCN category II protection.
- National Parks in India are declared by the State governments under the power of Section 35 of Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
- In India, the state government cannot change the boundaries of a National Park unless the National Board recommends it.
- No human activity is permitted within the national park, except those authorised by the state’s Chief Wildlife Warden in accordance with the provisions of CHAPTER IV of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
National parks play a vital role in preserving and protecting the natural environment. Some of the significant benefits of national parks are:
- Conservation of Biodiversity: National parks are established to protect the flora and fauna of a specific region. These parks are essential in preserving the biodiversity of the ecosystem and ensuring that the plants and animals within it are not threatened.
- Educational Value: National parks provide an opportunity for people to learn about the natural environment and the importance of conservation. Visitors can learn about the flora and fauna of the area and how it is interconnected with the ecosystem.
- Economic Value: National parks can be a significant source of revenue for the government through tourism. Visitors who come to the park can contribute to the local economy through their spending on accommodation, food, and other services.
- Climate Regulation: National parks play a vital role in regulating the climate by storing carbon and regulating water flow. These parks can help mitigate the effects of climate change by preserving natural habitats and protecting against natural disasters.
Significance for UPSC Exam:
National parks and their conservation efforts are an important topic for the UPSC exam. Questions related to national parks and wildlife conservation often appear in the General Studies paper. Aspirants need to have a clear understanding of the various national parks in India, their location, and the species found in them.
In addition, aspirants should be aware of the challenges faced by national parks, such as poaching, human encroachment, and habitat loss. They should also be familiar with the measures taken by the government to protect these areas.
In conclusion, national parks are an essential aspect of India’s natural environment, and they play a vital role in preserving and protecting the country’s biodiversity. These parks provide an opportunity for people to learn about the natural environment and the importance of conservation, while also contributing to the local economy through tourism.
Important Facts & Questions on National Parks in India
Q 1. What is a National Park?
Ans:- A National Park is a natural habitat that is set aside by the government of a state or union territory for the purpose of conserving the environment.
Q 2. Which is the largest National Park in India?
Ans:- Hemis National Park in Ladakh is India’s largest National Park, globally renowned for its snow leopards.
Q 3. Why do we need National Parks?
Ans:- National Parks serve multiple objectives, including protecting the ecosystem, conserving endangered species, and preserving natural resources for ecological development.
Q 4. Which was the first Marine National Park in India?
Ans:- The first Marine National Park in India was established in 1982 and is located in the Gulf of Kutch.
Q 5. Which is the only floating National Park in the country and where is it located?
Ans:- The Keibul Lamjao National Park, located in Manipur, is the only floating National Park in India and the world.
Q 6. What is the difference between a National Park and a Wildlife Sanctuary?
Ans:- A wildlife sanctuary is a protected area for specific species, while a National Park is an area protected from human exploitation and pollution.
Q 7. Which is the oldest National Park in India?
Ans:- The Jim Corbett National Park, located in Uttarakhand, is India’s oldest National Park, established in 1936.
Q 8. How many National Parks are there in India?
Ans:- There are 106 existing national parks in India covering an area of 44,402.95 km2, which is 1.35% of the geographical area of the country (National Wildlife Database, Jan. 2023).
Q.9 Which is the latest National Park in India 2022?
Ans:- Raimona National Park (newest national park in india), Park in Assam was recently added, as India’s 106th National Park, on June 5, 2021.